Back to the Show

Billy Dorn shows his 1957 Chevrolet 210 Saturday at the car show sponsored by Unanimity Lodge #7 at American Legion Post 40 in Edenton. The event, now in its fifth year, raises funds for the Masonic Home for Special Needs Children.

Billy Dorn of Kill Devil Hills was excited to be back in Edenton with his 1957 Chevrolet Saturday.

This year an Edenton-based Masonic Lodge’s car show returned in full force after being canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dorn noted that most car shows in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia were canceled last year because of the pandemic.

He said he missed getting around to the shows and supporting the charitable causes that they benefit.

“Most of them are for charities,” he noted.

Saturday’s show in Edenton was no exception. The event, now in its fifth year, raises funds for the Masonic Home for Special Needs Children.

The total raised for the Masonic Home was not immediately available.

Unanimity Lodge #7, which was founded in 1775, hosted 44 entries this year in the show held at American Legion Edward G. Bond Post 40.

“It’s the biggest,” Unanimity Lodge #7’s Dave Lindsley said of this year’s show.

The Lodge holds several benefits during a typical year, including the car show, a gun raffle and a parade of tractors.

Vehicles at Saturday’s show dated back as far as 1928 and as recent as 2012.

Dorn’s 1957 Chevrolet 210 is painted a bright yellow hue that seemed to perfectly fit the upbeat mood at the event as people rolled out their classic cars again after the past year of limited opportunities to show them.

That color, by the way, is the original factory color and the same color it was painted when Dorn bought it at auction.

The car previously belonged to legendary boxing champion Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, who sold it at auction to help pay off debt he owed to creditors, including the IRS.

“I left it the same color,” Dorn said. “This is the factory color and this is the color (Hearns) had on it.”

Noting he is not a painter, Dorn got an auto painter to put a fresh coat of yellow paint on the car after he got it ready for painting.

“I did all the work on it — the labor, the hard part,” he said, laughing.

Dorn said his understanding is that Hearns had great affection for the vehicle.

“If they ever make a movie about his life I think they’re going to want to put this car in it,” he said.

Dorn noted that most ‘57 Chevys that people will see at car shows are the sportier Bel Air.

“This would be more of a family car,” he said of the 210.

Dorn has redone the upholstery and completed a lot of other work on the car in the eight years or so that he has had it.

“Every year I do something different to it,” he said.

When car show season is in full swing he tries to drive it to a show every weekend.

“I drive it,” he said. “I don’t trailer it.”

But the car generally stays in the garage when it’s not headed to a show.

Driving down from Kill Devil Hills alongside Dorn Saturday was Dave Hayhurst, who had his 1968 Camaro at the show.

Hayhurst used to race at drag strips in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He quit racing in 1999.

“I don’t want to race,” Hayhurst said. “I just want to go show it and enjoy driving it.”

Hayhurst does drive his car to the shows, unlike some who bring the classic car on a trailer.

The ice blue Camaro was re-done in Michigan and Hayhurst traded a 1957 Chevrolet for it. Since then he has done some work on it himself, including redoing the upholstery and the trunk.

Under the hood is an SS 427 crate motor.

“I still get 12-14 miles to the gallon driving it — because I drive it,” Hayhurst said.

Hayhurst said driving the car to the shows is a big part of the fun in participating in shows.