By Richard Rourk
On Saturday, June 8, downtown Erwin will be the site for gearheads who appreciate the artwork and craftsmanship of automobiles when the 59th Annual Southeastern Autorama cruises into town. The event, which is hosted by Southeastern Autorama Tennessee, will be free and family-friendly.
According to Southeastern Autorama Tennessee member and former Apple Town Bagel owner Keldon Clapp, Southeastern Autorama is a car club based in Unicoi County and is the oldest continually running car show in Tennessee since 1960. According to Clapp, Conrad Beam and Jim Hobbs created the club in 1960. The Southeastern Autorama Tennessee motto is simple. “We are brothers and sisters driving, tinkering and talking about cars and trucks while preserving automotive history and helping our community,” Clapp said.
The historic car show will feature something for everyone.
“We will have gift bags, door prizes, and a 50/50 raffle,” Clapp said.
Food for the event will be from Ken Packer and Krazzy Dogz Catering & Packer’s Lemonade. “We have always had The Hot Dog Guy out of Greenville, but unfortunately he had a scheduling conflict so we are thankful for Ken (Packer) stepping in,” Clapp said.
There will also be musical entertainment.
“We will have a stage set up with some bluegrass and good old rock and roll,” Clapp said. “We will have some good music for everyone.”
Clapp acknowledged that many non-automotive vendors will join the usual automotive vendors at the event.
“I know the Unicoi County Animal Shelter will be there with some pups and cats, along with information,” Clapp said.
The 59th Annual Southeastern Autorama welcomes all makes and models of vehicles.
“Anyone who wants to enter their vehicle is encouraged to show up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, to get registered,” Clapp said. “Once someone is registered they are on our mailing list for future events. There is no fee.”
According to Clapp, there will be cars from Asheville, Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, as well as plenty of local cars at the event.
“We are bringing cars in from a pretty wide range,” Clapp said. “Mike McIntosh will be bringing in some Model Ts and Model As.”
According to Clapp, there could be as many as 300 automobiles on display at the annual event. Some of the cars that will be featured during the 59th Annual Southeastern Autorama aren’t exactly even considered cars.
“We have everything from classic cars to modified go-karts,” Clapp said. “We like everything with a motor and four wheels; we even accept the vehicles with two wheels.”
Clapp and the Southeastern Autorama Tennessee would like to thank the community for being so supportive.
“We would like to thank the people of Erwin for supporting this,” Clapp said. “Without their support, we would just be people hanging out with cars.”
For more information, updates or to learn how to join Southeastern Autorama Tennessee, follow Southeastern Autorama Tennessee on Facebook.