MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Car enthusiasts customize vehicles of all types and sizes, new and old, creating uniquely individualized mechanical works of art. With variety comes the opportunity to compare and compete to determine whose mobile masterpieces are the best.
Service members and patrons had the opportunity to enter their beautified vehicles in a friendly competition during the National Speed Show and Shine car, truck and bike show, hosted by Midway Park Community Center, Marine Corps Community Services, at Midway Park aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 24.
Registration was $5 per vehicle, and participants had a chance to win trophies for People’s Choice, Best Engine, Best Paint, Best Interior, Best Bike and Top 25. Participants also received prize drawing tickets, and spectators received drawing tickets for separate prizes.
The 70 patrons who registered for the event brought an array of vehicles ranging from classic domestics, such as the 1967 El Camino to new imports, such as the 2009 Nissan 350z.
National Speed sponsored the event.
“They brought a team of eight and they were up in the cars and talking to everyone,” said Victoria Braggiotti, a recreational specialist with MCCS. “They enjoyed the event as much as we did and were really nice. They were really just there because they have a passion for the cars and the service members.”
National Speed provided approximately $2,500 in supplies for the event including trophies, T-shirts and dash plates, and approximately $3,000 went to prize giveaways, which included gift cards, free dynos, an exhaust system and an air-intake.
“For those that received prizes like the exhaust and intake, (National Speed) will actually come pick up the vehicles that they will work on and load them onto a trailer and return them free of charge,” said Braggiotti.
Participants that received the car parts were happy that they wouldn’t have to drive their vehicles down to National Speed shop in Wilmington, N.C., and they were even more pleased with the fact that their vehicles would be put in trailers. The company wanted to give the participants their full service and support to show their appreciation to the service members and families, noted Braggriotti.
Braggriotti said the importance of having these events is to give them something to do as a family, and it helps to bring the community together.
“Participants range from the old salts that have been retired for years down to the junior enlisted guys that just got in,” said Braggiotti. “This is a really neat demographic because it pulls everybody. These car and bike owners can talk forever amongst themselves, and it really shows how much they love it.”
The mixed bunch mingled, told stories and gave tips to each other, but one similarity they shared was their passion for the vehicles.
“What I enjoy most about these events is hanging out with people and talking to them about the cars,” said Bobby Sanders, president of Bad Company Motor Heads, who participated in the event along with nine members from his club. “It’s all about the camaraderie. Most of the time, the car community is all about helping each other. If someone’s car were to break down, anybody here would stop to help. The point is we all do the same thing. Different colors, different flavors, but they’re all cars with four wheels.”
The number of participants was slightly lower than last year’s car show because of the expected rain, but the die-hard auto enthusiasts were there, assisting each other with keeping vehicles dry and still managing to have a great time under the gray sky.
“I absolutely love planning events such as this,” said Braggiotti. It’s like planning a wedding. You build and build and build, and then when you’re done, you stand back and watch the (patrons) have a good time.”
For more information, call 451-1807 or visit mccslejune.com/community.