Cummins Seymour Engine Plant is all about engines, but on Saturday, the company turned its focus to wheels for the first Wheels for Jackson County car show.

Nearly 25 vehicles, some new, some old, some fully restored, others under construction, but all worthy of attention, were on display in Cummins main parking lot.

Organizers say the show was small, but successful for a first-year event.

“We didn’t really know what to expect, but we thought if we could get 20 vehicles here, we’d be happy, and maybe next year, we’ll double it,” said Sean Hildreth, United Way resource development director.

All money raised from entry fees and voting will go to support United Way’s programs in Jackson County, Hildreth said. The organization works to support 20 local agencies that provide services in the areas of education, health and financial stability for all residents of the community.

Although it wasn’t enough to fill the parking lot, the show still attracted a lot of spectators.

“We’re pretty pleased with the turnout,” Hildreth said.

Next year they hope to have a wider variety of wheels including more motorcycles and trucks and even tractors, Hildreth said.

SEP manager Darren Wildman said he appreciated all those who brought their cars and who stopped by to check them out in support of United Way.

“One of our employees had the idea and brought it to us about sponsoring a car show to raise money for United Way, and I said sure, why wouldn’t we support such a good cause,” Wildman said.

Custom-made Cummins trophies were to be awarded in several different categories.

Wildman said his favorite of the bunch was a 1968 black Chevelle.

“The paint job was immaculate,” he said.

Amanda Jones and her 10-year-old son Johnathyn Lewis, stopped by after Jones said she saw the event advertised on Facebook.

“When I saw that white Corvette, my heart nearly stopped,” Jones said.

The car was a 2015 Corvette Stingray which traveled all the way from Texas. Its owners were in the area for a family reunion during the weekend and decided to show off the expensive and eye-catching vehicle.

“We even got to sit in it,” Jones said excitedly.

Lewis said his vote for best car at the show definitely went to the Stingray.

“It’s really cool looking and I bet it’s really fast too,” he said.

Both Jones and Lewis said they like looking at cars and planned to go to more car shows in the area during the summer.

“It’s something we can do together,” Jones said.

Hildreth said as a United Way judge, his vote went to an orange and black 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator owned by Scott and Tammy Whipker of Seymour.

“It definitely caught my eye,” Hildreth said.

Harold and Bev Ruddick of Seymour decided to enter their 1957 red Chevy Bel Air in the show.

They’ve only owned it about six weeks, Bev Ruddick said.

The Ruddicks entered the best interior category and were getting several votes for People’s Choice Award.

Harold Ruddick said he found the car on the Internet and had to travel to Tennessee to get it.

“It’s exactly like one I had when I was younger,” he said.

Her name is Miranda, he added.

“Yeah, we joke that he had to go down to Tennessee to see his girlfriend and he came home with her,” Bev Ruddick said, laughing.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.