The 22nd Annual Show ‘N Shine car show, produced by the Evanston Car Cruise Club, was held Saturday at Hamblin Park to raise funds to provide coats and shoes for local children. The annual event has spent more than $61,000 since 1996 to buy coats and shoes and their April car show provided $2,400 for SAFV.
The car show this year featured many amazing cars, motorcycles, pickups and even a tractor-trailer rig.
One car that stood out was a 1972 Ford Gran Torino currently owned by Virginia Wabbe.
The Gran Torino was owned by her brother John Wabbe who purchased the car when he was 26 years old. He had just completed his service in the Army during the Vietnam era. He served in Germany. The 1972 Ford was his dream car and he was very happy with his purchase. Not long after buying the car he learned he had multiple sclerosis.
John drove the car as long as he could and when he could no longer drive, he had friends drive the car for him while he enjoyed the passenger’s seat. He had to have braces on his legs and getting in and out of the car was difficult and the lower door plate still has the dents and scars from the problems with getting in the car. Despite the problems, he continued to enjoy riding in his car.
Sadly, John died about a year ago from complications of multiple sclerosis. His sister, Virginia, inherited the car and has been working diligently to keep it maintained.
“I really didn’t know much about a car like this,” Wabbe said. “I have been talking to a lot of the car club people to learn how to do things like detail the car properly for a show.”
The car only has 62,900 miles and is completely original.
The beauty of the vehicle was a hit with judges and the car won several awards, including the Best Original award and the Loving Your Car award.