Local antique car expert Jack Stephan and his wife Ginny are working with their car club, Lost In The 50s, to host the 5th annual Patriotic Car Show at Marley Station Mall.
Lost In The 50s is a car club that enjoys rebuilding and restoring classical cars. Each year in September they host a Patriotic Show to honor those impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This year’s show will be on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m.
“It originally started after 9/11 and it was our way of saying we support the people who really lived through 9/11,” Ginny Stephan said. “Since then it has turned into honoring the policemen, firemen and military. It is not so much zeroed in on 9/11, but more on honoring the people that served. It has grown every year since and seems to get more exciting each year.”
The car show features antique cars, but instead of having experts judge the cars, that honor is given to military personnel, police and firemen. Winners are awarded trophies and prizes—all at the honored guests discretion.
“It is strictly what they like and there are no points or anything like that,” Stephan said. “If you like that car and it has a dented fender you pick it because you like it. Everybody is excited because the winner is something that somebody loves. It is picked because it has a meaning, not based on points.”
Along with the display of over 400 cars, the Patriotic Show will feature a helicopter from the Vietnam era, many army vehicles, retired color guard and Stephan’s favorite, Faces of Valor.
For those who aren’t familiar, Faces of Valor is a nonprofit organization that raises money to provide scholarships and financial assistance to those injured, or to children of those killed in the performance of their duty.
“Faces of Valor has a beautiful 1931 Ford, but it has faces of people who have served and lost their lives on the car; it is just gorgeous,” Stephan said.
Even with all the fancy cars and army vehicles, Stephan says her favorite part is when they raise the flag for the National Anthem.
“Oh my gosh, well No. 1 I am a sensitive person so everything impresses me,” she said. “But we have an antique fire truck coming in—a big hook and ladder truck—and when they start singing the 'Star-Spangled Banner' it goes 80 feet up in the air and it has the most gorgeous American flag hanging from it—and that blows me away every time.”
Funds raised from Lost in the 50s Patriotic Show goes to the Salvation Army and Faces of Valor, along with a few other organizations. Lost in the 50s also awards a $1,000 scholarship to a local student that is going into the mechanical or body shop trade. That scholarship is presented to the student during the Patriotic Show.
While the show is a good time for all, including thousands of spectators, Stephan says the reason for the event is not lost in the fun. And there is one particular moment, her favorite, when everyone quiets downs and remembers the reason why patriotism is celebrated.
“When we play a certain song everybody in the club knows we are starting the program—raising the flag—and then the color guard starts marching and people start to get quiet. But then, when that flag goes up, it is dead silent and everyone remembers,” Stephan said.
This year’s show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. The show is open to all cars and trucks for a $15 fee, which includes admission and five 50/50 raffle tickets. The event is free for spectators. For more information visit Lost in the 50s website.