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Goffstown resident Shawn Drouin's lime green special edition Plymouth Firebird drew plenty of admirers Sunday afternoon at the East Coast Camaro Club's car show in Merrimack. (BARBARA TAORMINA PHOTO)

Vintage cars turn heads at Anheuser-Busch in Merrimack

Jim Keene, a member of Nashua's East Coast Camaro Club, has a theory about his Chevrolet of choice.

"With a Camaro, all you have to do is put the top down, turn on the oldies, and drive down to Cape Cod and order a hamburger," said Keene. "That's all you need to know."

Although Keene and other members of his club believe Camaros cornered the market on mechanical muscle, they also understand how all car owners feel driving around in a prized vintage ride or a newer model that's taken years to acquire.

So the East Coast Camaro Club, which hosted this week's New Hampshire car show at the Anheuser-Busch plant in Merrimack, welcomed all cars to the benefit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes of seriously ill children.

Auto aficionados responded by filling the exhibit grounds with all types of makes and models from all different eras. And the public showed up in droves to stroll through rows of vehicles with spotless engines and pristine interiors.A group from the Camaro Club, which currently has more than 100 members, couldn't really explain why cars and car shows continually grab the spotlight in New Hampshire.

Ed Jusczak of Pelham is one of the few car show regulars who will drive his prized vintage car during the winter in New Hampshire.

Most other owners are like Manual Veiga of Tyngsborough, Mass., who keeps his prized 1967 Stingray Corvette in a climate control capsule when it's not on display at a show.

Skip and Judy Anctil of Nashua have bent the car world rules a little. They restored a 1923 Ford not to its original glory but to a new look as a purple, black and silver monster mobile with Halloween decorations and cushy upholstery.

"We go all over to all the car shows," said Skip, who has been restoring cars for more than 35 years. And while they take great care of their monster car, they don't fret too much about little problems.

Shawn Drouin of Goffstown owns a special edition lime green 1970 Plymouth Road Runner that measures the length of two, possibly more, of today's more compact models.Drouin said it's fun to get behind the wheel and know you're turning heads, although sometimes it does get a little tense when other drivers come close to catch a better look.

"It's all about living memories and making new ones," said Peter Shore of Chelmsford. "And it doesn't matter if you own a Corvette, a Mustang or a Camaro, it's just a love of cars."