By Morgan Bryce
Members of the Low and Slow Cruisers Club, a vintage car club in Opelika, met in the parking lot of Lowe’s Monday morning to prepare for their drive to the Food Bank of East Alabama in Auburn. The collection of cars, ranging from a 1947 Chevrolet pickup truck to a 1968 Pontiac Firebird, drove in caravan-like fashion to take a donation of water to the Food Bank of East Alabama.
The donation, with help from W.F. Burns School in Valley, totaled 60 cases of water. This effort is just one of the ways the club tries to give back to the community.
“We always try to give back to the community. We know that water is something people need, so through donations and our club member’s generosity, we were able to put this donation together,” Marshall Carter, club president and crew chief, said.
The Low and Slow Cruisers Club was founded in 2010 by Marshall and several other car enthusiasts, whose lifelong passion has been vintage cars.
“My daddy had old cars, and when I got to be seven or eight, I’d take them out and drive them when he wasn’t home,” Marshall said. “I enjoyed not only driving but looking at the engine and doing repairs. I grew up loving everything about cars.”
Through the years, Marshall’s passion for cars grew more and more, and after attending a car show in 2000, the idea crossed he and other’s friends minds of starting a new car club.
“In order to start a successful car club, you have to have people who love old cars and love the fellowship of being in a club like ours,” Marshall said. “Without those two things, you can’t make a club like ours work.”
Having only eight members initially, the Low and Slow Cruisers club now boasts more than 30 members, which Marshall attributes to word of mouth and the club’s participation at various car shows all across the area.
“It seemed like every month, I’d have someone calling me up wanting to join. We’ve seen steady growth in our membership ever since we started,” Marshall said.
Ida Carter, Marshall’s wife and club member, said she feels the club’s growth can be tied to other factors too.
“It’s a special group of people, and going to these events for me is not just about cars, it’s about the fellowship,” Ida said. “It’s a group of people who not only love cars, but love people, and want to help the community in any way they can.”
During the past six years, the club has been involved in a number of charitable events that help out the community, such as driving their cars in support of Spring Villa’s Autism Drive, or taking their cars for display at different nursing homes in the area, to, in Marshall’s words, “lift their spirits a bit.”
The club’s generosity isn’t extended just to the community, as the Carters themselves received a surprise gift at last year’s club Christmas party.
“We have a daughter with MS who loves to ride with my wife to the shows, and she could at times of year when it wasn’t so hot,” Marshall said. “My wife’s car, a Ford Galaxie 500, wasn’t equipped with an air conditioning unit, so the guys pitched in and bought us one for her car. That spoke to me and reminded me that this club is full of great, caring people who not only look out for their community, but for the others in the group too.”
Ben Bass, who has been a member of the Low and Slow Cruisers since 2014, said he feels right at home in the group.
“I love being a part of the club because I think me and all the guys are on the same page when it comes to giving back to the community, because this area means so much to us,” Bass said. “Also, this group loves their cars. Cars have been my passion all my life, and I don’t spend time hunting, fishing or gambling because I’m all about old cars.”
When asked about the future of the club, Marshall’s plans are pretty simple.
“My goals for our club is to keep growing, and most importantly, keep giving.