The buzz of car talk filled the air at Quaker Steak and Lube Saturday, with the parking lot full of classic vehicles for the fourth annual Wheels of Courage car show.
Men and women chatted while standing over open hoods, while a spate of light rain led many owners to reach for a shammy.
“This is what I like; anything with rubber wheels on it,” said James Crapo, a Wheels of Courage volunteer there with his blue 1972 Dodge Charger. “It’s a fun show.”
Proceeds from the show’s entry fees, sponsorships, silent auction and live auction benefit the Jennie Edmundson Foundation’s Charitable Patient Care Fund. Tara Slevin with Jennie Ed explained the fund supports cancer patients in a variety of ways, from treatment and medication to non-medical costs like transportation and everyday living expenses.
Wheels of Courage attracted about 200 vehicle entries, according to event organizer Jeremy Noel. Noel said the idea for the car show four years ago was born of his experience with another Jennie Ed fundraiser that had him staying in a cell at the Squirrel Cage Jail for 48 hours.
“I said, ‘How about a car show?’” Noel said with a laugh.
A gearhead for years, Noel restored a 1968 Dodge conversion van that is now the official vehicle of Wheels of Courage.
“This is turning into a great event,” he said, noting he hoped it would attract a lot of attention when created but wasn’t sure how the reception would be.
“We have a great team,” he added about event volunteers.
Crapo’s been involved for three years, bringing his Charger, which he’s owned for 41 years.
“Since I was 5 years old,” he joked.
Judging categories included: best sports car, best original, best muscle, best truck, best Mopar, best Mopar 2000 and newer, best Ford, best Ford 2000 and newer, Best GM, best rat rod, best street rod, best GM 2000 and newer, best licensed off-road, best foreign car and best kid’s class.
Scott Rathman of Council Bluffs stopped by to enjoy the show. Rathman said he’s “a Mopar-head from way back,” about Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler vehicles.
“I wanted to come out and take a look at some classic cars,” he said. “Seeing the detail and care people take is great.”
Alan Clark of Council Bluffs brought out his restored red 1994 Chevrolet C1500 shortbox for the show. It was his second time participating in Wheels of Courage.
“I like the people, I like the cars,” he said, noting he’s among many gathered on Saturday that attend Quaker Steak’s classic car event on Thursday evenings.
Some sprinkles around the time the show started at 11 a.m. didn’t put a damper on things, with a large crowd stopping by for fun and food.
Mark Ervin of Neligh, Nebraska, was there selling his assortment of car and truck drawings. Ervin worked as an artist and director for “The Simpsons” from 1990 to 2012, taking a break from 1999 to 2001 to work as an artist and director for “Futurama.”
Dave Chalek of Bellevue, Nebraska, brought out his lime green 1970 Camaro rally sport for his Wheels of Courage debut.
“I thought I’d come out,” he said. “And for a good cause — why not?”