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Southeastern Autorama rolls on

An auto enthusiast displays his beloved Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle parts during the 60th Annual Southeastern Autorama on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Photo contributed by Gavin Whitson)

By Richard Rourk

Downtown Erwin was filled with vehicles from all over the region during the 60th Annual Southeastern Autorama as the historic auto show saw a good crowd on Saturday, Oct. 17.

“I would say we had a good crowd, probably medium-sized,” Southeastern Autorama President Joey Bailey said. “There were other shows and events going on in the area, but in spite of that a good crowd, ages ranged from my 7-month-old granddaughter to people in their 80s.”

The crowds had plenty to look at during Saturday’s show.

“We had about 250 vehicles which filled up downtown nicely,” Bailey said. “One of the most unique vehicles was Craig Shelton’s 1961 school bus which won the Best Rat Rod award. Best of Show went to Mark James of Morristown with a 1955 Chevy. Best Ford was Doug Carrico’s 1970 Bronco from Kingsport. Best Truck was a 1953 Chevy from Gray belonging to Charlie Miller. Best Antique was a 1954 Ford 2dr belonging to Martin Anglin of Jonesborough. Ladies Choice went to Sam Stewart of Asheville, North Carolina, for his 1938 Chevy street rod. Best Mopar went to Jim Buchanan of Erwin for his 1968 Plymouth GTX and Best GM was the 1967 Chevelle of Eddie Allen of Erwin.”

The winners of the Heritage awards were as follows: the Dewey Tipton award went to Mike Sorensen of Erwin and his 1964 Corvette; the Curt Cooper Award to Dale Williams of Erwin, for a 2020 Porsche; the Raymond Bailey award to Robbie and Judy Robinette of Abingdon, for their 1928 Ford Model A; the Midge Ervin award to Buck Honeycutt of Elizabethton for his 1957 Chevy; the Dave Washburn award to Andy Hyde of Arden, North Carolina, for his 1937 Ford Coupe; the Bobby Bennett award to David Cox of Greeneville, for a 1973 VW; the Burnice McIntosh award to Donald Tittle of Erwin, for his 1927 Ford Model T; the Paul Osborne award to Bill Valentine of Newport for a 1964 Ford Galaxy; the Conrad Beam award to Dennis Bokemeier of Unicoi, for his 1950 Willys Jeepster.

The 60 Annual Southeastern Autorama Top Ten awards are as follows, in no particular order.: Nick Phillips of Erwin for a 1939 Ford; Josh Hall of Jonesborough for a 2003 Ford Cobra; Roger Rice of Flag Pond for a 1955 Chevy; Garry Shipley of Gray for a 1969 Shelby; Judy Lacey of Erwin for a 1957 Chevy; Brian Ramsey of Mars Hill, North Carolina, for a 1955 Chevy Cameo Carrier; Jerry Wainwright of Erwin for a 1964 1/2 Mustang; Robert Price of Erwin for a 1969 Camaro; Gerald Hensley of Erwin of a 1968 Camaro; and Randy Henley of Jonesborough for a 1967 Chevy pickup.

This year’s event was special for many reasons, one of which was to honor those who have made many contributions over the years.

“We handed out nine awards that we called Heritage Awards,” Bailey said. “These were in honor of members who have passed away.”

According to Bailey, the show was a huge success and everyone acted responsibly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very relieved to have gotten the show this year since a lot of the shows in the area were cancelled because of COVID concerns,” Bailey said. “We felt that we should do all we could to continue the tradition started by the late Conrad Beam way back when.”

Bailey and crew are already planning for the 61st Annual Southeastern Autorama.

“Plans are already underway for next year’s show and we will be announcing a date very soon,” Bailey said.

“I would like to thank Mayor (Doris) Hensley, Jamie Rice, Alderman Michael Baker and the crew from the Town of Erwin for all their help and support.”

For more information about the Southeastern Autorama or to join the organization, please follow Southeastern Autorama on Facebook.