STEVENSVILLE — Steve Roberson was grinning from ear to ear as he stood next to the six-foot-tall trophy that he recently brought home from the annual Cruisin’ Ocean City auto show.

Next to the trophy was the vehicle that earned it — a meticulously restored 1971 Chevrolet Nova that won a best in show award during the four-day event in May. According to the Cruisin’ Ocean City web site, over 500 winners were selected by “various businesses, town representatives, community leaders, event sponsors” and others.

Nearly two dozen vendors go through the parking lots looking at the various vehicles and choose winners, according to Roberson. In his case, Optima Battery picked his car as one of the winners in the muscle car category.

“It’s quite an honor to be picked,” he said. Roberson described muscle cars as the “cars we grew up with,” and said they have been a hobby of his for many years.

There were close to 3,500 vehicles taking part in the 26th annual Cruisin’ Ocean City event, belonging to folks from 20 states and Canada, according to the organization’s web site. A high point of the show is a parade featuring the vehicles along the Ocean City boardwalk.

When Roberson acquired his Nova “six or seven years ago,” it was in pretty good shape, but it needed a new roof, he said. So the entire roof was removed and replaced and it’s impossible to see where the new joins with the old. He and his wife Linda have taken it to a number of shows and parades in the region, including ones in Ridgely and Easton as well as Ocean City. They also participated with it in a show in Cruisin’ the Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. It has won a number of trophies in previous shows, he said, displaying the various trophies.

There isn’t a blemish to be seen anywhere on the body, which is silver with a dark gray racing stripe. The motor is so spotless — clean enough to eat off of. He says he uses special products in maintaining it and often wipes it down.

“I drive it around a lot. I like to drive it around,” he said, adding that he is careful where he parks so it doesn’t get any dings in the body.

Roberson, who is a Queenstown-based plumber, said he is currently working on another muscle car — a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle. He is planning a total restoration of the vehicle. “I always wanted a 67 Chevelle,” he said.

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