Courtesy photo: This photo of John Gorman from 1949 will be featured on this year's car show T-shirt. Gorman was a local racer and owned an auto shop in Magnolia.
Courtesy photo: This photo of John Gorman from 1949 will be featured on this year's car show T-shirt. Gorman was a local racer and owned an auto shop in Magnolia.

Tired of the annual uncertainty as to whether the Magnolia Village Car Show was a go, Werner’s Crash Shop manager Eric Berge stepped up to organize the event 12 years ago, and remains its driving force to this day.

“I was in it, the first time was 2000, is what it was,” said Berge, who was born and raised in Magnolia. “You didn’t really know what was happening.”

After several years of annoyance with the lack of organization, Berge called up the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and ended up being recruited.

“She said, ‘If you’re so concerned about the car show, then why don’t you do it?’” Berge said.

The classic car collector accepted his charge, but under certain terms. One was that there would be no judging or trophies. The auto show would simply be a place to show off vehicles, whether fully restored or works-in-progress. Berge also held the entry cost at $20 per vehicle. Whatever was leftover after administrative costs was donated to the Northwest Harvest food bank. Berge said about $15,000 has been donated to the nonprofit since he took over the auto show.

This year’s Magnolia Village Auto Show is set for Sunday, Aug. 11, with cars set to start lining up down West McGraw Street, between 34th and 32nd avenues west, at 8 a.m.

“It’s a chance to spend a day and show off your car, show off your passion,” Berge said.

Berge enjoys designing the T-shirts for the auto show every year, the front often highlighting important people or moments from Magnolia’s automotive history. The back of shirt has the names of “Legends Gone By,” such as his father, Erling Berge, who had been a machinist at the old Interbay garage, and his sister, Randi, the two passing away four years apart.

Gracing the front of this year’s T-shirt is an old photo of John Gorman, who had owned and operated an auto repair shop in Magnolia and raced cars locally — at the Playland Aurora Speedway — and abroad: twice at the Indie 500 in the 1970s.

“I like the history of the automotive hobby,” Berge said, “and growing up in Magnolia, I’ve lived there my whole life, and the Gorman name is something I always heard.”

Berge will be bringing out his 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle, ’65 Mercury Comet, Model-T Ford hot rod and 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury to the auto show.

There are no rules when it comes to the make or age of a car, Berge said, and even motorcycles and the occasional boat have been shown in years prior.

Vehicles that won’t be at the auto show are food trucks. Berge said that encourages attendees to get out and shop Magnolia Village.

Anyone wanting to sign up to show their vehicles can contact Berge at wwerner@aol.com.