RUSH TOWNSHIP — Doug Sones is a big guy, with some serious muscles and a haircut that doesn’t take any guff. But put him down next to his 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and he’s an 8-year-old boy with a life-sized Matchbox car.
At the UMI Performance car show Saturday at the Moshannon Valley Super Bowl, it was easy for real kids to convince him to turn the key on the severely tricked out car, gun the motor and blow eardrums with the deafeningly loud roar.
“It’s my passion,” said Sones. “There’s a lot of time and hard work into it.”
He shows up at events like this one to show off, yes, but it’s also about connecting with his own people. “Car guys, car enthusiasts. They’re the only ones that understand.”
Those people were everywhere Saturday. UMI’s Ramey Womer said last year was the first running of the show, which started a little slow but eventually filled the bowling alley parking lot. This year the cars showed up early. They overflowed the lot long before the official start time.
“We probably doubled last year’s turnout,” he said.
Not all the cars were old-school. Philipsburg‘s Ted Perks brought a 2010 Chevy Camaro SS in a spicy orange color.
Car people also come in all shapes and sizes. Nathan Clark is just eight years old, but he was happy to sit behind the wheel of his child-size replica 1918 Chevy, honking the horn and buttoning and unbuttoning the back cover. The best part? “I like to win stuff.”
He’s gotten several trophies at judged shows, but it’s a family affair, as his grandfather was showing a 1947 Chevy truck and a 1968 Camaro nearby.
“People like that this isn’t judged,” said Womer. The low-stress, all-fun atmosphere made it easy for exhibitors an enthusiasts alike to appreciate old time autos just for kicks, before they rode off on a cruise past Cold Stream Dam and through Philipsburg.