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Chrome and charisma

Pictured are Kira Barr and Sean Boyd at the 3rd Annual Summer Soiree.
Pictured are Kira Barr and Sean Boyd at the 3rd Annual Summer Soiree.

Ask any car buff what bothers them most about modern cars, and they’ll note a general lack of character among today’s brands. Few sedans stand out from the pack. SUVs and crossovers have all started to look the same. It can be difficult, even for afficionados, to tell one make from another.

Things weren’t always that way.

One glance down West Jefferson Street Saturday was testament enough to the artful designs put to use by earlier automakers. Drastic curves, fins, chrome — and oh so much character.

Hosted by Osceola Chamber Main Street (OCMS) and Lakeside Hotel & Casino, the 3rd Annual Summer Soiree brought together motorheads of every age to celebrate the beauty — and the brawn — of some of the sweetest vehicles in and around Osceola.

The Soiree included several activities this year, including games for children and music by by Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer’s, Echo 5. The event drew quite a crowd for inadvertently being scheduled at the same time as Murray’s Jamboree celebration, a hiccup OCMS Executive Director Derek Lumsden said won’t happen again anytime soon.

“We’re going back to the third weekend in August,” he said, noting that no matter when the soiree is scheduled, it always seems to arrive along with rain.

While showers would have been a welcome sight for many in the area, Saturday’s show saw sprinkles at best, and a steady flow of patrons were drawn downtown to see beauties like the light blue 1966 Corvette restored by Frank and Phyllis Jones of Osceola.

“We pretty much overhauled everything from front to rear, top to bottom, the whole nine yards,” said Frank.

The couple found the car during a trip to the 1999 Bloomington Gold, a super-sized Corvette show held annually in Illinois. The Jones’ first personal car project, the Corvette certainly stood out Saturday, but it faced fierce competition. From hot rods and sports cars to well-preserved Model A’s, there was a little something for every car lover to appreciate at the 3rd Annual Summer Soiree.

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