OVILLA – Thirty-two cars lined up recently to help out the Ovilla police and fire departments.

As part of an annual benefit by the Cruisers Car Club of Cedar Hill, attendees were able to vote on their favorite car for a minimal fee as part of the fundraising efforts.  

“The money is split between the two departments and some of the money given to the fire department goes to an awards banquet we have for the volunteers,” Fire Chief Donnie Pickard said.

A little less than $1,000 was raised at last year’s fundraiser “Here at the police department we have a donation fund in an auxiliary account because we also get donations from some of our citizens and the (Ovilla) Service League,” Police Chief Mike Moon said. “We use the money to buy equipment that is not in our budget – we have bought laptops, shotguns and a couple of patrol rifles.”

In addition to the monies raised at the car show by voting on a favorite car, there was also food sold, such as hot dogs and cold drinks that the car club furnished, and through entry fees from the cars entered for the competition.   

“I have seen anywhere between 25 and 50 cars,” Moon said. “They have some good looking classic cars.”

Another perk for Moon and Pickard is they get to pick their favorite car as well.  

“Chief Pickard and I walk around and we agree on whatever we think our favorite car is for the year,” Moon said. “The club then gives what is called the Chief’s Trophy.”

This year Pickard and police Sgt. Jim Devlin, who voted in place of an absent Moon, chose Ira D. McCowan Jr.’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner for the honor.

Held at a local member’s home on Cockrell Hill Road in Ovilla, classic car buffs came from around the Metroplex and beyond to participate.  

Two Dallas residents who came to the show with their classic cars, Wiley Franklin with a 1940 Ford pickup and Michael Cooper with a 1947 Ford Deluxe both men seemed to enjoy the sunny afternoon with Franklin noting that he drives his vehicle only a few times a month.

“Finding parts is the hardest thing,” Cooper said about his Deluxe.  

John Kirkwood, vice president of the club, has owned a 1961 Corvair for eight years. He started out nine years ago with the club and this is the first one he has belonged to.

“When I got my Corvair it was in bad shape,” he said. “If I win a trophy I don’t care. It’s about the people.”

Another club member, Larry Goff of Cedar Hill, also enjoyed the day talking to old friends and looking at classic cars.  Goff, who has a 2003 Corvette, said the car used to be his daily car, but now he drives a 1992 Oldsmobile.

“I like that we all share ideas at these shows,” he said.    

In addition to the Chief’s Award, the following vehicles were recognized:

Best of Show – Jimmy and Jadene Brown – ‘58 Chevy Impala

Shade Tree Mechanic Award – Roger Coston – ‘28 Ford Model "A"

And, the top eight cars:

Danny Gonzales – ‘74 GMC 4x4 Truck

Steve Wilkes – ‘66 Mustang Fastback

Ed and Tjodie Wilson – 1979 Chevrolet Camaro

Jimmy and Brenda Cauthen – ‘69 Chevy Pickup

Ed Shivers – 1940 Ford

Ken and Kathy Hanks – ‘57 Chevy

John Johnston – ‘66 Corvette

James Anderson – ‘55 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday

The Cruisers Car Club has about 110 members from the area, including Glenn Heights, Duncanville, DeSoto, Red Oak, Cedar Hill and Ovilla.  The club holds a number of car shows throughout the year with all proceeds going to various benefits decided on beforehand.   

“It is a super day and a great organization, they always do a great job raising money,” Ovilla Mayor Bill Turner said as he walked around admiring the cars just before the afternoon’s judging.  

Pickard, who sat at the entrance to the car show, said he enjoys the event more every year.  

“Just getting to know everyone and everyone comes by to say hello,” he said. “That is my favorite part. That and I get to see old friends that I have made over the years.”