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WMMR Presents: Preston's Ugliest Car Contest


It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And at WMMR's "Preston's Ugliest Car Contest" this past Friday, truer words were never spoken.

Ugliest Car Contest Hosts Preston Elliot makes some tough decisionsThe contest, which was held at the Sonic Drive-In on Ridge Pike in Limerick, featured several vehicles from all walks of life as well as burger specials and contests. Despite the title of the event, not all of the cars were necessarily eye sores. The famous Dodge Charger from "The Dukes of Hazzard" and it's foil, the Dodge Monaco State Police Car made an appearance. But in all actuality, these were more on display for show and are considered anything BUT ugly. A not too shabby '64 Chevrolet Bel Air also made its presence known.

But now onto the ugly.........

Russell Shipe of Trenton, NJ entered his 1925 Model T into the contest. According to Shipe, who also owns a '68 Ford Mustang, '69 Mustang,'74 Chevy Nova, and '78 Pontiac Firebird, the appearance of the car was an accident. "It's just something totally different, Shipe said. "I bought the car and didn't know what to do with it. So my wife and daughter painted it, put the Jersey Devil on it, put the pickup truck bed on the back, then the dummy and the skeleton." Shipe, who was also assisted by his friend Bob Martell, said it took "about a month and a half to get it together." 

left to right: Geoff Gallo and Jamie Newman show off the '92 Dodge Dakota for WMMR's Ugliest Car ContestJamie Newman and Geoff Gallo on the other hand, offered no misconceptions about their '92 Dodge Dakota (with a mileage of 225,000!) entry. "We wanted to make something ridiculously stupid looking looking," said Gallo. "So we just went with the cardboard and the wooden spoiler (on the back)." The two also engraved "WMMR Rocks" on the side cardboard panel of the Dakota as well.

WMMR "Morning Show with Preston and Steve" host Preston Elliot patrolled the Sonic parking lot looking over the vehicles and explained the impetus for the contest. "There was a guy who worked at this WaWa that I used to go to. He had this brown and orange Bonneville. This was a horrible car, but it had class. Instead of a hood ornament on the front of the car the guy had the top of a bowling trophy with the him actually bowling on it," laughs Elliot. "I thought it was the funniest thing, and it was awesome. (I thought) "There's gotta be more people out there who have a car that they've doctored up in their own way that we have to showcase. And sure enough, there are."

Shortly after the judging commenced, a winner was announced. And in a way, you might say it was an act of divine intervention. The Nun Runner, a 1963 Dodge Dart that was originally intended for the Vatican, was chosen as the ugliest car. After those plans fell through regarding the Vatican, the car was used instead as transportation for nuns. Tim Ryan of Burlington, NJ, found the car in Kentucky and started working on it in April. The Nun Runner was also featured on the Hot Rod Power Tour, which spanned from Wisconsin to New Jersey over ten days and 3,400 miles. Ryan, who works at Wicked Rides in Northeast Philadelphia, received $500 and free Sonic for a year. Something that he will probably need to share with his co-workers Newton Hall, Tim Binder, and Joe Welk, who were also in attendance. When asked shortly after he was presented the trophy how it felt to win the contest, Ryan simply replied "It's great. It feels great." Hall echoed the sentiment, stating that it was the first time they had entered any kind of contest.  The winners of the ugliest car contest.

I guess on this day, the first time was a charm. And beauty was indeed in the EYE of the beholders.

For all of Dennis Bakay's photos, click HERE: