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Central Ohio Car Shows, Cruise-Ins, and Meet-Ups Recap of the 2022 Season

It's that time of the year when the weather turns cold, the cars are put away for the winter, and we impatiently sit and wait for the next car show season to start. Reminiscing about the season that just finished is a great way to pass some of the time.

Before we begin our journey back through 2022, I must state the usual disclaimer that the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. They reflect the events I attended and the cars I saw in 2022. If you disagree with anything I post, please feel to express them in the comments section. If you encountered something particularly good or bad during the past season, please post that in the comment section as well.

With that out of the way, let's begin the journey back through 2022.

Some Statistics:

  • More than 6000 photos of your cars, trucks, and motorcycles were posted to in 2022.
  • From March through November, listed 995 events in the Central Ohio area which includes Marion on the north, Springfield on the west, Chillicothe on the south, and Newark on the east as boundaries.
  • August had the most events with 232. November had the least with 18.
  • I personally traveled to 21 different locations to participate in a car event. Der Dutchman in Bellville and the Historic Clifton Mill were the two farthest. Both exceeded 50 miles.
  • There were 116,175 visits to from March through October. The week of August 22-28 had the most visits with 4845. It kind of goes along with August having the most events.

I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for supporting in 2022. It was the best year yet for the website.

Favorite Cruise-Ins/Meet-ups:

  • Der Dutchman Cruise-In - I doubt anyone will argue that the weekly cruise-in at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio isn't the best cruise-in in all of Central Ohio. This year 5449 cars attended the cruise-in from May through September. The weekly average of 259 vehicles was an all-time record. Wayne and Luella Nisly along with the restaurant staff do a great job of making the cruise-in a fun and relaxing way to spend a Thursday evening during the summer.
  • Columbus Cars and Coffee Arena District Meet - There's something about seeing hundreds of classic, exotic, and muscle cars lined up in front of Nationwide Arena. This turns out to be my favorite Columbus Cars and Coffee meet each season. I got so carried away this year that I took close to 300 photos - most of any event.
  • Jax Wax Street Madness - I didn't go to the two meet-ups this year, however, those that did go reported that the "Street Madness" name is by far the best description for the event. It's crazy and loud! The event has gotten so big the fall/Halloween meet moved from the airport to National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. How you feel about the event will likely depend on your age. If you're under 40, you'll love it. Over 40 and you'll probably never go to another one again.
  • Goodguys After Hours at the Crown Plaza, Hilton, and Quaker Steak and Lube - No discussion of cruise-ins/meet-ups would be complete without mentioning the after-hours gathering at these three locations during Goodguys weekend. There's definitely a party atmosphere at the Crown Plaza. The Hilton is a little more subdued and Quaker Steak and lube is just plain madness.

Favorite NO Registration Fee Judged Shows:

  • Rod Knockers Car Club - The club's monthly show at the Rural King in Marion, Ohio continues to be the king of this category. If there's decent weather on the first Saturday of the month from April through October, you can expect well over 100 cars in attendance The club presents around 30 awards each month that always represent a different theme. There are door prizes and 50/50 raffles and music from the 50s/60s along with classic rock. You owe yourself to attend at least one Rod Knockers show during the season. It will only cost you the gas to get to Marion and back.
  • Cruisin' with the King in 2022 - Runner-up in this category is the monthly show hosted by the Mid Ohio Cruisers Car Club at the Burger King on Rt 31 in Marysville, Ohio. On a good Saturday, attendance will push the 100 mark. At the end of the show, awards are presented to the club's "Favorite" 15 cars, trucks, and motorcycles. There are door prizes and 50/50 raffles and music from the 50s and 60s. And if you're hungry, there's Burger King right there.
  • Summer Jubilee Car Show - Kuhlwein's Farm Market & Deli and the Vienna Door Company sponsored a registration-free judged show this summer at Kuhlwein's Farm Market in Hilliard, Ohio. With assistance from the Empty Pockets Cruisers Car Club, the event attracted 117 cars. Twenty-four awards were presented at the end of the show. Live entertainment was provided by Madeline Rose and the Thorns. There were several food trucks on site. However, the big hit was the free bratwurst sandwiches given out by Lehnerts Meats. I'm told by reliable sources Kulwein's and the Vienna Door Company plan to sponsor more shows like this in 2023.

Favorite Registration Fee Judged Shows:

This was a tough category for me to pick this year. As I looked back over the year, there were a lot of good shows in this category.

  • Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals - Obviously Goodguys has to be included at the top of this list. It is the largest and most prestigious show in the area. We are blessed to have an event like this to look forward to every year. Receiving an All-American Sunday Award with my Camaro made this year's event even more special.
  • Empty Pockets Cruisers Trunk or Treat - This show makes my Favorite list year after year. It seems to bring out the Halloween spirit in everyone that attends. More folks dress up in costumes and decorate cars than any other Trunk or Treat show in the area. The volume of children trick or treating is also impressive. This year my 350-piece bag of candy was emptied in record-setting time.
  • Vettes, Rods, and Classics - This is another show that ranks at the top of my list every year. The Capital City Corvette Club does a great job as a host. Creekside in Gahanna, Ohio is a cool venue for a car show. There are a lot of places to sit and eat. The club presents 80 plus awards. I like that the Corvettes and rods and classics are judged independently of each other and that each category has its own Best of Show winner. This year saw the return of the band Reelin' In The Years for live entertainment. The Capital City Corvette Club can chalk up another successful show with lots of great cars.
  • Spring Fling All Corvette Show - After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, the Spring Fling All Corvette show returned to Quaker Steak and Lube in Columbus, Ohio this past May. Hosted by the Chosen Few Corvette Club, the show attracts Corvette owners and clubs from all over the country. This year the show registered more than 300 Corvettes and presented 130 awards. If you own a Corvette, this is a show you'll want to attend.
  • Auto Smarts Radio/C-Town Cruisers - I would be remiss if I didn't mention Boots and Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride and Big Dawg and the C-Town Cruisers. Those two groups were involved in 50 Central Ohio car events in 2022. Add in the new kid on the block, Frank Russell, and Crossroad Events, and you have over 60 shows hosted by those three groups. Having 60 additional shows to choose from each season is a massive bonus for our area. I'm told it's unique to Central Ohio.

Favorite Ten:

Each year I pick my 10 favorite cars, trucks, and motorcycles I saw during the season. I try to limit the picks from Goodguys since one could easily select all ten from there. This year my favorite 10 only includes one car from Goodguys. The rest were all from local shows and cruise-ins.

Without further ado, here are my ten favorites in no particular order.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 - Owner: Aaron Denny (Summer Jubilee)
1966 Corvette Stingray Restomod with GM LT5 engine - Owner: Michels Auto Design (Goodguys)
1968 Chevy Camaro - Owner: Scott Mayo (Arthritis Show)
1957 Porsche Speedster - Owner: Laurie Hartley (Battle of the Brands)
1959 Ford F-100 - Owner: Kristin Finnerty (Battle of the Brands)
1966 Internation Scout - Owner: Unknown (Powell Cruize-in and Pig out)
2011 Harley Davidson Street Glide - Owner: Coryell Stephenson (Performance Charity Car Show)
2022 Yenko/SC Chevy Camaro - Owner: Bill Reno (Der Dutchman)
1934 Packard - Owner: Ray Gosnell (Vettes, Rods, and Classics)
1991 Chevy Camaro Z/28-1LE - Owner: Dan Varner (Chesrown Classic Cruise-In)

The Unusual, Unique, and Odd:

Each year vehicles show up at shows and cruise-ins that some might describe as unusual or unique while others call them odd. Here are some of the vehicles in 2022 that fit those descriptions.


This year we lost a number of fellow Central Ohio cruisers. They will all be missed.

Cruisers of the Year:

  • This year's Cruiser of the Year Award goes to Jeff Tolley. Jeff participated in more than 170 events this season. And I thought my 80 was pretty good.
  • Runner-up Cruisers of the Year goes to Jeff Shankle and Dave O'Brien. Both attended just under 160 events. Jeff also receives Photographer of the Year. It wasn't even a contest.

Other Notables:

  • Best Restrooms - Delaware Christian Church
  • Best Hamburger - Tolles Car and Craft Show
  • Best "Live" Entertainment - Vettes, Rods, & Classics
  • Worst Weather - The thunderstorms that roared through Central Ohio on July 23rd
  • Best Door Prize - The bottle of booze that was part of the grand prize basket at Richwood Bank's Coffee and Cars.
  • Tallest Best of Show trophy - Still Electric Mods, Rods, & Classic Car Show and Auto Smarts Radio Westerville Moose Lodge Car Show
  • Most expensive collection of cars at an event not counting Goodguys - $20 million plus at the Unveiling of the Triple F Collection's newest supercar

Final Thoughts on 2022:

I want to thank all those who shared photos and information from events I wasn't able to attend. A special thanks goes to regular contributors Jeff Shankle, Dale Pearce, and Dave Bratton. Their weekly contributions helped reach a whole new level this year.

