In an effort to support the grassroots organization Operation SEAs the Day, whose goal is to facilitate a beach week for wounded military service members and their families, local Realtor Allison Stine created the Cripple Creek Car Show.
“We heard about Operation SEAs the Day after the first year. We were very enthusiastic about it after reading about what they had done for those families and wanted to be a part it,” said Stine. “The calendar is very full for the families, so we were looking for a way to get involved, and we saw an opening on that Saturday. So, we took our passion for cars and launched the first event.”
Now in its fourth year, the Cripple Creek Car Show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is no scheduled rain date.
The show is open to cars of all makes and models, and all years, including classics, exotics, hotrods, muscle cars and trucks.
“You get a wide variety of cars, and the quality of the cars is just shocking — and I travel literally all over the country every year for car shows, car museums and car events, and I’ve never seen a collection of this magnitude anywhere. It’s shocking what’s hidden in these garages and barns all over Sussex County.”
Pre-registration for participants costs $12, with day-of registration — which runs from 9 to 11 a.m. — costing $15.
“We provide lunch for the participants in the car, which is absolutely unheard-of in the car-show world. We did it the first year, and everybody was blown away,” said Stine. “I’ve organized car shows in the past and had never once received emails thanking me for such a wonderful day or event. I received about a dozen emails after this first show from people saying it was the best show they’d ever been to.”
The show will be held on the grounds of Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, which provides free parking and golf-cart transportation to spectators who attend the car show.
“Spectators are free and encouraged to come out and vote for their favorite car, because we also give an award, first place and second place for Spectators’ Choice,” said Stine. “We have more trophies to this year’s show due to five additional sponsors — each choosing their favorite car in the show.”
The range of cars is fantastic, said Stine, noting that her own 2015 SS Camaro Indianapolis 500 festival car, which will also be carrying the grand marshal of the Heroes Parade from Sea Colony to the Freeman Stage on Friday, Sept. 8, will be in the show.
“We actually get Studebakers. You rarely ever see them anywhere, but when you come to our show, there are generally two, which is crazy,” she said. “We also have a group from the Jeep Club. They are reenactors from Fort Miles who bring a collection of military Jeeps from Vietnam, Korea, World War II… That’s a really neat thing to see.
“We have a hearse which shows up that’s pretty popular. It has flames that shoot out the sides, and people love to see that. We even had an antique fire truck show up the first year. We were blown away. Hallmark had used it as a model for one of its Christmas ornaments. Farm tractors, muscle cars, 1971 Super B, which is probably a quarter-million-dollar car. It’s a rare option… I think they made 22 of those cars total.”
Stine said the show would not be possible without the help of its sponsors, including the Coastal Point, the Law Offices of Scott & Schuman, Jeff Baxter Mortgage Team, the Allison Stine Team, H20 Pro, Morse Home Improvements, Banks Wines & Spirits, Mark Dieste Design Build and Money Mailer of East Central Delmarva. Each sponsor will choose their favorite car, which will be awarded a trophy.
“We’ve always been fortunate to have good sponsors,” she said, adding, “We’ve added new sponsors to the show, which will allow us to increase our charitable contribution to Operation SEAs the Day and the Wounded Warrior Project.”
State Rep. Ron Gray will also be in attendance to award a trophy to his favorite car.
“We’ll also have Tom Haug, former voice of the Cecil County Dragway in the late 1960s. He’s also a car-nut,” said Stine.
“Delaware Valley Camaro Club, which is an organization that I’m involved in, will be awarding a trophy for Best Paint, and there are plenty to choose from. They’ll also be awarding a trophy for the Best Military-Themed Vehicle.”
The DNREC police will be there to present the colors, and the Seaside Railroad Club will also be on-hand again with a G-gauge model train display.
Over the years, the show has raised more than $10,000 for Operation SEAs the Day, and this year, Stine hopes to raise around $3,000 for the non-profit.
“We’re just one good weather forecast away from having 200 cars at the show.”
For more information about the Cripple Creek Car Show, visit www.cripplecreekcarshow.com. Those with questions or who wish to pre-register may email Allison Stine at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (302) 381-5565.
For more information about Operation SEAs the Day and how to get involved, visit www.operationseastheday.org.