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Classic cars, fans fill Pilot Mountain

487 – Darrell Mullins was making his first appearance at the Hot Nights and Hot Cars Cruise-in accompanied by his 1934 Dodge Brothers pick-up.

493 – Before a sudden and severe thunderstorm brought the night to an end, a large and appreciative Depot Street crowd was enjoying the music of The Castaways.

495 – Jess Vaughn of the Slate Mountain community debuted his 1970 Road Runner as the “Classic Ride of the Month” at Saturday’s cruise-in. Vaughn has had the “numbers matching” (original motor, transmission, etc.) Chrysler for about two weeks. The Classic Ride of the Month is sponsored by Law and Order Auto Sales of Pilot Mountain.

After feeling the need to keep one eye on weather reports during last minute preparations for Saturday’s Hot Nights and Hot Cars Cruise-in event, organizers breathed a sigh of relief as clouds stayed away and a large crowd rolled into downtown Pilot Mountain.

“It was a great day, better than we thought it might have been,” said Jerry Venable of the sponsoring Mount Pilot Now group. “We knew people were worried about the weather but it stayed clear and a lot of people came out. We know we had one that drove five hours from West Virginia to be here.”

Car owners and enthusiasts strolled or filled lawn chairs as they admired the wide range of vehicles filling the town.

Darrell Mullins of Clendenin, West Virginia, sat near his 1934 Dodge Brothers pick-up as he watched the cars pass by on Main Street. Although a first-time visitor to Pilot Mountain, Mullins has owned the vehicle for five years, driving it to car shows and cruise-ins across the country.

“I’d been to Mount Airy, but this is the first time I’ve been to this one. I love it here,” he said.

The large ever-changing crowd of faces and cars continued filling the street and walkways into the early evening. Depot Street filled quickly as a large and appreciative crowd formed to enjoy the music of The Castaways.

As the 7 o’clock hour loomed, a large dark cloud began to be noticed in the distance. Car owners were quickly checking their phones for weather reports and radar projections. Soon tents began to come down, lawn chairs were folded and classic cars began to move from their prized parking spots along Main Street.

A powerful storm swept through shortly after 7 p.m., effectively ending the cruise-in for the day.

“But even with that, we had a great day,” Venable said. “People are enjoying this and loving being able to get out of the house.”

The abrupt end did prevent a winner from being named in the event’s 50/50 cash drawing. Venable noted that ticket-holders should check the event web site and Facebook page to find winning numbers. The lucky ticket holder may contact Venable at the number provided on the web site or may claim their winnings at the September cruise-in.

According to Venable, the next Hot Nights and Hot Cars Cruise-in will take place on Sept. 4 and will feature the music of The Part Time Party Time Band.



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