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Approximately 30 - 40 cars showed up on Tuesday evening for the first Polaris Hilton cruise-in. Considering the colder than normal temperatures, this was an impressive start.

As you can see from the photos, the parking area is huge. It can easily support more than 100 vehicles. There's also plenty of room for canopies and lots of shade trees around the perimeter whenever the weather around here finally decides to warm up.

The N.S.R.A Safety Inspectors were available to anyone wishing to have their vehicle inspected.

The Hilton passed out coupons giving vehicle owners special pricing at The Bar@8700 inside the hotel.

My only complaint was the lack of music. Without it, the environment seemed a little sterile. Otherwise, this cruise-in shows a lot of potential. I can't say I'll make it every week, but I'll definitely show up to a few more before the summer ends.

I received an email this week about a new cruise-in starting up.

The cruise-in will be every Tuesday evening from 5 PM to 9 PM starting this coming Tuesday (May 21) and going through the end of September.

The location will be the large surface lot adjacent to the Columbus/Polaris Hilton Hotel. The lot has over 130 parking spaces. All vehicle owners will receive a coupon for discounted food options at the Hilton's bar @8700.

Click or tap image to enlarge

If you're into cruise-ins, there's now the Hilton on Tuesday, Wendell's Pub on Wednesday, and Der Dutchman on Thursday.

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For the second week in a row the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City, Ohio set an attendance record at its weekly cruise-in. 

This week 144 vehicles were registered during the evening.  Thirty-five of those vehicles were first time participants.

Here are some of the cars from this week's cruise-in:

First and sixth generation Camaros.

Dan Varner brought another one of his "Survivor" cars.  This time his 1968 Pontiac GTO.

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The third cruise-in of the season at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio set a new attendance record with 130 registered vehicles.

To handle all the cars, the inside of the horse pen was utilized for the overflow parking.Of the 130 cars that turned out on Thursday, 29 were first time visitors to the cruise-in.

One of those first time visitors was Dave Bratton with his 1937 Ford convertible. Dave is a regular participant in Central Ohio car shows.

Doug Leffel brought his 2018 Chrysler 300 "Hemi" this week instead of his Porsche.  The paint color on his car is called "Magnum Steel".  It can look black, gray, or dark blue depending on lighting. Continue reading

You couldn't ask for better weather to kick off the first Der Dutchman cruise-in of the season. The restaurant in Plain City, Ohio registered 90 vehicles during the evening.  Of the 90 that registered, 20 were participating in the cruise-in for the very first time.
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As the end of the year rapidly approaches, It's a good time to take a moment to look back at the 2017 car show season.  I had planned to write this year-end recap  back in November, but family commitments, Thanksgiving, my spouse convalescing from a total knee replacement, and updates to the website delayed this by a few weeks.

Now that things have started to settle down a bit, let's look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2017 season.

I managed to attend 80 events from January through November.  Of the 80 events, only six did I attend as a non-participant.

The list below reflects my opinion of the events I attended. In no way does it encompasses ALL the events that took place in Central Ohio during the season.  If you attended a show or cruise-in not on my list that you thought was exceptionally good or bad, please share it in the comments.  Feel free to also post a comment if you disagree with any of my choices.

Ok, so let's get started with the Good.

BEST REGISTRATION FEE CAR SHOWS:

  1. Champaign Cruisers 4th of July Car Show at Skelley's Lumbar Company in Urbana, Ohio.  You can tell the Cruisers have been doing this for 20 years.  The show is extremely well-organized. The club even goes as far as to mark off parking areas in the grass with spray paint.  There were plenty of food vendors,  nice door prizes, a unique venue, and great mix of vehicles from Ohio and Indiana.
  2. Vettes, Rods and Classic Car Show at the Creekside district in downtown Gahanna, Ohio.  Hosted by the Capital City Corvette Club, this show has grown steadily every year.  The Creekside district makes a unique venue for a car show.  There are plenty of restaurants in the district to meet most everyone's culinary tastes.  Judging is based on a point system, and awards are presented in two categories, one for the Corvettes and the other for the rods and classics.
  3. Cruisin' for a Cause at the Discover Church in Dublin, Ohio.  This show raises money for a different cause each year.  This year the cause was Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.  In addition to the cars, there's also a craft show and model car contest going on simultaneously.  Each year the show offers unique custom hand-made trophies.  All vehicles are thoroughly judged and awards are based on a point system.

