WHEELS OF TIME Car enthusiasts enjoy annual event in Macungie
After two days of off-and-on rain Aug. 22 and 23, bright and comfortable weather Aug. 24 brought out an "exceptional" number of fans for the 36th annual Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Car Jamboree at Macungie Memorial Park.
Wheels of Time club president Ken Martin said "because of yesterday's [Saturday] weather, people apparently held off and came today," saying attendance for the final day of the annual three-day weekend show was better than normal.
So much better, said Martin, an expected $60,000 would be donated to more than two dozen charitable organizations and Wheels of Time scholarship programs.
"All the money we raise, after our expenses to put on the jamboree, goes to charitable organizations," Martin said.
The club's more than 100 members "work all year to organize and run this show," Martin said. "With club members, family and friends, we have 350 to 400 volunteers working over the three days to make it a success."
Wheels of Time, which draws 1,500 street rods and custom cars to its annual show, is considered one of the largest all-volunteer organizations in the country, Martin said. The cars shown must be based on vehicles manufactured before 1984.
The popularity of the street rod and custom car hobby is a unique part of American culture, Martin said, estimating it draws millions of participants and spectators in similar shows across the nation.
The featured personality this year was Rick Dore, an American custom car builder, who has been prominent in the field since the 1990s. He operates Rick Dore Kustoms in California.
Dore's focus is American roadsters from the 1930s through 1960s. He is the co-host, with Chuck Palumbo of the cable television Discovery Channel show, "Lords of the Car Hoards," which debuted earlier this year.
Dore signed autographs and posed with the "Black Pearl" custom creation he built for a member of the rock band Metallica. The custom car is based on a 1937 Lincoln, built on a 1948 Jaguar chassis.
Festival food from vendors across the Macungie Memorial Park fed the crowds, and a number of events, including wrestling on Saturday, provided something for all ages.