Hot Rod Car Show hits Hardin Street May 15
Expert mechanic, successful businessman and learned musician.
Phil Halbedel is many things, but the owner of Phil's Citgo Service Station is also showing his mettle in understatement.
"It's a good cruiser, a good driving car," he said of his candy apple-red, 1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport 396 convertible, a pet project Halbedel built from the axles up, having purchased it disassembled in numerous boxes. "
It's a rare model, and Halbedel's only seen one other in all of his travels. Then again, that might change on Saturday, May 15, when he hosts Phil's Hot Rod Car Show, an event that promises to be chockfull of classic cars and hot rods, raffle prizes, giveaways, contests, music and food.
And it's for a good cause. The $10 entry fee for participants and $3 for spectators directly benefits Three Forks Baptist Church's upcoming mission trip to South America.
Fittingly, the show will be held in the Legends music hall parking lot, directly next to Phil's - enough room for 158 cars, Halbedel said.
"We'll have everything from street rods to anything anyone wants to bring," Halbedel said, also mentioning an appearance by members of the Boone Car Club. "And even motorcycles."
Raffle tickets cost $1, and giveaways include coupons, gas cards and gift cards to likeminded businesses, including Advance Auto Parts and Napa, as well as donated prizes from Snap-on Tools. Plus, the first 50 cars will receive custom dash plaques.
Judging includes Top 10 Cars, in which spectators complete ballots to choose their favorites, Preacher's Pick and Phil's Favorite.
And Halbedel would know, as cars aren't only his living, but also a hobby.
"I got my first car to work on when I was 14," he said. "It was a '64 Valiant that I took apart and never put on the road."
But he had a little help from his friends, including one particular family friend, who owned a garage nearby and allowed young Halbedel to observe and practice firsthand.
"I tore up my fair share of stuff trying to learn," he said. "But I learned on my own stuff, not on any one else's. Like people say, 'Just good enough to be dangerous.'"
Eventually, Halbedel dropped the "enough to be dangerous" for "just good," and has completed an assortment of projects since. He's worked on a '65 Chevrolet El Camino, '70 Chevy Nova and '67 Chevy Chevelle, the latter of which is an ongoing project savored over time.
"It's a hobby," Halbedel said. "If I worked on it every day, it wouldn't take that long, but when you do it in your spare time, it takes a couple of years."
Fortunately, he doesn't seem to mind. "I've always enjoyed the classics," he said.
People can see for themselves on Saturday, May 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Legends parking lot next to Phil's Citgo, located at 168 Hardin St. in Boone. A rain date has been set Sunday, May 16.
Halbedel encourages interested parties to register in advance. For more information or to register, call Phil's Citgo at (828) 268-0555.