I'm going to take a few months off. I'll be back in February with the first edition of Save the Dates for 2023. The weekly list of events will resume again in April.

I wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday Season. I'll be leaving for my winter home the day after Christmas.

I'm going to end the year with the final lines from Ohio State University's Alma Mater:

The seasons pass the years will roll
Time and change will surely show
How firm thy friendship...OHIO!

The same can be said about a season of car shows. The friendships we make and the experiences we share with each other will roll on long after the season ends.

This slideshow captures my favorite moments from 2022. Enjoy! I'll see everyone next year.

28 thoughts on “Central Ohio Car Shows, Cruise-Ins, and Meet-Ups Recap of the 2022 Season

  1. Mark Garrett

    Thank you so much for all the work you do. This is my go-to site for planning my car show weekends! We are blessed to have a very active car culture in Central Ohio. Have a safe Christmas season, and I anxiously await the first shows in 2023!

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thank you, Mark! I agree we have a very active car culture in Central Ohio. I know folks from other parts of the state might not agree but I think the Central Ohio car scene is the best in the state.

  2. Marc Cropper

    Kim, tremendous thanks once again. All of the info and pics were incredible again this year. Absolutely the best site in central Ohio and beyond.

  3. Thomas Rizek

    Kim Hawksworth, Jeff Shankle, Dale Pearce, and Dave Bratton...
    Thanks for all you do for car people! This website is the best around.

    Information you provide on weekly car shows to pictures and captions after shows is the stuff, we car guys appreciate.

    Wishing all a safe and happy Holidays,

  4. Tim Hooten

    Awesome recap and video from a very fun summer of cruising! Thanks again for all you do Kim! Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

  5. glenn d frisby

    Great site. will be waiting for next spring show listing. Hope you have a great warm winter and think of us as we brave the Ohio weather. Thank you so much for this site as it is my go to site.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thanks, Glenn! After this past week, I'm looking forward to heading off to Florida. This winter might be a little different since half of New Smyrna beach ended up in the ocean thanks to hurricane Nicole.


        I hope the storms have left for the winter . Enough damage already done.

  6. Bryan

    Nicely done, Kim! There are tons of people who appreciate the time and effort you put into this.

      1. Rick Jones

        I echo the rest Kim, thank you for this great resource and putting your own time and heart into it. I'm wishing the best in the holidays and off season. Looking forward to seeing you next year.

        1. Kim Hawksworth

          Thank you, Rick! Glad you find a great resource. That's always been the goal of the web site.

          You stay safe this winter and I'll see you next spring.

  7. Mark Lester

    Kim You and your team do a great job thur the year. I really count on you guys. All of you have a safe Christmas and Happy Years.

  8. Dale Pearce

    Thanks Kim you definitely took it to a whole new level. Love it man was glad to help and wishing you and yours Happy Holidays enjoy the warm and see you in the spring sir.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thank you, Dale! You don't know how much I appreciated all your help this year. Enjoy the next few months without me hounding you about who got the best of show and how many cars registered.😎

      Hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday. Stay safe my friend. See you in 2023.

  9. Kenny G.

    Kim another awesome job this year, you set the standard with your page. I have always referred to your listings but this year I had the privilege of getting to know you better and what a guy. I am blessed yet again to add you as a friend. The Old Goats, Love you buddy.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thank you, Kenny! It was great to get to know you better this year along with many of the other Old Goats. One of the best parts of the car community is the folks you meet and the friends you make. Our love of cars is the bond that binds us together.

      My friend, I hope you and your family have a great Holiday. Stay warm this winter. I look forward to seeing you again next May.

  10. Matt Rittenhouse

    Great recap Kim! Even though I am no longer around to participate in the Ohio car scene, I still read your site every week just to see what's going on.

    I hope you and the family have wonderful holidays and enjoy your time in Florida.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Hi Matt, Great to here you still follow the web site.

      I meet of few other 6th ZL1 owners this summer. At the June Marysville Muscle meet-up there were three black ZL1s counting mine. What are the odds of that happening.

      Hope all is going well with your new job. Hope you and Michelle have wonderful Holiday.

  11. Mark Mitchell

    A big thank you to Kim and his helpful volunteers.
    I really enjoy this site and speaking with you at some of the shows.
    The central Ohio area is very fortunate to have someone like you to help promote our hobby and the beautiful cars and great people that attend these shows.
    I hope you and your family have a great holiday season and i look forward to next season.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Thanks, Mark! I enjoyed conversing with you at shows this year. Have a wonderful Holiday. Stay safe and warm and I'll see you in May.

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