Elks prepare for annual car show

The Ashland Elks Lodge holds its 8th annual "Cars of Summer" auto show Saturday, Aug. 16.

Cars will be on display at the lodge parking lot corner of Lithia Way and First St. in downtown Ashland, from 10 a.m. until — p.m. Admission is free.

As many as 100 cars are expected, ranging from restored antiques to "lead sleds" to factory-fresh classics. Vehicles compete for trophies against other entries from their era, according to Lodge

944 Exalted Ruler Criss Garcia, with attendees casting votes for their favorite cars in different categories as well as choosing an overall People's Choice winner.

This year will also feature a special Young Builders category for enthusiasts under 21 who are just getting started restoring cars.

In 2007, the People's Choice trophy went to a perfectly restored "Balboa aqua" 1966 AMC Marlin owned and prepared by John Humphrey of Rogue River. Humphrey's car recently won top national honors for AMC vehicles. A photo of it will adorn the official "Cars of Summer 2008" T-shirt, on sale at the show, and Humphrey will exhibit the car at Cars of Summer again this year.

The Lodge building will be open for tours all day, and a "1950s Caf&

233;" will serve meals and beverages. Beer and wine will be sold on the second floor Elks Club bar and mezzanine dining area, featuring one of the best views in Ashland, are also open to the public.

"With all of the proceeds benefiting veterans' outpatient programs, this is one of our most important annual public events," Garcia said. "We open the Lodge building to the public, serve good food and beverages, and invite people in to see who we are and ask questions about what we do. Every year, the cars get better and better, and we have a very good time at events like this."

While many lodge members are car enthusiasts and are expected to be on hand, participants don't have to be an Elk to exhibit, Garcia added.

"Anyone with a car and $10 can fill out an application, display their car, and be eligible for a trophy," he said. "We suggest early registration, but if you just show up on Saturday morning, you can still show, if there's a spot open."

Local businesses Napa Auto Parts, Les Schwab Tires and Town Country Chevrolet help sponsor the event.

Applications and more information are available at the Lodge office. Learn more about the Cars of Summer, Ashland Elks Lodge

944, or the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and its activities, by calling the Ashland Elks Lodge at 482-3911.

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