Skip to content

No Purple Rain for the 14th Annual Purple Door Cruise In

Saturday I  traveled south of I-70 to attend my first Purple Door Cruise-in at the Grove City United Methodist Church in Grove City, Ohio.  This show is part of the 2017 Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride sponsored shows.  Dan "Boots" Longenette from Auto Smarts Radio was on hand to help with the judging and present the awards.

With just about perfect weather,  the show registered more than 130 automobiles.  There were door prizes, 50/50 raffle, DJ, and food provided by the church.

Registration was only $10 and included a raffle ticket for the door prizes, and a coupon to get a second sandwich free with the purchase of the first sandwich.  All proceeds from the show help to fund the work of the church's mission committee.

After the first hour, I thought I might have the only car above the above the year 2000.  By the end of registration, however, there were at least a dozen late-model vehicles entered in the show.  Although not entered in the show, a white 2017 Camaro ZL1 belonging to one of the Judges was parked a few cars down from mine.  What are the odds that TWO brand new Camaro ZL1s would show up at the same show?



After cleaning my car up from drive to the show, It was time to look at all the cars.

Nothing like a Yugo to make you appreciate American built automobiles.

This 1966 Ford Mustang belonging to Tim Robbins of Grove City looks to be all original.

One of the late-model cars to enter the show was this 2005 Lotus Elise SC of Brad LeBlanc from Cincinnati.  You don't see too many Lotus at car shows, and to have one come all the way from Cincy made it even more unusual.

Another show in the last month to have a "Buckeye" themed vehicle.  This time it's the Ohio State "PartyBus" belonging to Ray and Joy Bean.

This 1963 Corvair belonging to Donald Smith has an interesting history.  Originally purchased by Don's father, the car was given to a family member when Don's father passed away.  The family member then sold it to someone outside the family. Fortunately, the car remained in the area and Don was able to buy it back after six years for $900.  Don has done all the restoration work himself except for the paint job.

I asked Don why his car wasn't registered for the show. He told me he likes to take it shows but doesn't usually register.  I told him he's really missing out on a lot of awards because his car is that nice.

Gary Liff from Williamsport, Oh parked his 1921 Packard 116 Runabout next to the all original, "barn find" 1954 Packard Cavalier belong to Joyce Williams of Grove City. The wooden spoked wheels on the 1921 are quite a marvel!

Not too often you see "his and hers" cars at a show.  Valerie Dresbach entered her 1974 Chevy Nova while her husband, Greg, entered his '67 Chevy II.  I Guess you can say the couple that go to car shows together stay together.

I got a chuckle when I saw these three child restraint seats in the back seat of this 1973 Cadillac Eldorado owned by Mike Cooper from Orient.  I think the reason for the child seats is because Mike's son, Brian, has a two-seater Saturn Sky.  Dad obviously has the job of transporting the grandkids in his Eldorado.

Having never heard of or seen an Auburn Boattail Roadster until last week at the Der Dutchman, I've now managed to run across two of them!

In addition to the great  looking cars and trucks, there were some very customized motorcycles that took part in the cruise-in.


The Church presented top 45 "Favorite" awards along with  10 "Specialty" awards.  Boots presented a $10 Roosters restaurant gift card and  $5 worth of Rooster's bucks to four additional cars.


Specialty Awards:

Best GM - Francis Dixon with a Pontiac Grand Prix frame-off restore.

Best Ford - Jeff Grinrod

Best Mopar - Jerry Davies

Best Bike - Steve Payton with a 2015 Harley Davidson Road King Classic

Best Truck - Kevin Martin of Dublin with a 1963 Chevy pickup

Most Unique - Ray and Joy Bean and their Buckeye PartyBus

Best Rat Rod - 1955 Chevy "survivor" belonging to Ryan Hinton

Kid's Pick - Brian Cooper with his 2007 Saturn Sky with small block Chevy engine

Boot's Pick - Dick Mallory's 1957 Chevy Sedan Delivery

Purple Door Pick - The 1954 Packard Cavalier of Joyce Williams


The cruise-in gets a grade of A from me.  I thought it was well-organized. There was ample parking for all the participants, and the church offered a good selection of food at reasonable prices. Not only did the first 100 registered vehicles receive dash plaques but they also got a commemorative medal. The awards presentation started a head of schedule, and everyone was on their way home well before the 4 PM ending time.

The only minor nit-pick I had with the show is that I thought the late-model vehicles deserved a little more attention from the judges.

I certainly would rate this as one of the top shows I've attended this year.