Gear heads show cars for good cause

Courtesy Photo / Nicole Khan
Nicole Khan, president of the GVSU car club, and her 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS at last year's car show.

Courtesy Photo / Nicole Khan Nicole Khan, president of the GVSU car club, and her 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS at last year's car show.

Marcus J. Reynolds

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The Grand Valley State University Car Show will rev its engines for its biggest show to date, to take place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday in parking lot H of the Allendale Campus.

The categories for this year include domestic (post-domestic 1989), best import (post-import 1989), best truck/SUV (all years), best classic (pre-1975) and custom hot rods.

There is no registration fee, and the show will put an emphasis on motorcycle admissions by offering a “Best of Show” award for bikes.

“This year we are planning to make it bigger and raise even more money for Companions in Courage, than last year,” said Nicole Khan, GVSUC president and Car Show event chair. “We just want to raise money for the cause that’s the main reason for the show.”

Companions in Courage gives children confined to hospital care interactive playrooms at hospitals, said liaison Will Burgess.

“They were our special charity partnership last year, and they were very thankful for the support,” Burgess said.

Car shows offer enthusiasts a chance to see how their time, money and effort have paid off. Members of the car club agree people like to see beautiful cars.

“People are naturally attracted to cars,” Khan said. “Whether you know a lot about cars or nothing, the owners will be more than happy to explain the effort and details of the cars.”

Likewise, attendees judge the cars on aspects of cleanliness of interior, paint job, modifications to the engine, exhaust systems and what the owners have done to the body style.

“We tend to give more reverence to those who have put more money into the vehicle,” Khan said.

Khan, born and raised on a car lot, inherited her love for cars from her mother.

“The culture of cars is so widespread,” she said. “There are so many genres, bikes, trucks, classics. Each has their own personality. It’s nice to be respected for the effort you put toward your car. All of your hard work pays off because of the appreciation you receive.”

Vincenzo Pavano, car enthusiast and club secretary, said the car show offers students a chance to head outdoors and say hello to summer.

Pavano will showcase his 2003 F-150 Super Crew. His eyes light up as he talks about his passion for cars and the first time he spent his hard earned money on his own car.

“There was something about buying my own car that really sparked me to want to explore how it works,” Pavano said. “I always had a mechanical eye. Cars have always fascinated me – how all the parts combine together and work.”

The majority of the cars come from the east side of the state, along with their trophies won throughout the years.

Last year’s event drew 300 spectators, with 80 to 100 cars. The event raised $1,500 for charity.

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