Central Ky. Rods & Machines hosts annual winter car show

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Money raised benefits Helping Hands of Hope

By Sarah Bennett

As overhead lights at Pritchard Community Center bounced off Bob Merchant’s bright red ’58 Chevrolet pickup truck, the owner looked around the room Sunday at Central Kentucky Rods & Machines’ annual Christmas for Kids Car Show.


The Elizabethtown-based organization has hosted the event for the last 30 years. With 35 vehicles on display, Merchant said he was happy with the turnout of cars but less pleased with the number of spectators.

“We’re lucky if we get 200,” he said.

Money raised through the two-day car show and auction is donated every year to Helping Hand of Hope, Merchant said. More visitors usually attend Sunday’s auction, he added.

“This is more by word of mouth,” Merchant said about the event. “It’s a fun deal. There’s no judging here. Everybody gets a plaque.”

Elizabethtown resident Phillip Coolidge and his daughter showed up Sunday to walk through the rows of brightly colored vehicles, some of which were newer models but most, like Merchant’s Chevy, were older.

Coolidge referred to himself as a “tinkerer” and said he enjoys attending car shows.

“I didn’t know they do this every year,” he said about the Christmas for Kids Car Show. “I saw it in the paper.”

Elizabethtown resident Chuck Dever has been bringing his vehicles to the Christmas for Kids Car Show for several years. This year, he displayed a ’35 Hudson Terraplane, which he described as a “nostalgia drag car.”

Dever said he’s been “fooling” with cars his whole life. He enters his cars in shows throughout the year but likes Central Kentucky’s Rods & Machines annual winter show.

“It’s good to help the kids,” he said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.