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Vintage vehicles go Back to the Strip
Lacy Garrison photo Tony Ward, who works at OReilly Auto Parts, proudly pats his black and white 71 Chevelle Super Sport parked outside the courthouse Saturday. Ward said owning a Chevelle was always his dream and his grandson Brody loves it as much as he does

Saturday morning, people strolled down Main Street to admire the lineup of nostalgic cars, trucks and show-condition collector vehicles at the Back to the Strip charity affair.

After the 5K race, the daytime portion of activities was in full swing with the car show, vendors, food collection and music during the block party-style event.

For Steve Biles and his son, Alyx Smith, car shows are a bonding experience and they brought their 1971 Super Sport Camaro with modern interior to show off to the lingering crowd. Biles said the total transformation of the antique vehicle took nine years. He had a few fun memories in the car, but one funny one in particular.

“The first time out with it, we were up in Pigeon Forge, we were out riding the strip and all of a sudden it just started smoking,” said Biles with a grin. “We didn’t know what was going on. We pulled off on a side street and we couldn’t figure it out. Then his grandmother goes, ‘I bet the emergency brake is on’ and I reached over there and click, so she never lets me forget about the emergency brake.”

Another local, Tony Ward, who works at O’Reilly Auto Parts, had a beautiful black and white 1971 Chevelle Super Sport parked right outside the courthouse. He explained a Corvelle was always his dream car and there is nothing on this one that hasn’t been touched.

“I built it like I like it,” said Ward proudly. “A lot of people like them original, but I’ve always been a guy that likes a modified vehicle so that’s what I did. I’ve had it a year and every piece of it has been unbolted, bolted back and cleaned up. It has been a family project and my 11-year-old grandson Brody and I are just having fun with it.”

The approaching storm Saturday afternoon caused car show participants to hurriedly hit the road.

Last year’s event generated $30,000 in monetary donations and 15,000 pounds of food for Meals on Wheels. This year, many people helped load nonperishable food donations periodically throughout the day.

All the proceeds will go directly to charity with every dollar and every pound of food staying right here in Warren County.