A salute to classic car community heroes and heroines

First week, the classic car hobby celebrated its seventh annual Collector Car Appreciation Day, a day staged under proclamation of the U.S. Senate, promoted by SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) and involving a series of car shows from coast to coast and border to border.

And if you are fortunate to live in the right area, you could celebrate with Hagerty, the insurance and valuation provider, which again rolled back the clock by taking over a service station — this year an iconic structure in Beverly Hills, California — and offering a full-service fill up of your classic car’s tank at whatever the price of a gallon was when the car was produced.

“This day is about celebrating America’s love affair with the automobile and more importantly encouraging people to get their cars out of the garage for a weekend of summer cruising,” said McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of the family-owned company.“This event transforms the owners back to the time their car was new and full service gas stations were the norm.”

ClassicCars.com got into the celebration two ways this year, sponsoring a car show in Arizona and, for the second year in a row, asking you, our readers, to submit your nominations for the people who should be recognized as Classic Car Community Heroes or Heroines.

“Collector Car Appreciation Day is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and honor the people who make this hobby tick, and give back in so many ways to the community,”  said Roger Falcione, chief executive of ClassicCars.com

Speaking of Beverly Hills, Jay Leno was nominated because of all he does for the hobby (much of it anonymously, or at least without any public fanfare) — and for the attention he brings to the classic car community.

And Jay’s in very good company this year as we salute the other heroes and sheroes:

Ronnie Reed of Maricopa, Arizona, was nominated because he donated his dream car, a 1977 Chevrolet Caprice, to the Walk by Faith raffle to raise money for the construction of a new church and facilities to provide empowerment workshops, day care and pre-school facilities and a community food pantry and kitchen that will provide meals for children during non-school months.

James-at-MFD-Traverse-cityReed is in the vehicle restoration business. Another nominee involved in the professional side of the hobby is Dawn Fisher. Dawn and her husband Mike own MFC Classic Motors, a 35,000-square-foot facility in northern Michigan where they house their own vintage and race cars and also provide storage space for others. The facility also houses Hammer and Dolly Restoration and the Grand Rapids Auto Gallery. We’ll let Jim Hoffman take it from there:

“On a visit there with my 8-year-old grandson, James, Dawn took the time to show and tell us about their prized possession, with stories of their racing experience, restoring old cars, history of some of the vehicles. My grandson James is now an over-the-top car enthusiast. Dawn let him sit in a few of their classics while telling us about their history. Mike even gave James a cap of an Audi S4 (one of his race cars) and signed it. Above and beyond being kind to us, Dawn totally deserves this award recognition.


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