John Bumgardner is one example of a classic car owner who feels that their older cars allow them to reconnect with their past selves.
Bumgardner, from Hastings, brought his 1967 blue SS Chevy Chevelle along to the Melon Roast car show Sunday afternoon at Brickyard Park.
The car he bought 22 years ago is identical to the one he bought in high school.
He bought his current Chevelle at Hastings from someone who had previously purchased it in California.
“I redid the radiator and a couple things; otherwise, it’s original with numbers matching,”He said.
In 22 years he’s driven it 2,400 miles.
“It’s my little toy,”He said. “I don’t get to drive it like I’d like to, but I get it out every once in a while.”
In fact, he had a replica toy 1967 Chevelle sitting on his car’s engine.
He is not a member of the Melon Roasters car club, but is a fan of the club’s annual show that is held each year on the last Sunday in August.
“This is the only show I go to,”He said. “I’m still working my 70 hours a week (as owner of Ideal Electric). I just don’t have that much time. These people do a good job with this show.”
George Fuller of Hastings is also a huge fan of the Melon Roast.
Fuller brought his 1966 AMC Marlin, a turquoise 1966 AMC Marlin, to the show. The car was brand new when he bought it.
“Just the body style caught my eye way back in ’66,”He said. “I fell in love with it.”
After spending more than 30+ years in Florida, Fuller moved to Hastings earlier in the year.
“It’s getting bigger every year,”He said this about the show. “I think they are doing a good job.”
Steve Cropley, vice-president of the Melon Roasters board said the show was close to perfect.
“Everything’s good,”He said. “People having fun, buying T-shirts, eating food.”
Nebraska Spina Bifida Inc. was selected as this year’s featured nonprofit.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that happens in the first month of pregnancy when the spinal column doesn’t close completely and results in nerves that are damaged. It is the most common permanent disabling birth defect.
One of the club member’s grandsons has spina bifida.
Each year, the show features vehicles that are arranged in a pattern at Brickyard bowl’s base. This year’s car art was the state of Nebraska.
Cropley stated that the Melon Roast is a club event where members give away watermelon slices. He said that the show is more about the people than the awards.
“It’s not a trophy show,”He said. “If you’re coming and want a trophy, don’t come. You’re not going to get one. We have 300 cars and 15 trophies. Trophies are the least of our thing for this show. We just want people to come, lay back and have fun, don’t worry about their car, what they bring, just a laid-back family show.”