I spent two long days at the Arthritis Foundation's 35th Annual Classic Auto Show & Cruise-in this weekend. By Saturday evening I was sunburned, exhausted, and just a little bit upset. Let me explain why.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Chevy Camaro. To honor 50 years of the Camaro, the show made the model one of the featured marques cars.
I saw more Camaros participate in this year's show than in the past four years primarily because of the marque designation. On Saturday 68 Camaros from all six generations competed in the class judging. The previous high had been 34 cars. Last year, for example, only 18 Camaros signed up for the Saturday portion of the show.
So why am I upset? Well, here's why:
- While the judges managed to give out 14 six-footers to Corvettes and 11 six-footers to Mustangs, only ONE Camaro, a yellow 2nd gen, received a six-foot trophy on Friday night.
- Despite 18 cars in the Camaro 2009 and up sub-class, there was no first place award plaque for the sub-class on Saturday. When I asked one of the judges which car received the first place award, he told me they "screwed up" and didn't have an award plaque for the sub-class. He couldn't even tell me which car received the most points because the scoring sheets were left at the show headquarters. So basically myself and the 17 other 5th and 6th generation Camaro owners spent the morning cleaning ours cars for no reason. Thanks Arthritis Foundation for waisting everyone's time!
- While the Corvettes and Mustangs got their own parking areas for Saturday's judging well away from the food vendors, the Camaros were stuck in close proximity to the food trucks. By Saturday afternoon everyone's Camaro was speckled with cooking grease!
If this is how the Camaro is treated as a featured marque class, I hate to see its treatment next year when it returns back to a regular class.
I threaten every year that the Friday show will be my last. It's too long, the entry fee is too costly, the judging favors the Corvettes and Mustangs, and the parking can be a real pain in the butt, especially when it's time to leave. But after what happened this weekend, this may well be my last Arthritis show ever.
Ok, now that I've got my rant out-of-the-way, let's talk about the rest of the show.
As predicted, the Arthritis show being held on a different weekend from Goodguys had a significant effect on participation. There were 200 more pre-registrations this year than in previous years. On Friday 180 more vehicles registered at the gate giving a grand total of 1110 registered automobiles for the day.
There were a few more food and product vendors than in previous years but not an earth shattering amount. For a show of this size, the number of product vendors is very small. And I would say a third of those vendors are selling products unrelated to automobiles.
Mike Albert and his Ultimate Elvis Tribute provided the entertainment Friday evening while Phil Dirt & the Dozers continued to be the Saturday act.
One of the show attractions this year was the Vintage Luxury Automobile tent. I'm always impressed at the beauty and craftsmanship of cars from this era.
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The Six Footers
It was impossible to get a photo of all of Friday's six-foot winners, but I did manage to capture a good cross-section.
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Friday Night's Best of Show
The 1933 Ford 2 Door coupe owned by Jack McDermott of Lucasville, OH won Friday night's "Best of Show" award.
Henry Spohn Award
This year started a new award in memory of Henry Spohn. Many of you probably knew Henry and his green 1970 Chevy Chevelle. He was a regular on the central Ohio car show scene. For more than 20 years Henry never missed a Jack Maxton Friday Night Cruise-in. Sadly, Henry passed away in December. His daughter, Amber, showed his car on Friday. Our good friend Russ Annis knew Henry well and was honored to receive the very first Henry Spohn Award for his 1967 Chevelle.
Grand Sport Tribute Corvette
One of the more interesting cars of the show was the blue and yellow 2017 Grand Sport Corvette of Jeremy Welborn. When I first saw the car, I immediately thought it must be owned by some die hard fan of that team up north. But Jeremy is from Lawton, OK and has no affiliation with that school up north. His Corvette is in fact a tribute to the 1963 Grand Sport of Roger Penske that was painted in the blue and yellow colors of Sunoco, the car's major sponsor. Jeremy and his son DROVE the car all the way from Oklahoma to attend the Arthritis show. It was selected the overall Corvette class winner on Saturday.
I've already discussed much of what went on Saturday. After walking almost 19,000 steps on Friday, I spent most of the day hanging out in the Camaro area. I did take a few minutes to pop over to the Italian Marque class to see the Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
This Rolls Royce convertible was brought over to the show by the Toy Barn and wasn't entered in the show. If I ever go back to driving a convertible again, this is the one I want.
Returning back to the Camaro area, the 5th gen Camaro of Paul Cook from Hilliard, Ohio customized to look like the Firebird Trans Am from the Smokey and the Bandit movies turned a lot of heads.
The 1998 Z-28 of Mike Arn from Reynoldsburg, Ohio was the overall Camaro class winner. I reported on Mike's car back in February at the Summit Racing indoor car show. His car has one of the best paint finishes I've ever seen, and he does all the detailing himself. Congrats Mike!
Despite the treatment of the Camaros, the show was well organized overall. I'm always impressed that the organizers are able to pass out over 100 awards in under an hour. Some other shows need to take a lesson from the Arthritis Foundation.
Clearly, the show benefitted from being held on a different weekend from Goodguys. Whether I return next year for one or both days will depend on how long I stay miffed about the Camaro treatment.
Next week's shows and cruise-ins will be posted on Tuesday. Until next time, I hope to see everyone out there cruising.