When Mike Rhodes came to the Fifth Annual Thomson Shrine Club Car Show & Swap Meet in Thomson last Saturday, he brought with him his prized trophy -- a 1957 Chevy.
The car, which has a 468-cubic engine and gets only 41/2 miles to a gallon of gasoline, was one of the most admired cars at the show, which was held in the parking lot of R.L. Norris Elementary School.
"It took me about two years to get this car looking like this today," said Mr. Rhodes, owner of Rhodes Import Services, LLC in Augusta and a resident of Evans. "With a motor in it this size, it makes a ton of horsepower."
Mr. Rhodes, accompanied by his 31/2-year-old son, Masen, would not disclose how much money he has invested in restoring the car, but pointed out that it is insured for $100,000.
"My wife would have a lot to say about it if I told you how much money I've got tied up in this car," added Mr. Rhodes.
Every time the car is taken to area shows or to larger ones such as Daytona Speedway or Charlotte Motor Speedway, it draws the attention of hundreds of admirers.
"It makes you feel good to know you own a real sharp-looking car like this one," said Mr. Rhodes. "It's a good ego boost."
It caught the immediate attention of Thomson's Howard Stevens.
"This is one beautiful car, let me tell you," said Mr. Stevens.
Aside from the '57 Chevy, there were many other beautiful cars and trucks there, too.
Arts and crafts vendors also enjoyed the day, showcasing and selling their creative works.
Children of all ages also had a good time.
One such fun activity for children was face painting.
Kaylyn Nickles, a seventh-grader at Thomson-McDuffie Middle School painted the faces of several children there, including her brother, Paul Nickles, a fourth grader at R.L. Norris Elementary School.
"This is something we've been doing for the past five years," said Kenny May, who serves as treasurer of the Thomson Shrine Club. "Everybody who comes out seems to enjoy themselves and that's what we want them to do."
Several members of the Washington Shrine Club in neighboring Wilkes County also participated in this year's event in Thomson.
As with previous years, all of the proceeds go to benefit the Thomson Shrine Club.
Kaylyn Nickles paints the face of her brother, Paul Nickles, during the car show.[CAPTION]