How We Got Started
In Memory of Wayne Anderson and Chad Shanks
Since around the age of three I have been fascinated with all types of cars. I remember my mom had a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville convertible, white with a red interior, and I remember sitting up on the top of the back seat, top down with the rear radio speaker between the seats blaring below me while my sister held on to my legs. That's my earliest memory of riding in a car.
A little later, as a kid growing up in the late '60's - early '70's, my dad, Wayne Anderson, would take me to the Autorama every year when it came to town and to local car shows. Over the years, he dragged me with him to various auto body shops and mechanics garages of his buddies and I'd sit there with a Coke in my hand listening to the men talk shop about all types of vehicles.
I would help my dad work on the various cars and trucks he'd bring home and dream of hitting 16 so I could get my driver's license and begin experiencing the ultimate freedom of owning my own car.
My dad always took detailed care of all the vehicles we owned, not just mechanically but making sure they always were clean and looked good going down the road. I always admired him having pride like that in all the family's vehicles and am the same way today with mine.
Wayne died of lung cancer at the age of 53, a few days after I turned 18 in 1980. It was too short a life for such a great husband, family man and friend. He was a WWII Vet who fought in the Pacific Campaign, a Sgt. in the Seattle Fire Department for many years and the owner of Davison's Carpet Company in Ballard at the time of his death.
Over the years, my obsession with cars grew and thanks to my dad giving me the bug, I have owned many great makes and models of vehicles. I always wanted to do something to help him be remembered, but didn't know what.
Then, in the late '90's, I met a guy named Chad Shanks one night in the Wedgwood Broiler. He was sitting at the bar looking at an issue of Auto Trader. We struck up a conversation and realized we had a lot in common, not just with an affinity for cars but other things and we became good friends. Chad had a yellow 1923 Bucket T at the time with a nice 350 in it and we always talked about trying to get a few other car guys together and park our cars in front of the Wedgwood Broiler. It never happened with Chad unfortunately. He passed away on August 23rd, 2007 at the age of 39.
Later that year, I began thinking about what I could do to keep the memory of Chad alive and realized that I could help memorialize Chad and my father by hosting a car show in their honor. In 2008, The Wedgwood Car Show was born.
It began as the Chad Shanks Memorial Wedgwood Car Show and over the years has become what is now known simply as the Wedgwood Car Show. A few banners, a bunch of flyers put up in businesses around the neighborhood, a lot of multiple phone calls to my friends with cars and trucks, Budweiser beer helping sponsor the show with prizes and trophies and help from the owners of the Wedgwood Broiler, Derek and Aly Cockbain, Chad's business partner Jay Goodwin and my wife Sydney got this thing started.
We had 43 vehicles show up the first year, including Chad's 1923 Bucket T thanks to the then owner bringing it to that first show and quite a few after. It was a decent number of vehicles for the humble grassroots beginning of the Wedgwood Car Show.
We now fill the parking lot each year from end to end averaging 90 to 100 vehicles, raise thousands of dollars each year for the American Cancer Society and have this beautiful website up and running with details of upcoming shows, a registration page and an extensive photo gallery of past shows.
The Wedgwood Car Show is exactly what Wayne Anderson and Chad Shanks would have wanted - a local, unpretentious neighborhood event bringing guys and gals and their cars and trucks together and in doing so involves the community by bringing spectators of all ages to the show, raising money for a very worthy cause and producing a lot of smiles every August in the parking lot of the Wedgwood Broiler.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to seeing you at the next Wedgwood Car Show!