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First Coast Gears: Boy Scout Troop 50 combines a love of cars with fundraising

6:54 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Boy Scout Troop 50 held its second annual car and bike show thanks in part to a sponsorship from O'Reilly Auto Parts on Sunbeam Road in Mandarin last Saturday.

For Troop 50 Senior Assistant Patrol Leader Shawn Hamilton, there was no question about his favorite car on display.  He quickly focused in on Marty Schaefer's 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

"It has an excellent paint job. Plus it has five TVs in the whole car and it has an amazing audio system," said Hamilton. In addition to the monitors Hamilton saw, the PT has a sixth monitor back in the rear hatch area in between the subwoofers.

The candy apple red paint with a silver metallic base coat was done by Mad Skills Customs in Orange Park.

Owner Marty Schaefer said the paint took three months to complete. The First Coast PT Cruisers and First Coast Car Council member was honored that his PT caught Hamilton's eye.

"I do a lot of cruise-in car shows and the kids love this car. I let them sit in it, take pictures, whatever they want to do. It's all about the kids. If I can influence him (Shawn Hamilton) to be a better person by seeing something that he could do, I'm all for it." said Schaefer.

The PT's audio/video sound system that Hamilton mentioned has alpine stereo amplifiers and speakers along with a JVC head unit. "The whole system is tuned at 65 hertz so it's very clean and very loud," said Schaefer.

If the music and video monitors don't catch your eye, the LED lighting will. "There's LEDs everywhere: underneath, in the roof, in the doors and they're all red to match the paint job," Schaefer said.

The retro styled PT Cruiser was a big hit for Chrysler with more than 1.3 million built between 2000 and 2010, according to motorauthority.com.  The PT was originally conceived as a Plymouth but debuted as a Chrysler in anticipation of Plymouth's demise.

Saying "I'm pretty much loving every car here," Hamilton points out the show's proceeds will help the troop members pay for summer camp, campouts and supplies.  

More than a dozen trophies made by the scouts were given out at the show. Thanks to the custom woodworking involved, the trophies will likely be cherished by the winners for years to come. 

Troop 50 Scoutmaster Tim Simmons emphasized the work the boys put into the trophies. Troop 159 Scoutmaster Jim Hume also lended an assist by providing some of the woodworking equipment used to complete the project. 

"Our troop pretty much collectively put it (the show) together.  Mr. Tim, our troop leader, he talked to O'Reilly Auto Parts and got that situated that we could do it here.  But it's mainly the whole troop, kids and all, we all put this together," said Hamilton.

The work and planning Troop 50 put into it's second annual show was evident from the signs to the food, to the trophies, to the quality of the vehicles on display from various car clubs, including the First Coast Car Council.  O'Reilly Auto Parts was so pleased that its already invited the troop to come back again next year.

Troop 50 meets at Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Lake House. If you'd like to learn more about Troop 50 visit http://www.troop50jax.org.

You can also learn more about First Coast area scouting by visiting the Boy Scouts of America North Florida Council website at http://nfcscouting.org.

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