Showdown in Bath

Published 7:03 pm Saturday, June 1, 2013



Fans thrilled by rumbling engines, gleaming chrome and pristine exteriors will get a dose of all things car next weekend as the Ormond Amphitheater in Bath hosts the second annual Bath Showdown Custom and Classic Open Car show.

Cars, trucks and motorbikes will line up for judging and prizes, but it’s a local nonprofit that will be the real winner on Saturday. Each year, show organizers choose a local charity to which all proceeds will be donated. This year, Angels N Camo, a Beaufort County-based nonprofit organization that grants hunting and fishing adventure trip wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses, is the recipient. Some of these children will get a very special job at the Showdown, according to Frank Fuller, the event’s organizer: from the many cars, the kids will award three trophies to the cars, truck and/or motorbikes that they like most.

“I wanted to make them feel a part of the event and meet and introduce themselves to the people who come to show,” Fuller explained. “The kids are going to go around and pick their favorites. A lot of times, those trophies mean more to the people who show than the big trophies.”

The Showdown is geared for the whole family, Fuller said. Along with a bounce house and attractions like the watermelon-eating contest and a three-legged sack race, there’s one entertainment that stands out: the car-packing contest. Teams will try to squeeze as many people as they can into a Geo Metro, as many as 15 or 16, said Fuller.

While the Showdown is a family-based event, Fuller said the entries in the car show are serious classic and custom business. Six judges, including one veteran with 30 years of experience in judging car shows, will pick winners in the following categories: Best in Show; Best in Show Car/Truck/Bike; Best Custom Car/Truck/Bike; Custom Exterior/Interior/Engine; Best Classic Car/Truck/Bike; Classic Exterior/Interior/Engine; and Largest Club, Classic and Custom.

Last year, 167 cars from three states competed. Fuller expects as many as 300 this year, if the weather cooperates.

“Some of these are six-figure vehicles. They come on trailers,” Fuller explained. “They don’t like to let their vehicles get rained on.”

Because the car show isn’t limited to one category, classic vs. custom, and with the addition of antique vehicles, 100 year’s worth of automotive history will be on display, according to Fuller.

“We have everything for everyone,” Fuller said.

The Bath Showdown is free to the public; vehicles pay a $20 fee to enter the competition.  Vehicle registration from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Food for sale onsite. Ormond Amphitheater is located at 3536 N.C. Highway 92 East, Bath.