A Seymour High School senior enjoys the attention his ride gets.

The 1967 light-blue Chevy Nova tends to stand out in a student parking lot and really everywhere Dillan York goes.

“It’s a looker,” he said.

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Although he wasn’t around in the ’60s, he appreciates that they don’t make ’em like they used to, York said.

That’s why he entered his Nova in the ninth annual Hot Rods and Academics Car Show on Saturday at the high school.

“I kind of like to show it off,” he said.

The event was organized by the school’s CARR Club, of which York is a member. CARR stands for Customs, Academics, Racing and Restorations.

Started by teacher Jeremy Wischmeier in 2006, the CARR Club is made up of students who share an interest in cars, whether it’s owning them, fixing them up or just dreaming about them. There are 34 members this year, and about eight displayed cars Saturday.

“It’s a great way for the kids to connect to the community and to other car owners to give them a goal to work toward,” Wischmeier said. “They can find out how other people did it and realize they can do it too.”

The event also gives students pride in the work they are doing on their own cars, he said.

More than 50 cars had been entered early on in the show, and Wischmeier said he expected to break 100 by the time awards were presented in the afternoon.

“We’ve got a lot of new entries this year, and the quality is impressive,” he said. “We’ve really got some high-end cars this year.”

The Harrells of Seymour are regulars at the event, with each family member showing a car.

This year, the youngest, AJ Harrell, 9, got to enter his first show car — a 1965 mini Shelby Cobra that looks just like his dad Tom’s 1965 Shelby Cobra replica, which also was on display at the show.

“Both my brothers had cars, so I wanted a show car too,” AJ said.

Derek Harrell, a senior at Seymour High School, is a member of the CARR Club; and his brother, Brandon, was in the club before graduating in 2013. Both men entered Mustangs this year.

The Harrell family took home trophies for top student entries for Derek and Brandon’s Mustangs and the Principal’s Choice award for AJ’s Cobra. Derek Harrell and senior Preston Otte received $250 scholarships from the CARR Club.

Dan Purcell of Bedford said he’s been participating in the Hot Rods and Academics show for at least six years now. It’s one of his his favorites, he said, because it encourages youth to get involved in the hobby and gives him an opportunity to talk to them and support their interests.

This year, he entered a 1975 Roadrunner, which was hard to miss because of the bright green paint job.

“It’s called sublime green,” he said. “I just had to paint it this color.”

The original color was more of a pearly green, a color Purcell said he wasn’t too impressed with.

Purcell has put a lot of time, money and work into the car over the years. He’s owned it for 10, and it took him about half that time to get it in its current condition.

“I pulled it out of a field in Tennessee, and it was in pretty bad shape,” he said. “My friend tried to get me to leave it, but I fell in love with it.”

He owns a second Roadrunner; but next year, he hopes to be the talk of the show with his Plymouth Barracuda.

“It’s going to be Pink Panther pink,” he said.

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Winners in Seymour High School’s CARR Club’s ninth annual Hot Rods and Academics Car Show

Best fabrication — Brayton Brackemeyer, 2015 junior dragster

Best stock interior — Derick Troxell, 1964 Corvette

Best custom interior — Bill Miller, 1940 Ford Deluxe

Principal’s choice — AJ Harrell, 1965 mini Cobra

Best paint — Chuck Hildreth, 1970 Plymouth Cuda

Best under construction — Kegan Bannister, 1974 Plymouth Scamp

Top 3 student entries — Brandon Harrell, Derrick Harrell, Noah Bullard

Top 3 pre-1975 — Derick Troxell, 1964 Corvette; Jay Trowbridge, 1967 Ford Fairlane; Ron Siebert, Chevy Impala

Top 3 1976 and newer — Tom Rudicel, 2002 Corvette; Tammy Shelton, 1988 Suzuki Samurai; Jim Hurley, 2007 Corvette


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