Threatening weather may have held down the number of entries to Sunday's River Tales Classic Car Show, but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm for those who turned out for the downtown Cape Girardeau event.
There were 125 entries in 36 classes for the 32nd annual event, sponsored by the River City Rodders and Old Town Cape. The forecast rain never materialized, and bright sunshine peeked through the high clouds most of the afternoon.
"With the forecast, we thought we might have only 50 to 60 entries," said show chairman Danny Essner, explaining that many classic car owners who live nearby wait until the morning of the show to decide whether to come.
Entries lined the west side of Main Street from Broadway south to William Street, and more cars were displayed at the parking lot in front of the Missouri Wall of Fame. Trophies were presented at the lot's Boardman Pavilion.
Henry and Gay Stubbs of Payola, Kan., made the 425-mile trip to attend the show for the first time. His 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, just restored in the past year, was first-place winner in its class. The Stubbses also received an award for the entry that traveled the longest distance.
Bill Stull of Scott City won second place this year in his class with his '66 Chevy Impala convertible, an eye-catcher with blue paint and white leather upholstery.
Stull has owned the Impala for more than 20 years and has been working on it in recent years to turn it into a show car.
"Danny Cope of Kelso [Mo.] did the body and paint work on the car," Stull said, "and my son helped me rebuild the engine."
Some entrants to the show drive their vehicles regularly in addition to showing them off. Jamie Niswonger bought a '51 Chevy pickup truck about three years ago. He has worked on it off and on since then, working around his duties as manager of Ford Groves Body Shop.
Rainy weather Saturday slowed down the activity at the welcome event at Capaha Park, which was the site of the car show before it moved to downtown Cape Girardeau in 2007. About a dozen owners turned out for food, drinks, oldies music and poker run.
Essner estimated the total proceeds from the show will be "around $2,000," coming from entry fees, a 50-50 raffle and sale of food, T-shirts, decals and posters.
Profits from the event are used to buy bicycles to be donated to the Cape Girardeau Jaycee Toybox program, which provides Christmas gifts to children from needy families. Club member Mark Watson said last year the club purchased 30 bikes for the Toybox program.