“Mello 70 Stingray” display; Pea Ridge man wins third place at car show

GRAVETTE — A Pea Ridge man and his yellow Corvette won third place at the car show held Saturday, Sept. 16, in the parking lot of Gravette’s Lion Stadium.

Joe Murfin of Pea Ridge won third place in the convertible class with his 1970 Corvette Stingray, nicknamed the Mello 70 because of its bright yellow color.

91 vehicles were entered and prizes were distributed in several categories. Proceeds will benefit the Gravette Bright Futures Foundation and the auto service program at Gravette’s Western Benton County Career Center.

Jenny and Shane Hargrave, founders of Gravette Cruise and Car Meet, were event organisers. The money included donations from car owners who didn’t have a car ready to show, Hargrave said.

The weather cooperated beautifully, with the high temperature only reaching 80 degrees. The show started at 9 a.m., and the vehicles started arriving early. Judging began at noon, with more than 20 students from the automotive service program participating as judges. The class includes students from Bentonville, Bentonville West, Decatur, Gentry and Siloam Springs high schools, as well as Graphite, said Robert Willaby, the program’s teacher.

Shelby Helser sang the national anthem at noon, and pilots from the Dixon Decatur Air School conducted a flyby. Lance Dixon was the lead pilot, and Ken Mason of Siloam Springs was the second pilot. Both were flying Piper Arrow 180 aircraft.

Attendance was good throughout the day, and DJ Virgil Boggs entertained visitors with music during the show and announced the winners at the awards ceremony. Food and drinks were sold at the Smith and Betts food truck, which was located on site, but ice vendor Shavey served refreshing shaved ice to end the day.

The coveted Best of Show award went to Bob White of Bentonville, who earned the most points during the show in his 1955 Chevy Bel-Air. This year’s Best of Show award was in honor of Detective Paul Newell, who lost his life in a tragic accident. Newell’s widow, Charlene, attended to present the trophy.

Other winners at the car show include:

Custom Mild – 1st place, Jim Castelich, 1955 Chevy 210; 2nd place, Ron Grassi, 1954 Chevy sedan; Third place: Christina Berschi, 2018 Chevrolet Camaro RS, and Richard Crouch, 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport.

Custom Wild – 1st place, Kenneth Blossom, 2005 Ford Mustang; Second place: Fernando Villalpando, 1973 Datsun 2402

4×4 – 1st place, Heather Hankins, 1998 Dodge Ram 1500; 2nd place: Richard Crouch, 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport; 3rd place Matt Burnett, Jeep T-Rock 2019 and Diane Miller, 2nd International Scout 1976

Ultimate 4×4 – 1st place, Scott Cargill, 1983 Toyota Crawler

Import – 1st Place, Frannie Pilgrim, 1970 Datsun 280 ZX

Low Passenger Car – 1st place, Ricardo Delgado, 1964 Chevy Impala; 2nd place, Jeremy Bratcher, 1988 Chevy Impala; Third place, Remy Escobar, 1964 Chevy Impala

Low Passenger Truck – 1st Place, Richard Bahena, 1987 Chevy Silverado

Classic Muscle Car – 1st Place, Tiffany Devore, 1970 Plymouth Road Runner; 2nd place, Steve Kapp, 1967 Chevy SS 350 Camaro, and Mike Bryan, 1971 Dodge Challenger; Third place, Dale Jones, 1969 Chevy Camaro

Modern Muscle Car – 1st place, Ted Lasher, 2008 Corvette Z51; Second place, Mike Honey, 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra; Third place, Kim Payne, 2010 Chevy Grand Sport

2020 Muscle Car Presentation – First place, Brandon Sprialeira, 2022 Dodge 1320 Challenger; 2nd place, Matt Burnett, 2023 Mach 1 Mustang; Third place, Gary Stith, 2023 Chevrolet Corvette HTC

Classic Truck – 1st place, Roger King, 1975 Chevy C10; 2nd place, Donald Cockrell, 1934 Ford F-100; Third place, John Lewis, 1968 Chevy C10

Modern Truck – 1st place, Lucas Guzman, 2014 Chevy Silverado; Second place: Quinn Engel, 2019 Ford 150

Convertible – 1st place, Don Whitridge, 1967 Chevy Impala; 2nd place, Kim Payne, 2015 206 Chevy Corvette and Tracy Hall, Hot Wheel Camaro SS Edition; Third place, Joe Murfin, 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

Pre-1950s – 1st place, Tim Corder, 1933 Ford A; 2nd place, Adam Cooper, 1940 Ford; Third place, Bill Ruiz, 1927 Ford Coupe

Daily Driver – 1st place, Brian Phillips, 2001 Chevy Corvette; Second place, Becky and Mike Ackerman, 2007 Dodge Charger Super Bee; Third place, Doug Bull, 1986 Chevy Camaro

Classic Car – 1st Place, Chris Skinner, 1971 Chevy Corvette; 2nd place Don and Vita Houghdon, 1957 Chevy Bel Air; Bob White, 1955 Chevy Bel Air, Woody Blakeley, 1973 Pontiac Ventura; Third place, Steve Vader, 1956 Chevy 210

VW – 1st place, Bill and Marcy Gregory, 1955 Volkswagen Type 1; Second place, Chub Frederick, 1961 Volkswagen Single Cab; Third place, Mark Miller, 1974 Volkswagen Thing

UNDER CONSTRUCTION – 1st place, Brian Phillips, 1980 Chevy Corvette; 2nd place, Gary Sizemore, 1963 Ford F-100; Third place: Terry Mead, 1995 Ford F-150 XLT, and Hannah Bryson, 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle.

Hot Rod – 1st Place, Dave Jeter, 1939 Ford 5 Window Coupe

Motorcycle – 1st place, Richard Summers, 2008 Big Dog K-9; Second place, Kerry Vantress, 2007 American Iron Horse Lone Star Chopper; Third place, Michael Wright, 2020 Polaris Slingshot R

Special Interest – 1st place, Jason Wilcott, 2015 Dodge Challenger

Race Car – 1st Place, Ricky Walden, 1974 Chevy Vega; Second place, Brenda and Steve Snow, 1964 Chevy Impala

Oldest vehicle: Bill Ruiz, 1927 Ford coupe

Farthest Driven – Mike Honey, 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra

Mayor’s Choice – Mark Miller, 1973 Volkswagen Thing

Fire Chief’s Choice – Mark Cunningham, 2006 Chevy Corvette

Police Chief’s Choice – Brian Phillips, 1980 Chevy Corvette

People’s Choice – Dodge Bull, 1986 Chevy Camaro

Bright Future’s Choice – Matt Burnett, 2023 Mach 1 Mustang

Choosing Gravette Auto Service Software – Roger King, 1975 Chevy C10

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