Dan Layman was in high school when he saw the car.
It was 1969 and he was right out of high school. The car was a new 1970 Chevelle SS (Super Sport). It was white with black stripes and had cowl induction.
“I fell in love with it from the beginning,” said Layman, who lives in Fremont.
Knowing he would be drafted, Layman decided to buy the car and have fun until he had to go into the service.
Years later, Layman reminisced about that car as he and Rodger Langemeier prepared for the 10th Annual Nazarene Nationals Car, Bike and Pickup Show. The public is invited to the event, set from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 13, in the parking lot of the Fremont Church of the Nazarene, 960 N. Johnson Road.
As in past years, the car show will feature activities for people of all ages along with a raffle for a pedal car that’s a replica of a 1937 Ford Woody. All proceeds from that raffle will go to Uniquely Yours Stability Support in Fremont.
Admission to the car show is free and there is no entry fee for show participants. Trophies will be awarded for the best entries in these classes: Mopar, GM, Ford, Paint, Old School Rod, race car (all competition vehicles), rat rod and motorcycle. There will be trophies for Family’s Choice and Best of Show as well.
The family friendly event will include bounce houses for children, said Layman, leader of the church’s men’s ministry which is hosting the event.
Guests at the event may notice three new activities: a cow chip toss, hubcap identification game and a spark plug changing contest.
“We’re trying to provide something for entrants to do,” Layman said.
Many of those entering vehicles in the show like to sit by them, but the contests are geared toward getting entrants involved in activities.
Non-entrants also are invited to participate in these activities along with others offered at the event.
Barnyard Pedal Pulls of Herman will be at the show starting at 1 p.m.
Layman said this activity includes different sizes of pedal tractors for contestants ages 4 to 104. Sixteen trophies will be handed out to girls and boys in age categories from 4 to 12 years old.
The event also features a Back to School supplies collection. Visitors may bring school supplies to donate.
Again this year, the event will include a Sweet Shoppe with various types of goodies such as pies, cookies and cookie bars. Proceeds from these sales will benefit the church’s mission group.
Nazarene Nationals T-shirts will be sold for $11 each.
Items sold at a concession stand will include hot dogs, chips, sodas, water and dill pickles. Money from those sales will benefit the men’s ministry. This is the only fundraiser the men’s group has during the year, Layman said.
A team of 10 men’s ministry members work on the car show, attended by between 300 and 400 people each year.
In the past, the men’s ministry has donated 10 percent of net proceeds or $250 (which ever sum is greater) to local charitable organizations.
Going over a list of 30 service organizations, the men’s group chose Uniquely Yours Stability Support as this year’s recipient.
Layman then went to the agency at 240 N. Main St., in Fremont. Robin Ritter, executive director, gave him a tour of the facility and talked about the agency’s role in the community.
Everything the agency does relates either to homelessness prevention or helping someone move out of homelessness.
Layman is impressed with the agency.
“It was amazing,” he said of the tour. “They do so much for the homeless and people who just need help — so I came back to the men’s ministry meeting and said $250 isn’t enough.”
So Lindy Smith, a men’s ministry member, offered to donate the pedal car.
Smith said he and his wife, Patty, bought the pedal car in 2003 in anticipation of having grandchildren. Their first biological grandchild was born in 2005. The grandson rode the pedal car one time in 2009. After a personal tragedy in the family, the Smiths put the pedal car away.
They recently decided to donate the car for a church fundraiser with some of the proceeds going to UYSS.
“Then we had a meeting a month later and we discussed it and decided that all the money we raised with this would go to Uniquely Yours, which is a fabulous non-profit organization,” Smith said.
He noted something else:
“If we can bring one more person to the kingdom of God, it was worth the donation,” he said.
Raffle tickets are $5 each and may be purchased at UYSS. Tickets also will be sold until 2 p.m. on the day of the event.
Ritter is excited about the raffle and car show.
“We’re privately funded so these efforts really make a difference for us to keep our doors open,” she said.
Ritter also appreciates the fun and engaging atmosphere of the fundraiser, which gets the entire community involved in the effort.
“It’s absolutely a blessing to partner with the Fremont Nazarene Church,” she said.
Layman also stressed the importance of community involvement.
“It’s not an event that we’re doing just for our church body, it’s for the whole community,” Layman said.
Langemeier also hopes area residents will attend.
“It’s family fun,” Langemeier said. “I enjoy looking at cars, and the fellowship. You see people you haven’t seen in a while.”
The event also provides an opportunity for people like Layman and other car enthusiasts to reminisce.
Layman remembers how much he enjoyed that 1970 Chevelle Super Sport. He didn’t end up passing the physical and going into the service, but he had some fun with the car.
“I owned that car when I met my wife, Valerie,” he said. “We had a lot of good times in that car.”
Layman eventually had to sell the car, because his insurance cost more than his car payment. He sold it for $1,900 — something he regrets.
He’s been looking for a second one that’s in his price range, but hasn’t found it yet.
In the meantime, he enjoys attending car shows.
“I’ve always had a passion for these hot cars, antique cars,” he said. “They bring back memories.”