08/27/09 02:24PM Martinsville Henry County Car Club Custom Classic Cruise In and Car Show

Car cruise-in slated

The Martinsville Henry County Car Club, which was started in January and already has about 150 members, will hold its first show on Saturday.

The Martinsville Henry County Car Club Custom Classic Cruise In and Car Show will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at Advance Auto Parts on U.S. 220 South in Ridgeway.

No registration is required.

Although the event is called the Custom Classic Cruise In and Car Show, it will be a cruise-in only, where people can display their cars, talk with others about their vehicles, and spectators can take it all in. Cars will not be judged, said Bob Norris of Horsepasture, who organized the car club.

There will be no admission or car entry fee.

Prizes, provided or paid for by sponsors, will be given away every 15 minutes. They will include such things as gas cards, oil change, or car maintenance or cleaning supplies, Norris said.

There will be 50-50 raffles, with the raffle winners getting 50 percent of the raffle and the other 50 percent going to the SPCA of Martinsville-Henry County, Norris said. The car club hopes to raise hundreds of dollars for the SPCA, he added.

The SPCA will be represented at the event. It will have animals available for adoption, pet supplies for sale and educational information available, Norris said.

He hopes 200 to 300 cars from Henry County, Martinsville and about a 50-mile radius will be at the show and at least that many spectators will attend.

Tim Norman, a disc jockey from Collinsville, will play ’50s and ’60s music. A vendor will sell vintage license plates for cars.

The rain date for the event is Sept. 12 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the same location.

“The club doesn’t make any money on this. It’s all free.” Norris said.

Next year the club plans to have two cruise-in/car shows, each on the fifth Saturday of a month so as not to conflict with similar events, Norris said. Each event sponsored by the car club will benefit one or more charities, he said.

Norris said he started the club because he was surprised at the lack of information available in a central place for the hundreds of local car enthusiasts. Often, what little information there was about such things as judged car shows or cruise-ins was spread by word of mouth, fliers or signs, he said.

He said he knew there are many car enthusiasts in Henry County and Martinsville because he would ride by homes and see people working on classic cars or classic cars already restored.

“With the economy the way it is I felt there was a need to create something for folks to do on the weekend that didn’t cost any money and was close to home. We, through our (Web site), promote car (shows) and cruise-ins throughout the region and do it all for free,” Norris wrote to explain the club’s purpose.

The club’s Web site (www.virginiacarclub.com or www.martinsvillehenrycountycarclub.com) also has information about such things as “members’ rides,” where people can post pictures and information about their cars. Web site visitors can rate them and make comments.

There is a general discussion (“feel free to talk about anything and everything in this board,” the Web site states); tuners and imports, bike forum, car restoration with tips, tricks and how-to’s) and car tech (where visitors can post questions and answers about car issues they may be having.)

Other discussion forums include: the Swap Shop (“buy, sell, trade and even give away!”) and vendors and services (“a place to post GOOD vendors and service people that you have had experience with”). Some vendors also have posted information about their businesses and services.

Norris, a Web designer and owner of Bob Norris Excavating in Horsepasture, said there are no dues to join the club, and it has no meetings. Most of the club’s business is done online.

He added he has “very surprised and pleased” by the growth in the number of members in the club since January.

Norris himself is a car enthusiast, and he has several of his own projects in the works. He and his sons, Andy and Bobby Norris of the home, are restoring several cars, including a 1973 Dodge Charger Rally, several Camaros and a 1963 Chevrolet pickup.