Gentlemen, start your grillsPublished 8:34pm Thursday, December 19, 2013
Point out the spark plug wires, air filter, distributor cap, exhaust manifolds — the logical assumption is that those pieces make up a car engine. Not so in this case. It may look like the real deal, a Chevrolet V-8 engine, but it’s actually a fully functioning gas grill the Down East Rods & Classics car club recently raffled off.
“It was made by a guy down in Jacksonville. He handcrafted it. It actually used parts of a real Chevrolet V-8 engine and has the appearance and look of a V-8 engine,” said Larry Lang, one of the car club’s members.
To make it fully functioning some adjustments had to be made: “The exhaust manifolds are actually reversed so the exhaust would go up instead of down, like in a car engine. In this case, the heat rises out of the exhaust manifold,” Lang explained.
Made by Antique Cars and Engines out of Jacksonville, the grill caught the eye of car club members who thought it would be the perfect item for their next raffle, Lang said. They were right: over a $1,000 was raised during a three-month stint selling raffle tickets, and at $2 a pop, that’s a lot of tickets sold. Courtesy of Lee Chevolet/Buick’s sponsorship, the approximately $600 grill was donated for the raffle. The winning ticket was drawn Dec. 1, after the club cars’ appearance in the Bath Christmas parade, Lang said. Ricky Mills, of Greenville, was the lucky winner.
Money raised through the raffle is used for scholarships to local students — the last one going to a student enrolled in the welding program at Beaufort County Community College.
“(The scholarship) doesn’t always go to someone in the auto field, but it’s kind of nice when it does because we need people who can work on these old cars,” Lang said, adding that he owns a 1955 Corvette. “It’s a way to keep people interested in the hobby.”
Approximately 40 members from Beaufort and surrounding counties belong to Down East Rods & Classics. The club is known for its main fundraiser: the car show that goes hand-in-hand with at Smoke on the Water, Washington’s annual barbecue festival, drawing as many as 230 entries.
Down East Rods & Classics car club will hold its first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. at Frank’s Pizza. Classic car owners are welcome to attend.