By Drew Bergman
Another Level Car Club celebrated their 23rd Annual Revvin-N-Ravvin Car Show and Memorabilia Swap this past Saturday, November 7.
More than 100 vehicles from across Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and elsewhere gathered to share their love of vehicles. From racers to show cars, high-end custom jobs to classic restorations, the Revvin-N-Ravvin Car Show featured a glorious variety of vehicles.
“We didn’t even know five weeks ago if we could have the show,” said Kevin Johnson, the president of Another Level Car Club. “We were just glad we could have it on this beautiful day.”
Johnson also oversees the Festival at the Springs, which they were unable to have last month. “We had to cancel it because we couldn’t justify having 3,000 or 4,000 people out here,” Johnson said. “A hundred people is easier to justify.”
And as Johnson pointed out, being able to have the event does put money back into Russell County’s tourist economy. “Anything you do in the community will boost the economy. Not everybody here will, but there’s already a percent that’s stopped at Jax’s or another gas station, that’s bought food or supplies. We’re on the backside of the tourism season here heading into the fall.” Apart from the late boost, there is another practical reason for having the show so late, “Car shows don’t do as well when it’s 100 degrees on the asphalt which adds another 20 degrees.”
For many, including Landon Helm who was there with his car eBay Bandit (which is to be featured on the Discovery Channel show “Street Outlaws”) it was a chance to enjoy a rare outdoor public event in the year of COVID-19. For others, it was a chance to ply their trade.
Barry Burton owner of Burton’s Auto Parts & Salvage was out selling vintage parts to those in attendance and with his supply, he keeps busy at car shows. “It’s more work than fun,” he said. “We’re out about every weekend when we’ve got a show to do.” Barry covers all of Kentucky and down into Tennessee from his shop in Russell Springs.
Providing the entertainment was Charlie Napier down from WRVK 1460 AM in Renfro Valley – Mount Vernon. Charlie, the DJ to the Cars, has been in the radio business for four decades, starting at car shows in 1979. “It started in Renfro Valley for me and then expanded out,” Charlie said. “As time went on, we were blessed by all these people. We’ve become like brothers and sisters. They know me; I know them.”
Charlie operates KentuckyCarShows.com and is on the road with the clubs throughout the year.
Before he got into the DJ business, he taught in a one-room school in Rockcastle County. One of his first students is now his doctor.
Legendary country comedian, and Korean War veteran, Pete Stamper recruited Charlie into the radio business, inviting him over to the station one day and conveniently leaving Charlie there to struggle with the turntables while he took an hour to get a cup of coffee.
Charlie’s been a mainstay ever since, in his 1971 Mustang Convertible with a 351 Cleveland engine.
Also out was Brandon Shirley with Madhouse Designs in Park City, providing custom detailing. “I’m just doing a complete freehand design here,” Shirley said. “Everything I do is a one-off. I’ve been doing it all my life but have been back on it for 15 years.”
Shirley was, like many of the people out, raised in the car world. His father was a hotrodder and he grew up watching the older guys pinstripe. His work and the work of Madhouse Designs is available on their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Of course, some of the people are just out to show their cars. Dwight Phillips of Somerset was out with his 1957 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop. “I’ve had it about two years and done a complete frame-off restoration on it. We took about seven months on it and finished up in May of this year.”
Raymond Phillips did the restoration on the Bel Airwhich involved replacing 70 percent of the car. The car had been modified before Phillips had purchased it, in its previous life it had been turned into a hot rod. “Now it has the right stuff on it,” Dwight said. “But back then you had to to work with what you had.”
Next to him with an orange 1957 Chevy Bel Air station wagon was David Shivel of Eubank. “My grandfather bought the car brand new,” Shivel said. The vehicle has been with the family since. “We had it repainted and had some light body work done on it, but most of the parts are original.” The family had worked well to keep the car intact.
Shivel’s car has been presented in shows for the past 12 years.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the car club and culture can reach out to Another Level on their Facebook page. Kevin Johnson also manages the Russell Springs Revitalization Facebook page and can be reached through there as well.