SALINE COUNTY -- Organizers of the Memory Lane Car Show, an annual Labor Day event at Saline County Fairgrounds, say they are pleasantly surprised with the number of people who celebrated this year's show.
Brad Crick of Harrisburg said this year's event had 224 registered cars, but as more classic cars kept turning into the fairgrounds to find a parking spot, he said total cars on display would exceed 250.
"As far as foot traffic, with people coming in, it's hard to say, but we've had an absolute ton of people, and they keep coming," Crick said.
About half the participants in the show this year appeared to be from other states, while a fair number also were from other communities.
Gary Wangler of Sesser said he enjoys going to auto shows.
"We've got this '37 Chevy, and we love to go to car shows," he said, as he adjusted the bed cover on the antique truck.
Benny Davis of Anna was busy brushing a little dust off his 1970 Chevy Malibu, which featured a 406 motor. He said he had a close personal connection with the car.
"My great-grandpa was the second original owner of this car," Davis said. "I like to go to the shows, because I'll usually see some friends show up and spend time with them. Today's a beautiful day to be out, too."
Jamie Prince of Mayfield, Kentucky sat next to his stunning red and black 1971 Mach 1 Mustang in a self-shaded bag chair. Restoring the car, which features a 351 Cleveland engine, was a labor of love, he said.
"It was pretty rough when I got it. I did everything to it but the paint," he said, smiling. "I never kept up with the time or the money spent."
Jerry Main, an Evansville, Indiana resident, brought his one-of-a-kind 2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang to display. The car's custom paint job is called "Lava Red" and under some lighting conditions appears black. However, the deep red metal flake is more apparent with a closer glance.
"This car is a special one," Main said. "It's serial number 0001. I bought it off the showroom floor in Indianapolis brand-new. I'm the original owner."
He said he enjoyed traveling to the Memory Lane Car Show to share his car with other car enthusiasts.
Crick, who served as one of the show's principal organizers, said he and others involved had promoted the show heavily in out-of-county and out-of-state markets.
"I'm glad to see so many people who traveled here for the car show. It means what we did to promote it in other areas was successful," Crick said.
Former Harrisburg native Mark Brothers also was in attendance Monday to sell and sign copies of his photo book "OUTLAW, The Life and Times of Accelaquarter Raceway 1963-Present." The book chronicles the history of Harrisburg's drag racing strip on the north side of the city's flood levee and features many past and present members of the Saline County racing community.
Crick said Brother's book and presence were another big reason attendance was high.
"I know a lot of Saline County people came out to see Mark and pick up his book," Crick said.
Brothers said he was humbled to be a part of the show's success. He sold all available copies but plans to make more copies available.
"I'm just glad to be a part of it and glad people liked the book," he said as he signed a copy.