Carrie Rengers

Automobilia Moonlight Car Show saved by four sponsors

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect name for Clutch Auto Restyling.

Gary Carpenter says he wants to give credit where it’s due.

The organizer of the Automobilia Moonlight Car Show & Street Party says the event is back on for Saturday because of four sponsors.

Rusty Eck is one of the main things that made it happen,” Carpenter says of the Ford dealership.

Owner Les Eck says he read that Carpenter canceled the 21st annual show because of a $12,000 shortage.

“It’s a nice tradition,” Eck says.

He says people’s enthusiasm for automobiles is what sells cars for him.

“I like to keep the enthusiasm going.”

The company will pay at least $6,000 to insure the event.

“That’s what saved us,” Carpenter says.

“When the crowd gets bigger, the insurance goes high.”

The event, which features as many as 1,000 cars, attracts about 100,000 people.

Stover’s Restoration and Clutch Auto Restyling also are sponsors for the show.

Except for Stover’s, which is a past sponsor, Carpenter says he’s not had much luck with sponsorships previously.

“There’s so many car shows around.”

He says he’s learned how important this one is to people.

Though he officially has only three sponsors, Carpenter says, “I like to say four. One of them’s the Wichita car community.”

He counts supporters of the show from other states in that, too.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Carpenter says. “It’s wonderful.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser has raised more than $10,000.

Carpenter says he hopes sponsorships continue into next year, too.

“This show’s got the potential of being twice the size if the financing would be there,” he says.

For now, he’s simply grateful that the show is going on – and for the people who support it financially and by coming to it.

“They’re always here,” Carpenter says. “I think if it was snowing, they would show.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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