RECORD NUMBERS: Car tourism fuelling Fraser Coast economy
THE Fraser Coast has cemented its position as a destination for car lovers like Sue Dodd and Lyn Passey.
Just weeks after the Australian Street Rod Federation Nationals injected millions into Maryborough's economy, thousands turned out for the annual May in the Bay car show at the weekend.
More than 500 cars and motorbikes lined up to display their wares at the annual May in the Bay car show.
Held on Pialba State School's oval the Show and Shine event not only attracted a record crowd but also record entries.
Wide Bay Rodders president and event organiser Des Batten said car enthusiasts had travelled from as far as Tasmania.
"This event has brought hundreds of people to the area who spend money on fuel, eat out and stay in local accommodation," he said.
"This event has gets bigger and better with every year.
"We booked out the Ingenia Holiday Park for people to stay and we were putting on a big dinner feeding about 350 people the last few nights.
"I'd like to thank all our sponsors and supporters, we give the proceeds away to local primary schools and children's units at the hospital.
"I am very grateful to the people of Hervey Bay who came out and supported us, we had well over 200 entries from our own club alone."
Gladstone's Donna Radford was exhibiting her chopped and channelled 1946 Bedford complete with a Wild Turkey whiskey bottle attached to the radiator.
Ms Radford has been coming to the event for about a decade - true to her love of anything with an engine, particularly hot rods and motorbikes
"I'm an enthusiast, I'm growing old as disgracefully as possible ," she said with a laugh.
"My car tows our tear-drop camper van and we come up for a few days beforehand.
"My favourite part is the cruise along the Esplanade.
"I call my car The Punisher Rat because she is punishing to drive."
Ms Radford is the secretary for her local club, Reef City Riding Custom, and was on the committee for the 24th Australian Street Rod Federation Nationals held at the Maryborough Showgrounds earlier this year.
Wide Bay's "strong car culture" helped attract the Australia-wide event which had 800 cars and 10,000 spectators.