The Ninth Annual Winter Angels Car Show at the Walters State Great Smoky Mountain Expo Center in White Pine had a little bit of something for everybody.
Sponsored by the Hamblen County Car Club, the Winter Angel offered the best of the classic summer car shows, but in weather-controlled comfort considering the winter temperatures.
Hamblen County Car Club President Dick Valentine was pleased with the turnout of cars and crowds for the event.
“I’m surprised how quickly we got spectators,” Valentine said, shortly after the 9 a.m. opening Saturday. “We’re really happy so far. We should have some more cars coming in. The good news is that the helicopter is here for rides, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if another 20 cars showed up.”
The show attracted crowds from near and far.
Charlie Anderson, of Morristown, displayed his 1972 Chevrolet Cheyanne pickup truck, the last year of the popular 1967-72 Chevy truck body style.
“I’ve had this truck many years,” he said. “It’s all original, I’ve never done anything to it.”
The truck was one of the few in those days to have air conditioning on it. The 1972 Cheyanne was also the first Chevy truck to use disc brakes.
“I was in Vietnam and I could order a truck or car straight from the factory,” he said. “For some reason, I ordered a Javelin AS and I’ve regretted it ever since. Later on, I bought this truck and I’ve had it ever since.”
Anderson said that the Hamblen County Car Club always puts on a good show and supports worthy causes, including the children of the county.
A 1956 Pontiac Safari station wagon was displayed by first-time displayer David Duvall of Cosby was one vehicle that was quite the conversation piece.
“Pontiac only made 4,000 Safari wagons,” he said. “There are only 200 to 250 left.”
A classic surfboard inside the wagon magnified the Safari motif.
“I only use the surfboard when I go surfing at Douglas Lake,” Duvall joked. “The tide’s out right now.”
Duvall and his family moved to Cosby from Plant City, Florida 11 years ago.
“We love it up here,” Duvall said.
He is one of the 60 members of the “Rod Twisters” club in Sevierville which dates back to Evansville, Indiana in the 1950s.
Garrell Foshie of Lenoir City had a 1963 Mini Cooper pickup truck on display. The driver side is on the right side, as in how it is driven in Europe.
“I hadn’t seen one of these,” Foshie said. “My brother traded for it and he died about three years ago. I bought it from his widow.”
Foshie said that many people think the truck is custom, but clarified that the truck is a European edition.
“It came this way from the factory, that’s how I understand it,” he said. “It is in right-wheel drive.”
The truck was equipped with two suitcases and a picnic basket making it ready to go for travel for a day of driving.
Jenny Redmond of Lenoir City acquired a 1960 Type 2 Volkswagen bus from a resident in California after her husband died this past year.
“We’ve had it about four months and got it out of California,” Redmond said. “There’s none like this around here. It has the ‘bullet’ blinkers on it, which is neat and a 1500 cc motor. It’s a lot of fun.”
When asked how many miles the VW bus gets to the gallon, Redmond responded, “How many gallons does it get to the mile?”
The only improvements the Redmond’s have done to the bus is to install new tires, rims, hubcaps, cleaned the motor and have a stuffed Minion at the driver wheel.
There were helicopter rides available by Chattanooga Helicopters. Rides were available for $25 a person for a two-minute flight or $40 per person for a four-minute flight.
The Winter Angel Expo is the largest money making event of the calendar year. Vendors, trophies, plaques and a silent auction was held during the show.
Another popular activity at the show included the East Tennessee Model Car Show. Trophies were awarded Saturday in different classes.
Live music included Gritts from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Highway 416 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Pine Mountain Dancers performed Saturday night.
The show concludes Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A worship service will be held at 9 a.m. prior to the show’s opening.