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Residents, travelers wowed by ‘mind-boggling’ number of cars

By Ashley B. Craig, Police Reporter

Thousands of cars rumbled into the Capital City Monday for the Hot Rod Power Tour much to the delight of those who parked their lawn chairs to watch the hot wheels roll by.

David Fisher, a member of the Nitro Antique Car Club, was one of the volunteers on hand to help direct traffic onto Kanawha Boulevard. He said the group sent nine volunteers to help out.

“We were looking at the cars and seven or eight would go by and then there’d be a break,” Fisher said. “Then more would go by and then all of a sudden they all started rolling in.

“They just roared in here.”

Fisher, a retired mechanic, has two antique cars, a 1969 AMC Javelin and a 1969 AMC AMX, but brought neither to the event. Engine trouble, he said.

A car buff, Fisher enjoys seeing all of the cars. He walked along the Boulevard for a few hours to get a look at a few of them.

His favorite that he’d seen go by was a 1948 Buick.

“I’ve never seen so many cars,” he said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

About 3,500 hot rods, antique cars and muscle cars were expected in Charleston Monday, though some speculated that there were more than that parked on the Boulevard and side streets.

Carolyn and Eddie Lutz of Lenore, N.C., scored a room at the Four Points hotel on Kanawha Boulevard but couldn’t find a parking spot on the road for their 1955 Chevy. Eddie moved the car from the parking garage to the lot in front of the hotel.

“There are a lot of pretty cars here,” Carolyn Lutz said. “This is a nice place to have it. It’s an ideal place.”

She and Eddie made the long haul last year, making every stop in the Power Tour, but this year they’ll only be making a few stops. Monday, she said, was their 47th wedding anniversary.

They enjoy making the trips, she said.

“It’s just a really good group of people,” she said. “Everyone is really respectful of the cars and of each other.”

Some of the tour participants, which are mostly men, bring their wives and families. She said the men go off and talk about cars while their wives catch up with each other. She and Eddie are retired and travel to a number of shows.

They have more than 20 antique cars at home. She said the ‘55 Chevy is their “old standby” though usually they would bring the most recent restoration, which this time would have been a 1967 Chevy.

She enjoyed seeing a 1957 Chevy convertible roll by though her favorite is a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. She said they have a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 convertible, which was among the first they bought, at home but that it was damaged in a break in.

“I like them all, the old beaters and the new ones,” she said. “Everybody has different tastes. This is a good place to see them all.”

The tour’s next stop is Norwalk, Ohio. The tour, which is in its 20th year, will wrap up Saturday in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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