Paul Engels, Lou Engels, designer and car collector Chris Barnes and Archie, the Engels’ shop dog, get ready for the annual car show at Engels Repair and Towing (Elizabeth Shepherd Photo).

Paul Engels, Lou Engels, designer and car collector Chris Barnes and Archie, the Engels’ shop dog, get ready for the annual car show at Engels Repair and Towing (Elizabeth Shepherd Photo).

A community-driven car show returns to Engels

“Push, pull or drag it — we don’t care if you’ve even washed it.”

Islanders can ogle vintage hot rods, roadsters, hydroplanes, motorcycles, tractors and more when Engels Repair and Towing hosts its annual car show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.

The all-day extravaganza of fossil-fueled finery is expected to include approximately 200 different vehicles, said Paul Engels, who works at the gas station just south of Portage that has been owned by his family since 1951.

The event, which is non-competitive and free to enter, attracts participation from a wide spectrum of car collectors on the island and beyond. Rust buckets may sit next to meticulously detailed classics, giving the show an ecumenical feel missing in many other shows in the region.

Engels said all comers are welcome to bring vehicles to the show. “Push, pull or drag it — we don’t care if you’ve even washed it,” he said. “This isn’t about who has the shiniest chrome, we just want people to show up and have fun.”

The event, which began almost 19 years ago, has exploded in size in recent years, with cars lining the Engels property all the way to Kingsbury Road. Still, said Engels, the majority of participants come from Vashon, bringing out cars that have been tucked away in barns and garages for most of the year.

Every year, there are eye-popping surprises.

Engels is hoping islander Chris O’Brien will bring his very good condition, silvery blue metallic 1964 Ferrari to the show this year. He’s also been talking to someone who recently moved to Vashon with two high-performance Porsches that Engels hopes to see. And he’s excited for the unveiling of a newly restored, mid-1960s Corvette that islander Roy Whitman has owned since the 1970s. The car, he said, is dark forest green metallic, with 1970s-vintage aluminum slotted wheels.

But Engels said that even if some of the vehicles at the show will be spiffed up, the crowd can come as they are.

“We won’t have to don blue blazers and ties,” he said. “It’s still a T-shirt and shorts kind of event.”

Engels said the event is made possible by volunteers that include Vashon High School wrestlers and football players, who set up cones, park cars and cook hot dogs and hamburgers for the crowd. Islander Brett Bacchus, Engels said, is putting together a reconstituted version of the Doily Brothers Band, an iconic island rock band, that will play several sets during the day.

Engels said he loves presenting the show each year.

“It’s all about seeing the shine, the chrome and the colors,” he said. “People look forward to it, and when it’s all over, you let out a big sigh of relief.”

After this show, though, Engels will still have something else to look forward to — in September, he’ll help organize the Engels’ third-annual vintage car cruise from the parking lot of John L. Scott Real Estate to the Vashon Golf & Swim Club, on Maury Island. For more information about the upcoming cruise, call 206-463-3330.


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