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Cars Leave Autism Show Before Awards Ceremony

The All About Autism Car Show at Quaker Steak and Lube on Polaris Parkway originally scheduled for Saturday was changed to Sunday because of the weather.

It's always tough to write a negative review but Sunday's All About Autism show will not make my list of favorite shows this season.  Myself and an estimated third of the 123 vehicles that registered for the show left well before the awards ceremony.  I know the money went for a good cause, but I still expect better from a $20 registration fee. And here's why...

  1. "Peoples Choice" judging.  If you've read any of my prior posts, you know I dislike this method of judging.  It turns judging into a popularity contest rather than based on the merits and appeal of the vehicle. I don't understand why organizers can't find four or five volunteers to walk around the show and pick their favorite cars.  They don't have to be car experts, although that would certainly be a plus.  Anything is better than peoples choice judging, in my opinion.
  2. Lack of security surrounding the ballots.  They were just sitting in a stack on the registration table. Anyone could come up, grab a handful and write-in their car in the first place spot on each ballot.
  3. Timing of the awards ceremony.  The show was advertised from 11 AM to 5 PM.  The silent auction didn't start until after 3 PM.  It was still going on at 4:30 PM with no indication of finishing anytime soon.  I would guess more than a third of the cars had left by then. I had a commitment after 5 PM  and couldn't stay any longer.  I had been there since 10 AM which made for a long day!

This is the first time I've ever left a show before it was over. I couldn't help but feel a little ripped off as I drove away.  I left feeling the cars were just a minor component of the show instead of a feature.

Car shows are supposed to be fun. Unless you hung out at the bar all afternoon drinking, the fun factor for this show was pretty low, at least it was for me. That's a shame since the show attracted some really nice vehicles.

If you attended this show, please let me know what you thought about it in the comment section. I'm curious to know if my perception is off-base.



Once again the weather played havoc with the schedule of events for the week. Jack Maxton postponed their Friday Night Cruisin' to the following Friday (August 24). As reported, the All About Autism show was moved from Saturday to Sunday.

Events that stuck with their regular schedule saw attendance drops because of the weather.  Hardest hit was Der Dutchman which only had 24 vehicles make it out on Thursday.  A far cry from the attendance figures the previous weeks.

The Founders Day Car Show associated with Uptown Friday in Marysville, Ohio had 41 cars on Friday evening.  Last year the show registered more than 70 vehicles.

Two shows that weren't too bothered by the weather were Cruise the Ville at the Park of Roses and Jax Wax.  I received a report that Cruise the Ville had more than 200 vehicles, while Jax Wax registered 187 cars.

I'll close this week's report with a collection of photos from the Jax Wax show (thanks Jeff Shankle!).

8 thoughts on “Cars Leave Autism Show Before Awards Ceremony

  1. Al Powell

    I’m with you on Quaker Steak and Lube. I refuse to go to ANY show there anymore. I used to go to bike night and the ‘parking attendants’ were an unnecessary, uneducated menace. The car shows they sponsor always end up divided due to space and the main lot has to pay the registration fee because of the forced bottleneck but the other side can come and go for free. The registration fees for any show there are always insane and 9 times out of 10 the shows have low attendance and are not very good. Oh, and the shows are TOO LONG. 7 hours for a car show?!?! I wouldn’t spend that much time at SEMA. I think the venue is trying to cover lunch and dinner rather than put on a good gathering. Unless you’re a day drinker or like crap food, the QS&L has been exhausted as a gathering place methinks.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Good point about trying to cover lunch and dinner. Hadn't thought about that.

      The All About Autism show didn't collect the registration fee as you entered the parking area, which I thought unusual. I noticed quite a few cars that didn't register. There was also a fair number of vehicles For Sale. The show almost bordered on being a swap meet.

    2. mark mitchell

      In defense of Quaker Steak
      I have only attended one show at Quaker Steak, It was this past late June or early July. The event was sponsored by a corvette club. Close to 120 cars attended, which I would not consider "low attendance". It was well organized and awards were near the the time posted as 4:00. I arrived just after 11:00 and left after awards about 4:30ish. I believe any problems you experienced was on the part of the organizers not Quaker Steak, and this may be due to the fact some volunteers may not have been able to change their plans from the original Saturday to the delayed Sunday show times. I chose not to go to the Autism show mainly because of the 5:00 awards time on a Sunday! (NOTE to the Buckeye Ranch organizers!) but also peoples favorite judging. I go for the charity and not the awards, but I like to stick around and see if I agree with the picks.
      I instead chose the Aladdin Shrine show in Grove City - well organized and enjoyable, but I only saw one judge and 30 awards for 120 plus cars. I saw a few cars go away without an award I sure would have picked! -- perhaps more awards and judges in the future. It ended near the posted time of 4:00. I arrived about 11:30 and left about 4:30.

