Twelve years ago, Mike Barr decided he should give something back to his customers, so he scheduled a “customer appreciation” car show for customers to bring their cars and have some fun.
“I invited everybody who had work done at our shop, and we had a good turnout, and now, it’s kinda grown to almost being out of hand,” Barr said as he looked around the crowded parking lot. “I hold it in mid-October; it’s kind of summer’s last hurrah. The weather was bad last weekend so we postponed it a week and look at this, great weather, warm morning, and we’ve got well over 200 cars here.”
Metal Brite Polishing has developed a national reputation for metal polishing and plating, and is called “The Home of Hot Rod Chrome,” based in a shop on Neff Road with five full-time employees.
The lot started to fill up well before the 10 a.m. starting time, and there were hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods, lead sleds, classics and trucks, with a few racecars thrown in for good measure.
“I try to change it up a little each year,” Barr said. “This year we had Spungewurthy play music, and we sold drinks and food, with proceeds for the Wounded Warriors. I also had a few vendors ask to attend, so that was different, plus we have a judged car show.
“I make special trophies – different each year, and this year they are copper-plated pistons and connecting rods mounted on wood. My next-door neighbor is local Top Fuel Dragster driver Pat Dakin, and he gives me his used pistons and rods,” Barr explained. “You won’t find trophies like that every day. I also hire judges, so the results are not coming from my staff or me.
“We have awards for Best Hot Rod, Custom, Muscle, Sports Car, Original, Truck, Bike, Special Interest, Interior, Engine, Paint and Best of Show.
“I just want to create a place where everyone can have some fun, get together and look at and talk about cars, and also provide some recognition for all of the work these people put into these cars,” Barr said. “Pretty soon, we’ll be trapped in the garage working on them for next year, so let’s have one more great Sunday afternoon.”