Construction of a sea lions habitat at the Columbus Zoo moved the 11th Annual Colo's Classic Car Show from Jungle Jacks Landing to the main parking lot.
This was my third time participating in Colo's Classic. The first two were inside the zoo. I must say that I preferred the parking lot over Jungle Jacks Landing.
In my review of last year's show, I complained that it took more than 30 minutes to get inside the zoo, and that cars were packed in like sardines in a can. And in the process of parking my car, I inadvertently ran over someone's cooler.
There was none of that this year. I waited less than 10 minutes to enter the show area. The parking lot allowed plenty of space between cars so no one had to worry about door dings or running over something. It also afforded plenty of room for canopies. You could even save a spot for a buddy if needed.
Now some will argue that there were no shade trees and that the black top was hot. I'll grant them those complaints. But I'll argue that it's rare for temperatures to be in the upper 80's the first week of October. The easy access and ample parking far out weighed the lack of shade, in my opinion.
Colo's Classic is always the last event of the season for Dan "Boots" Longenette and the Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride series of car shows.
For the the first time in the 11 year history of the show, Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Zoo, made an appearance.
I wasn't able to get an "official" count on the number of registered cars. Estimates had it somewhere between 800 and 900 vehicles. Clearly attendance was down from the record setting 1500 plus cars last year. It's quite possible the ambiance of the parking lot didn't appeal to a lot of people.
Once again the show attracted a fantastic collection of automobiles, many of which, did not arrive under their own power.
As with any show of this size, there's also the unique and unusual.
The Zoo presented 20 award plaques for cars '78 and above, "Top 50" plaques for '77 and below, 12 Auto Smarts awards, and 11 "Special" trophies.
Here's are some of the '78 and above winners:
"Top 50" Winners:
Included with each trophy was a $50 JEGS gift card, a $25 Roosters gift card, and a 12 pack of Pepsi.
1929 Ford Roadster Pickup - Owner: John Badell
1972 Honda Z600 - Owner: Karen Joseph
1961 Volkswagon Bug - Dick Rashman
Dave Kindig's Pick / Best of Show
1966 Dodge Charger - Owner: John McConnell / Garret's Rod Shop
Others may disagree, but I felt holding the show in the main parking lot was a definite improvement. I hope future Colo's Classics stay out there and don't go back inside the Zoo.
I was a bit disappointed at the Kindig Pick/Best of Show selection. Don't get me wrong, it is an awesome, awesome car. And Dave Kindig has every right to pick any car he chooses. This is America after all. My beef is the car far out classed anything else in the show by a wide, wide margin. I was told the build cost was in the $650,000 range. The wheels alone were $20 grand. There's not many car owners with those kind of resources to throw into a car. I can see bringing the car out for an exhibition, but to have it compete with the rest of the cars in this show seemed a bit over the top to me.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Reports from Other Shows/Cruise-ins
After setting an all-time attendance record on September 20, the weather gods decided to punish Der Dutchman with rain for the last two cruise-ins of the season.
Only 34 cars showed up last Thursday for the final cruise-in of the season.
Despite the weather challenges, the cruise-in broke all sorts of attendance records this year, and cemented itself as the premiere cruise-in in Central Ohio.
I received info that Tolles in Plain City, Ohio registered 70 cars on Saturday for it's second annual car show.
Over in Croton, Ohio, the third annual Make It Fit For Autism Cruise-in held at the Hartford Fairgrounds had a little over 100 cars participate in this year's show.
I'll finish up this week's report with some of the cars from the Pumpkin Run Nationals held at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville, Ohio. I know a number of people from the Central Ohio area who drive down every year to participate in this event.