Throwback Thursday Finale at Kenda Drive-In
Our “Throwback Thursdays” grand finale was held July 28 and it was AWESOME! Even though it took me months of organizing and a lot of shopping trips to get the items I needed, it was worth every second that I put in. “Throwback Thursdays” was the brain-child of my husband Gabe and I after deciding that it would be super cool to get out to the Drive-In, be surrounded by all pre-1980 cars, AND enjoy a car movie. The Kenda Drive-In in Marshall was happy to work with us and, being one of only three Drive-Ins left in the state of Arkansas, they just happen to be located only 45 miles from where I live (and only 15 miles from where I grew up).
With the extremely HOT weather that we have had, mixed with a VERY rainy season, planning for this type of event is very stressful to say the least. Even though March and April gave us tremendous weather, the thunderstorms and heavy rain kept many out in May, and we were lucky to get the movie watched in June and make it home. Driving an old car without defrost and with semi-antiquated wipers, made the entire trip home very, very stressful! As a classic car owner, I know that people will not even attempt to get out and drive somewhere if the weather is not going to cooperate. Fortunately, the weather looked good, except for the intense heat, and we were able to get everything together and set up for the night.
As the cars started to come in the gate, we KNEW it was going to be quite the event. We had double the classic car attendance of any of the Throwbacks, along with more people also taking advantage of walking into the Drive-In to get a chance to not only view all of the cars, but they also got the opportunity to check out our CRO/STA-BIL® tent AND got to watch the movie, all free of charge.
As people were coming over to look at the 303® and Gold Eagle products that we had on display, we were busy giving out 303® Aerospace Protectant and Leather 3-in-1 samples, literature, pens and a ton of sunglasses. Everyone was having an excellent time, getting goody bags, and turning in their punch card to us. Since we knew only very few car owners would have their card filled with all five punches, the ones who did were automatically given a wash bucket filled with the complete line of 303® automotive products, along with all of the needed items to apply and wipe off the products with. To say that the owners of the cars were blown away with their prizes would be an understatement.
The owners of the Drive-In were also especially pleased as the concession stand was constantly busy with a very long line of people waiting to eat their great tasting and very reasonably priced food. While people were waiting in line to quench their cravings, they could also purchase a “Throwback Thursdays” T-shirt along with the awesome rainbow tie-dyed Kenda Drive-In 50th anniversary shirts. For July, the owners, Kenda and Todd Dearing, had a new color for the “Throwback Thursdays” shirt available in PURPLE (my favorite color) along with the previous colors of sapphire, antique red and charcoal. I had to leave the tent to purchase my own shirts as I fully support ANY venue that will allow classic car owners to get together and mingle!
As an added bonus, we had a guy at the Drive-In who had WON a classic Trans-Am, in black, nonetheless AND his friend, Chris Graddy, a Corporal with the Arkansas State Police, Troop I who brought in a vintage police car!!! Before the movie started, we had our very own Smokey and the Bandit pursuit chase at the Drive-In. I can tell you that there wasn’t a person on the grounds that night that wasn’t smiling. Thinking back to the kind of wholesome entertainment two cars brought to a crowd of mostly older adults was astonishing!
After they got through with their pursuit, our local “Smokey” announced over his radio that all people holding punch cards were to meet in front of the CRO/STA-BIL® tent. As the crowd gathered round, they really had no idea what would ensue. As we drew names out of a hat, based upon the number of punches a car owner had, we had a lot of VERY happy people who took home more of the wash buckets with products. As we had additional products on the tables, we continued to draw names and let everyone pick the products that they wanted. The entire crowd was very appreciative of the effort that not only I, as a CRO Champ/Gold Eagle representative, put into the finale but to Gold Eagle themselves for graciously donating the amount of product to make this an even more special event in Searcy County Arkansas.
Some of the other sponsors helping out with this awesome event that I would like to thank are: JEGS, Mecum Auctions, Eckler’s, Doni Langdon at Throttle Gals Magazine, Hemmings, National Corvette Museum, LMC Truck, Sue Gogolinski at Just Get Dirty Garage, Painless, Rock Auto, Edelbrock, Grundy Insurance, Hagerty Classic Insurance, NPD/National Parts Depot, Summit Racing, and Coker Tire. I would also like to thank the owners of Massage Works of Harrison, James and Amy Benefiel, my local hometown massage clinic that I visit on a regular basis.