Donna Blaney has gotten used to the reaction she gets from men when they see her behind the wheel of her 1935 Chevy.

"They have this look like 'That's a girl driving that car,'" she said with a laugh. "That's right, a girl is driving that car."

Blaney, 41, of Glenwood, Md., is in York showing off her fuchsia-colored car for the 41st annual Street Rod Nationals East Plus event, being held from Friday to Sunday by the National Street Rod Association.

Altogether, at least 4,000 street rods, customs, muscle cars and street machines will be displayed at the York Expo Center this weekend.

The kickoff was Thursday at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center in West Manchester Township.

'Empowering': Blaney, a Stewartstown native, said she bought her car two years ago and has been making some adjustments to fit her style. She said that working on the car has helped her develop a close bond with her father, Don Matthews, a Stewartstown resident who has been showing cars in the annual Street Rod Nationals for more than 35 years.

Blaney said she is the first female member of the local White Rose Street Rod Association and is excited that she now is showing her own car at the street rod event, rather than being a spectator.

"(Women are) definitely a minority in this industry," she said. "I'd like to inspire young ladies to get involved, let them know they can do stuff like this. That's empowering them, so that's important to me."

Dream car: For Dale Newcomer, 68, of Warrington Township, participating in the street rod event means showing off his high school dream. Newcomer has had his Ford 1930 Model A Coupe since 1985.

"It was a high school dream to have a car like this," he said. "I started buying parts before I bought the car because I knew what I wanted. There's a lot of Corvette parts in this car."

Mark Ketterman, 57, of York brought his 1937 Chrysler Imperial, in Mazda Micro Red color, to the event. He said he purchased the vehicle in 2010.

PURCHASE THESE PHOTOS RANDY FLAUM PHOTOS

Ketterman said he has been a long-time Street Rod Nationals attendee as a spectator and a participant.

"I like to see all the different kinds of cars, and I like meeting people and seeing where they are from," he said.

Tom Macc, 70, said he's been working on old cars since he was 17. For this year's street rod event, he's showing off his "blazing copper"-colored 1968 Camaro.

Macc, of Toms River, N.J., said he hopes spectators will not only enjoy seeing the cars but take time to learn about the vehicles.

"I hope (spectators) learn about the workmanship that goes into these old cars," he said. "It's a lot of hard work, but you get to really love doing it."

If you go

The public can attend the Street Rod Nationals East Plus event Friday through Sunday at the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave. in West Manchester Township.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. At 11 a.m. Friday, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil the new Hot Rods Forever Stamps, which feature images of two 1932 Ford Deuce roadsters, at the York Expo Center.

The street rod parade is at noon Friday starting from the expo center's Market Street gate, continuing to downtown York and looping back to the fairgrounds.

The street rod event also will host the Pinstripe Jamboree & Charity Auction to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia Inc.

The Street Rod Nationals admission is $15 for adults ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under can get in free. Discount tickets are available for seniors ages 60 and older, military personnel, National Street Rod Association members and United Parcel Service employees. All must bring proper identification or membership cards.

For information, call (888) 858-9675 or view the event's online information at www.yorkpa.org.

— Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.