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Sea Lions Move Colo’s Classic to Parking Lot

Construction of a sea lions habitat at the Columbus Zoo moved the 11th Annual Colo's Classic Car Show from Jungle Jacks Landing to the main parking lot.

This was my third time participating in Colo's Classic. The first two were inside the zoo. I must say that I preferred the parking lot over Jungle Jacks Landing.

In my review of last year's show, I complained that it took more than 30 minutes to get inside the zoo, and that cars were packed in like sardines in a can.  And in the process of parking my car, I inadvertently ran over someone's cooler.

There was none of that this year.  I waited less than 10 minutes to enter the show area.  The parking lot allowed plenty of space between cars so no one had to worry about door dings or running over something.  It also afforded plenty of room for canopies. You could even save a spot for a buddy if needed.

Cars waiting to enter the show at 8 AM

Now some will argue that there were no shade trees and that the black top was hot.  I'll grant them those complaints.  But I'll argue that it's rare for  temperatures to be in the upper 80's the first week of October. The easy access and ample parking far out weighed the lack of shade, in my opinion.


Colo's Classic is always the last event of the season for Dan "Boots" Longenette and the Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride series of car shows.

For the second year, Dave Kindig of Kindig It Design and the show Bitchin' Rides was the special guest.

The gang and Mr. Kindig

For the the first time in the 11 year history of the show, Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Zoo, made an appearance.

Jack threatened to blow up this inflatable likeness of himself after the show

I wasn't able to get an "official" count on the number of registered cars.  Estimates had it somewhere between 800 and 900 vehicles.  Clearly attendance was down from the record setting 1500 plus cars last year.  It's quite possible the ambiance of the parking lot didn't appeal to a lot of people.

Once again the show attracted a fantastic collection of automobiles, many of which, did not arrive under their own power.

As with any show of this size, there's also the unique and unusual.


The Zoo presented 20 award plaques for cars '78 and above, "Top 50" plaques for '77 and below, 12 Auto Smarts awards, and 11 "Special" trophies.

Here's are some of the '78 and above winners:

"Top 50" Winners:

Trophy Winners

Included with each trophy was a $50 JEGS gift card, a $25 Roosters gift card, and a 12 pack of Pepsi. 

Jack's Pick

1936 Ford Woodie - Owner: Pat Crusse

Best Exotic

1953 Jaguar XK 120 - Owner: Tony Rucci

Best Antique

1929 Ford Roadster Pickup - Owner: John Badell

Best Modified

2005 Scion XB - Owner: Ben Cosby

Nationwide Pick

1955 Chevy 3100 Pickup - Owner: Ted Wierzbicki

Best Import

1972 Honda Z600 - Owner: Karen Joseph

Pepsi's Choice

1932 Chevrolet Boat Tail Speedster - Owner: Pat Crusse

Best Paint

1956 Chevy 150 Handyman 2 Door Wagon - Owners: Brent & Lori Clark

Best Truck

1950 Ford F1 - Owner: Jeff Shankle

Colo's Choice

1968 Cadillac Superior Rescuer Ambulance - Owner: Chuck Frabott

Boot's Pick

1961 Volkswagon Bug - Dick Rashman

Dave Kindig's Pick / Best of Show

1966 Dodge Charger - Owner: John McConnell / Garret's Rod Shop

Final Thoughts

Others may disagree, but I felt holding the show in the main parking lot was a definite improvement. I hope future Colo's Classics stay out there and don't go back inside the Zoo.

I was a bit disappointed at the Kindig Pick/Best of Show selection.   Don't get me wrong, it is an awesome, awesome car.  And Dave Kindig has every right to pick any car he chooses.  This is America after all.  My beef is the car far out classed anything else in the show by a wide, wide margin.  I was told the build cost was in the $650,000 range.  The wheels alone were $20 grand. There's not many car owners with those kind of resources to throw into a car. I can see bringing the car out for an exhibition, but to have it compete with the rest of the cars in this show seemed a bit over the top to me.  

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Reports from Other Shows/Cruise-ins

After setting an all-time attendance record on September 20, the weather gods decided to punish Der Dutchman with rain for the last two cruise-ins of the season.  

Only 34 cars showed up last Thursday for the final cruise-in of the season.  

Despite the weather challenges, the cruise-in broke all sorts of attendance records this year, and cemented itself as the premiere cruise-in in Central Ohio.

I received info that Tolles in Plain City, Ohio registered 70 cars on Saturday for it's second annual car show.

Over in Croton, Ohio, the third annual Make It Fit For Autism Cruise-in held at the Hartford Fairgrounds had a little over 100 cars participate in this year's show.

I'll finish up this week's report with some of the cars from the Pumpkin Run Nationals held at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville, Ohio.  I know a number of people from the Central Ohio area who drive down every year to participate in this event.

4 thoughts on “Sea Lions Move Colo’s Classic to Parking Lot

  1. Rick Levine

    Although I agree in principal regarding the money poured into the trophy winning car, it's a slippery slope if we start using that as a criterion. If someone wants to put that kind of coin in to win a trophy.....well, there you go. I think it's wasteful and kinda dumb. I wouldn't do it....even if I had money to burn. You wouldn't. 99.99 percent of those in the hobby wouldn't. But if one wants be it. I doubt if that sort of thing arises very often. At least...lets hope so.

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Completely agree it's a slippery slope. I debated long and hard whether or not to even bring it up. The point I was trying to make is the rest of cars in the show were no match for this car. It was comparable to Ohio State playing a high school team in football.

      For a local car show like Colo's Classic, the car could have been on display so the shop that did the build could market their skills, and people could see what a little creativity and some cash can produce. Was it really necessary to include it in the judging? I doubt a Best of Show trophy, $50 JEGGS gift card and a 12 pack of Pepsi are high priorities for John McConnell?

  2. J. Nutter

    It was a good turn out. But yeah pro built cars are hard to beat that’s forsure lol. But hey I had a great time I’ll take a top 50 anytime. Was nice weather nice cars. But as far as all the trailers leave those at home trailers are for boats. I build to drive I guess that’s why when you look at my car you will find a chip or maybe some water spots from a previous drive threw the rain. But hey to each his own just won’t be me. I personally built my car because I have always wanted one (to drive). But we all will have our opinions right. Nice show coverage

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      I second keeping the trailers at home and for boats. Part of the fun of car shows is driving your car to and from the show.

      Love your Bel Air by the way. I had a 5th gen Camaro ZL1 prior to my 6th gen. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for those LSA engines. Putting one in a classic car like you did is just bad ass.

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