Car show caps North Aurora festival
MOOSEHEART – Joe Martin could not be prouder of his 2004 Mercury Marauder, a gleaming Dark Toreador Red with an enhanced engine.
Martin, of North Aurora, was only too happy to share his hot wheels at the North Aurora Days' car, truck and bike show Sunday, a new feature and capper to the village's weekend festival.
"They only produced the 2003 and 2004 Mercury Marauder, just over 11,000 of them in those two years," Martin said. "Only 280 were red. It's heavily modified …. putting out 500 horsepower compared to the 302 horsepower it came with."
Nearby, Terry Webb of North Aurora was showing off his 1966 Shelby Cobra in a gleaming Viper Red. As the original owner, he has had the car for 25 years.
"It's a replica of a 1966 Shelby Cobra. I built it in my garage," Webb said. "It's been repainted four times. The Dodge Viper had this color red …. It's always been red, but it's been different reds."
Jim Zimmerman of Montgomery was showing off his knock-your-eyes-out hot Hugger Orange 1955 Chevy with purple to blue and yellow flames detail coming from the engine.
Zimmerman did not do extensive rebuilding of the car, but has done upgrades over the eight years he's owned it.
"It's never-ending," Zimmerman said. "This year, I did new interior and went from powder-coated mufflers back to chrome."
And there is another reason the car is special to Zimmerman: He had the same model in high school.
Maryann Hupp, who coordinated the show for the festival, said the turnout and participation was great – especially during Sunday's cooler weather.
"The show is going great for the first year," Hupp said. "We had spectacular turnout. Everyone seems to be enjoying the setting [at Mooseheart]. I've gotten a few compliments on how it's nice to have the shade."
Hupp said the festival used to feature a classic car show but not for the past six years. She said several festival goers said they were glad to see it back.
"We are doing spectator voting, people's choice awards," Hupp said. "I think everybody likes being able to vote for a car. We have like 22 awards that we'll be giving out."
Among those marking down their favorites was Mike Horner of Montgomery. He had a car there as well, a black 1995 Pontiac Firehawk.
"I look for unique," Horner said. "There's a lot of cars that look the same."
Keith Kramer of Oswego was also checking out the cars.
"It's very contrasting to see the older and newer models," Kramer said. "I really enjoy the people who acquire these and keep them in great shape."
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