Zeigler hosts a unique car show to benefit firefighters on Saturday | local news


ZEIGLER – Replicas of vehicles from popular films of the 1970s and ’80s such as Smokey and the Bandit, Maximum Overdrive and Dukes of Hazards will be on display at the Zeigler Circle this Saturday as part of an annual fundraiser for the fire department.

The Heroes and Horsepower Car Show event takes place on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

It’s the most important fundraiser of the year for the department. This year marks the second Eastbound and Down themed year Smokey and the Bandit and the eighth year overall of the auto show.

Event organizer Ronnie Diuguid said the show has grown tremendously since its inception.

“We’ve gone from 25 cars in the first year to 138 last year and depending on the weather we’re expecting about 200 or more cars this year,” he said. “We have raised over $30,000 for the fire service since our inception. The goal is to raise money to build an expansion of the department and upgrade our equipment.”

The cost of entering a vehicle for the show is $20. The first 150 participants will receive a collection plaque with a motif from the Zeigler fire brigade.

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“I think this will be a car show that everyone will be talking about for a long time,” said Diuguid. “We will have something for everyone.”

Diuguid said the men, who portray Burt Reynolds as Bandit (Tim Phillips) and Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Sean Bailey), will be the main attraction. Alongside the Trans Am there will also be a replica truck, like the one driven by Jerry Reed (Snowman) in the hit 1977 film.

Dennis Bottoms, who played the banjo on Reed’s hit “Eastbound and Down,” will be another guest of honor at Saturday’s 11am-12pm show at the East Bound and Down tent.

Nate Lawrence of Webb City, Missouri will drive over his replica of the Green Goblin Happy Toyz semi truck featured in the horror film Maximum Overdrive.

There will also be a replica of Herbie and the Love Bug Volkswagen, as well as another version of the General Lee (1969 Dodge Charger) from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard.

The Zeigler Fire Department sells burgers and pulled pork sandwiches throughout the day. The Apostolic Church Youth serves sno-cones, cotton candy and lemon shakes. There will also be a live DJ show, featuring classic rock and southern rock tunes throughout the event.

According to Diuguid, enough money was raised through sponsorships to cover 100% of the show’s costs. The fire service will benefit from the number of vehicle entry fees and food sales.

The auto show will have 31 classes of competition, with prizes awarded to first and second place finishers. There will also be six Specialty Awards including the Buddy Ingersoll Memorial Award. Ingersoll was a Zeigler mechanic heavily involved in auto racing. His younger brother LeRoy will serve as one of the judges.

The crew from the city’s streets department, led by Commissioner Brad Wilson, is getting the circle going this week ahead of Saturday’s show.

For more information, including weather updates, visit the Heroes and Horsepower Facebook site.

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