Honorable Mention: The Purple Door Cruise In at the Grove City United Methodist Church, Spring Fling All Corvette Show at the Polaris Parkway Quaker Steak and Lube, and Cabela's Charity Car Show and Cruise In at the Cabela's store on Gemini Place in Columbus, Ohio.

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The Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio held the end-of-the-season cruise-in banquet on Thursday. More than 134 people signed up for the festivities.

For a little historical perspective, this marked the sixth year the restaurant has held a weekly cruise-in from May through September.  The very first cruise-in occurred on May 24, 2012.  A total of seven cars showed up for that first cruise-in. Boy have things come a long way since then.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Here are some of the highlights from this season...

  • The cruise-in reached 100 automobiles (104 to be exact) for the very first time on June 29. The 100 mark would be reached again on August 24 and September 28.
  • Bad weather affected five cruise-ins including the first week
  • Host, Wayne Nisely, missed his one and only cruise-in on June 22 because of a health issue.
  • Wayne celebrated his 79th birthday on July 27, however, the celebration had to be postponed to the following week because of bad weather
  • This season had 183 first-timers.  There were first-timers every week except for two of the rain outs
  •  327 people participated in at least one cruise-in this season
  • My  four-year old grandson recorded his first ever cruise-in

Der Dutchman presented everyone that registered for the banquet a beautiful plaque commemorating the season.

Of course, there had to be group photo of Wayne and the gang before the evening ended.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say a heart-felt thanks goes out to Wayne, his wife, Luella, Victor, Drew, and the Der Dutchman management for making this season the best one yet.

Next year's cruise-ins will kick-off on May 24, 2018.  I've already got it marked on my calendar. Can't wait for another great season.

Thursday evening the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio saw 101 vehicles turn out for their final cruise-in of the season.

This was the third time this year the cruise-in registered 100 or more automobiles.   What's interesting is  22 of those automobiles participated in the cruise-in for the very first time.

One of the highlights from the final cruise-in were the three Ford Victorias from the 50's that showed up.

Not very often a semi comes to a cruise-in or car show, but one joined the fun on Thursday.

Per usual, Wayne, Victor and Luella raffled off deserts and gift card at the end.

With this being the final cruise-in of the season and the count of cars reaching the century mark, the restaurant decided to raffle off a second gift card worth $100 to one lucky winner.

All in all, it was a great way to end the season.  I will surely miss my Thursday evening ride out to Der Dutchman and all the great friends I met over the summer.

Next Thursday is the banquet.  Look for a report and recap of the season next week.

I made the drive to Sunbury on Sunday morning to participate in the 28th Annual Sunbury Lions Club Country Cruise-In (formerly ASC Sunbury Relay for Life Country Cruise-In).

Although the weather was unusually warm for this time of year, no one complained too much.  We all understood there won't be many more warm and sunny days left in this year.

The Lions Club did something new this year that I think deserves comment.  They added three additional "Favorite" awards for vehicles 2000 and newer.  This brought the grand total of "Favorites"  to 73.

From what I understand, there were a few complaints last year about some of the newer cars receiving awards.  You can count my 2013 Camaro ZL1 convertible as one of those newer cars to receive a "Favorite" award at last year's show. Some felt the show was exclusively a "classic" car show, and as such, only classic vehicles should be eligible for an award.

I think any show intended for "classic" only cars should be up front about this in all advertising and marketing.  I have no issue with a show specifying that it's for cars of a certain age. On the other hand, understand that those of us with modern sport or muscle cars do enjoy showing off our vehicles too.  If we give up an afternoon and pay the registration fee to participate in a show, it's only fair that our vehicle be considered for award.  What is frustrating is a show that readily takes your money but has no intention of considering your car for an award.

With that said, I applaud the Lions Club for recognizing the newer cars.  This makes good business sense as it will expand the number of vehicles likely to participate in the show each year.  There's talk of increasing the number of 2000 and newer awards to five for next year's show.

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Update:  Maxton has posted their photos from the show to their Facebook page.

Great weather, great cars, and the country rock sounds of the band Jacked Up highlighted the final Jack Maxton Friday Night Cruisin' of the year.

The perfect car show weather brought out 191 Chevys for the final show. It also gave everyone the last opportunity of the season to purchase one of those great Maxton t-shirts.

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