Sittin’ Pretti car show rolls into Arlington

ARLINGTON — Close to 250 cars, trucks, hot rods and dragsters returned to the Arlington Airport for the annual “Sittin’ Pretti” car show Aug. 21, as auto enthusiasts from as far away as Canada, Montana and California turned out to help out a local community organization.

Sittin’ Pretti President Shawn Altermott, who grew up in Marysville, recalled that last year’s Drag Strip Reunion at the Arlington Airport raised roughly $3,000 for the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, a feat he expected to equal this year.

“You get to see all your friends every year that you only see during the summer,” Altermott said. “The kids who come by get to watch us work on the vehicles. We hope people continue to support the scene.”

Marysville’s John Eilertsen is no stranger to that scene. He acquired his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 17 years ago and has been attending the Sittin’ Pretti car shows for the past four years.

“It’s fun to meet new people and see the new accessories,” said Eilertsen, whose Bel Air is on its third motor and sixth set of tires.

The Bel Air’s dashboard sports an autograph from Joan Jett, whom Eilertsen met in Post Falls, Idaho.

Everett’s James Nesbitt surrounded his 1986 Buick Regal with Halloween graveyard decorations in honor of the fact that he obtained it from a scrapyard in 1998 and has seen a spooky run of luck on it ever since.

“It started out wrecked,” Nesbitt said. “When I got it ready to be painted, it was stolen. By the time it was recovered, it had been stripped down to the bare metal. Then, I rear-ended somebody,” he laughed. “I haven’t really been able to drive it until this year.”

In this year alone, Nesbitt’s Buick Regal has won awards at car shows in March, May and earlier in the month in August, with a hydraulic system that not only allows it to rise from the dead, but practically pop a handstand on its wheels.

“I was always a fan of Regals,” Nesbitt said. “They’re like Cadillacs without attitude.”

Like a lot people, Marysville’s Darin Rickard grew up with Scooby Doo, and when he was able to purchase a trashed-out old van for $700, he saw it as an opportunity to pay tribute to a childhood favorite. One year and an additional $4,000 in restorations later, Rickard now shows off the “Mystery Machine” to kids of all ages, with a cartoon-authentic exterior matched by the festival of Scooby Doo decorations and memorabilia inside.

“I love seeing the kids’ smiles, especially when I hand out Scooby Snax,” Rickard said. “If you’re not smiling when you see it, you’re just in a really bad mood,” he laughed. “I’ll be taking the Mystery Machine to Children’s Hospital for the kids. Whether it’s little kids or folks my age, everyone knows it and everyone loves it.”

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