      Quaker Steak has another car show organized by the Parkinson foundation Saturday 8/25. Registration until 12:00 and Awards at 3. Not that long !

      I also hosted a meet for my model of car owners at Quaker Steak this past July. Besides two locals including myself, over 11 cars show up from Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati, Cuyahoga Falls and Dayton. The staff at Quaker steak were very accommodating and everyone enjoyed themselves.

      Again I think the problems were due to the organizer of the car show not Quaker Steak. And his problems may be due to the fact he changed the date and lost some volunteers. I can't speak for bike night, I have never been there.

      1. Kim Hawksworth

        It certainly was not my intention to come across as criticizing Quaker Steak. I have no issues with the restaurant. My beef is exclusively with the organizers of the show. A $20 registration fee is on the higher end of what most shows charge. For that amount, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the cars to be independently judged. And by independently judged, I mean somebody walks around and looks at the cars. It doesn't require examining every knook and cranny on the vehicle. For length of the Autism show on Sunday, a two person team could have easily looked at every car in an hour and a half, two hours top. Heck, I took photos of every car in the show that afternoon. It wouldn't have been hard to narrow the field down to those cars that were worthy of an award.

        What "peoples choice" judging does is turn the show into a popularity contest. Those that came with a group of buddies have a greater chance of getting an award versus someone that came by themselves. If you're going to use "peoples choice" judging be up front about it and include it in the description of the show. I, and I think a lot of other car owners, were blind sided by the "peoples choice" judging. I certainly would have considered another show if I knew it was that kind of judging before hand.

        I know the money went to a good cause and that's what's important. But I still feel a little "ripped off" by the event. I certainly will think twice about participating in the show next year.

  2. arch mayer

    i attended the qsl show that sunday and as kim noted there were some things about the show that I didn't care for myself. in the end as everybody has stated its all about the cause but you still need to get there the right way. a few of the things that irritated myself were the fact that I didn't hear it was a participant vote until almost two hours after it started meaning most likely a lot of the people never even filled out a voting sheet at all. and like most people I don't think show participant voting is fair or should be used. the second thing that irritated me was the way the auction was handled. they made everybody wait around till after the auction to get awards. I don't feel this is needed. if you are a car show participant and you want to stay for the auction you should have that choice. I think the awards should be given out then end the show with the auction. this way people that don't want to spend their whole day at the show can leave or can stay. like kim noted by the time they got around to the awards half the cars had left. overall it was a pretty good turnout and there were some really nice cars and I think they raised quite a bit for the cause. that's the important part. I think with a few tweaks and better organization this could be a really great show and fund raising event. just my opinion.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      I agree the auction should have been held after the awards ceremony. Cars left the show either way so in reality only those interested in participating in the action remained.

      Speaking of participation voting, I participated in two smaller shows this weekend and both managed to find the personnel and time to throughly judge the cars. If they can do it, there's no excuse other shows can't do to it.


    I agree with about everything said, and especially ( PARTICPANT JUDGEING).
    Our club will not attend any shows that we know of that does that type of judgeing. Also another big gripe of ours is that when trophies are awarded
    they will award more than one trophy to a participant. ( THAT REALLY PISSES US OFF ). Why would organizers give more than one trophy to a participant ? It is really asnine and stupid to make ( ONE ) person feel really good to receive TWO trophies, and ( PISS OFF ) a HUNDRED or more particpants that will not come back the next time And one last thing, when any judgeing is really being done, the judges should look at every registered car there. After all, the participant has paid the ( REGISTERATION FEE ) so their car deserves be at least LOOKED at even if the judges don't like it. After all, you don't know who is watching or owns that car. Sincerely The GAS GUZZLERS car club.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thanks Jim, I think your comments are spot on, especially the part about the the judges looking at every registered car. I can't tell you how many shows I've been to where the judges walked right past my car because it's new. If my car isn't a favorite of the judges, I'm OK with that as long as they at least looked at the car.

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