When the Sowers Car Show rolls into Gateway Mall’s west parking lot next weekend, Jan Sanford will continue a family tradition when she enters her restored 1940 Ford Deluxe sedan.
The classic car has received tender loving care from Jan and her husband of 61 years, Jerry Sanford, since they bought it in 1971. The car is also reflective of a sad chapter in the family’s history: It was once owned by Jan Sanford’s brother, Kenny Gritz, who was killed in a sprint car crash at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Lincoln on Sept. 1, 1969. The tragedy occurred just 16 days after Gritz won the Knoxville Nationals.
“My husband and I have always been car buffs,” said Jan, whose show car, restored in 2010, has a Corvette engine and won its class at last year’s Sowers Car Show.
Mrs. Sanford and her husband loaned her brother the $60 to buy the car nearly 50 years ago in Oketo, Kansas. “Sometimes things go full circle, it seems,” she reflected.
The Sanfords’ entry will be one of more than 100 expected for the third annual Sowers Club of Lincoln Car Show, scheduled for Sunday, May 20, beginning with 8 a.m. registration. Judging starts at 11 a.m. The show is open for public viewing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Sanfords’ 1940 Ford will be entered in the modified class (1932-1948), one of the car show’s 40 classes that also include stock, cruising, trucks and motorcycles.
Entry forms are at the Sowers Club office, 1701 S. 17th St., Suite 1H, Lincoln, NE 68502. Call (402) 438-2244 for office hours or enter online by May 15 at www.thesowersclub.com
Entry fee is $20. The first 50 to register get free lunch and deluxe “goodie” bags. On-site registration is 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. the day of the show.
Sowers Car Show chairman Stan Dinges said donated gift cards with a combined total face value of $2,700 will be awarded throughout the day to successful bidders. Gift cards include three $100 cards from Sam’s Club, 17 $20 cards from Texas T-Bone, and a one-month family membership at Prairie Life Fitness.
Gift-card bidding at the car show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Refreshments will be sold at bargain prices on the grounds: hot dogs, popcorn, pop and bottled water will all be priced at $1 each.
All proceeds connected to the car show will be divided equally between the Child Advocacy Center and the Lincoln Family Autism Network. The first two years of the Sowers Car Show have generated a combined total of more than $12,000 for the two non-profits.