Newton, NC – Cars and trucks lined the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds on Saturday as American Legion Post 48 held its fifth annual Car & Truck Show.

The vehicles started flooding the site off U.S. 70 just after the gates opened at 9 a.m. By the time registration closed at noon, they circled three-quarters of the midway where the Hickory American Legion Fair is held each summer.

The show is a key fundraiser for Post 48. Organizers were still tallying the proceeds Monday afternoon, Wilson Sigmon, one of the project’s co-chairmen, said.

“We don’t know exactly yet,” he said, referring to how much the post would net. “Even though the car count was down, the show itself did really great, proceeds-wise, for the veterans. … I’m probably going to be very proud how it shakes out.”

While 121 cars, trucks and motorcycles were crowded along the paved track at the midway, that was a decrease from the number exhibited in 2022. The lower number was the result of several factors, Sigmon said, including rain in the days ahead of the show leaving the grassy area along the track somewhat muddy and the cool and hazy daybreak on Saturday.

The show also was competing against similar events across the region.Hickory American Legion Awards Trophies

“The No. 1 reason was stuff was going on everywhere – Charlotte, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. There was a car show in Shelby,” Sigmon said. “We just hit a weekend where there was a lot of stuff going on.”

The decline was offset to a degree by the number of guests who paid $5 for admission to look over a slice of American automotive history.

“We had many more what we call … “walk-in people,” he said. “At times, it was pretty heavy.”

The effort owners poured into their beloved vehicles earned honors at the 2 p.m. awards presentation. Trophies were awarded in the following 11 categories:

• Best of show – 1967 SS/RS Chevrolet Camaro entered by Tim Diehl II. The award included a $300 prize.
• Commander’s choice – 1987 Chevrolet C10 pickup truck entered by Jeff Kanupp. The winner was chosen by Post 48’s commander, Dexter Sprouse.
• Best full-size truck – 1979 Dodge entered by Jess Fraizer.
• Best paint – 1970 Chevrolet El Camino pickup truck entered by Randy Bumgarner.
• Best engine – 1967 Ford Mustang entered by Louis Kovads.
• Best interior – 1971 Chevrolet C10 pickup entered by Bush Austin.
• Best motorcycle – 2015 Indian Road Master entered by Dean Highfill.
• Best minitruck – 1984 Datsun 720 entered by John Spear.
• Best GM, Ford or Chrysler, 1965-1999 model years – 1969 Ford Mach I entered by Sally Harper.
• Best GM, Ford or Chrysler, 2000-2023 model years – 2018 Chevrolet Camaro entered by Kevin Halley.
• Best club participation – Misfits car club.

The overall top 50 entries also were presented plaques.

The day of fun was the culmination of months of hard work by Sigmon, fellow co-chairmen Dennis Huffman and Allen Caldwell, about 15 Legionnaires from Post 48, and members of the Foothills Antique Power Association, a tractor collectors club that holds its own show later in the year at the fairgrounds.

“They were the people who stepped up to the plate so well to help,” Sigmon said.

Work to organize the show started in December. He and the other volunteers signed up sponsors for the winners’ trophies, solicited gifts to be presented as door prizes or to be auctioned, and managed the registrations that started coming in by mail in March.

Sigmon praised all of the volunteers who helped, but in particular cited his grandson, Brandon Sigmon, and two Post 48 members, Huffman and Zane Stilwell, the group’s first vice commander.

“Basically, you saw them right in the midst of the thing,” Sigmon said.

Post 48 gathers at 6 p.m. Tuesdays for a meal followed by a business meeting at 7 p.m. at 1 American Legion Ave., Newton. Any honorably discharged veteran who served at least one day on active duty since Dec. 7, 1941 or any serving member of the armed forces is eligible to join. For information or to join, call 828-466-6006.

American Legion Post 48 Photos: A brightly painted first-generation Ford Mustang convertible attracts the attention of a guest at American Legion Post 48’s fifth annual Car & Truck Show held Saturday at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

Zane Stilwell, left, Post 48’s first vice commander, and Wilson Sigmon, center, co-chairman of the event, present a trophy to an owner whose car placed first in a category at the post’s fifth annual Car & Truck Show on Saturday at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

A license plates identifies a classic dark-green Ford coupe as a 1936 model. The vehicle was one of more than 120 cars, trucks and motorcycles entered in American Legion Post 48’s fifth annual Car & Truck Show.