At Trinity Lutheran High School, four students have shared their interest in and love of all things automotive this year by starting a new club — the Trinity Cruisers.

The idea originated with senior Demi Oakes of Seymour, who has grown up helping her dad, Denny Oakes, rebuild cars in their garage. Over the years, she has even been involved with organizing car shows.

“When I was a freshman, I had the idea of doing a car show as a senior project,” she said.

At the time, there weren’t any other Trinity students interested in cars, and Oakes got busy with other activities.

But a couple of years later, at the end of her junior year, Oakes was approached by a teacher who told her there were a couple of incoming freshmen wanting to start a car club.

And the school was asking her to help get the club going.

“I was really glad there were people wanting to do it,” she said.

So this year, with guidance from adult mentors Greg Franks and Allen Hinkle of Bartholomew County, the students started the Trinity car club.

“It’s not unusual for a school that doesn’t have an automotive program to have a car club,” Franks said. “It’s been interesting because I assumed we’d just talk about Mustangs and Camaros, and they actually want to know more than just the different types.”

Being engineers, Franks and Hinkle are glad to see the students take an interest in how cars are built and the mechanics of how they work.

Besides Oakes, other club members are freshmen Stone Cockerham, Brayden Murphy and Jace Crockett.

Cockerham is a member of the Seymour Area Cruisers car club.

“My grandpa is a founding member,” Cockerham said. “We started doing Scoop the Loop, and it was just fun seeing all the cars and hanging out with my dad and grandpa and all those guys.”

Cockerham and his dad currently have a 1967 Mustang Fastback.

“We’ve been working on it the past couple of years,” he said.

It was important to Cockerham to get the car club started this year at Trinity.

“During eighth grade, when I did my visit here at Trinity, I said I would come here, but I was going to start a car club,” he said. “I knew Seymour (High School) had one, and I wanted to start one here.”

Murphy said he decided to be a founding member of the club because cars always have been a part of his life.

“I’ve always been surrounded by mechanics, and I kind of liked cars already,” he said. “When Stone asked if I wanted to help start the club, I said, ‘Sure.’ I thought it would be cool to be known as the first kids who helped make the club.”

On Saturday, the Trinity Cruisers will celebrate the end of its first year with an inaugural car and motorcycle show in the school parking lot at 7120 N. County Road 875E in Seymour. Registration begins at 8 a.m., judging at 10 a.m. and trophies will be presented at 1 p.m.

There is no preregistration, and cars can be registered when they arrive. Cost is $10, and the first 25 vehicles will receive a dash plaque. There also will be door prizes given throughout the show.

Cockerham said he is hoping to draw at least 40 or 50 vehicles in the show’s first year and attract more club members next year.

“This year, we’re saving money so we can do some field trips,” Murphy said. “And hopefully, we can get a car lift for the ag building.”

That way, club members can learn more about how cars are built, how they work and how to fix them, Cockerham said.

They also hope to be able to attend the annual World of Wheels car show in Indianapolis next year.

For Oakes, the draw of a car club and car show is meeting other people with the same interests and being able to show off her cars.

“We usually show a 1934 Ford Cabriolet,” she said.

Other times, it’s a 1968 Camaro or a 1939 Chevy Coupe, she added.

If you go

What: Trinity Cruisers car and motorcycle show

When: Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, judging will be at 10 a.m. and awards at 1 p.m.

Where: Trinity Lutheran High School parking lot, 7120 N. County Road 875E, Seymour

Cost: $10

Information: 812-524-8547

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