Another Central Ohio car show season has come to an end. As we put the cars away until next spring, it's time to look back at the memories that were made during the season that just ended.
As always, I must state the usual disclaimer. The opinions expressed in the following paragraphs are mine. They are from the events I attended and the vehicles l saw. If you agree or disagree with anything I've written, please free to post in the comment section. I'd love to know your thoughts.
Okay, let's start off with some statistics about this past season.
- From January through November, there were 1108 Central Ohio car events posted to carshowtalk.com. Clearly enough to keep anyone that loves cars very, very busy.
- The month with the most events was July with 222.
- The month with the least events was November with 16. No surprise there.
- The week with the most events was August 14 -20 with 56.
- There was a new post on carshowtalk.com 36 out of 52 weeks this year. Yes, the website kept me pretty busy.
- There were reports or mentions on 274 of the 1108 events listed on carshowtalk.com.
I participated in 89 events in Ohio this year and I was a spectator at another four. This pales in comparison to the number of events these three Central Ohio cruisers participated in.
Jeff Shankle made it to 160 events breaking his personal best. Jeff Tolley did 240 car shows, cruise-ins, and swap meets. Dave O'Brien did a few more at 243 and says he still has some more to attend.
I'm pretty confident no one else attended more events this year than those three. For Dave O'Brien and Jeff Tolley, it was almost a car show or cruise-ins every day.
CAR SHOWS, CRUISE-INS, MEET-UPS
Of all the car shows, cruise-ins, and meet-ups I attended this season, One stands out far above the rest. It was the Der Dutchman Cruise-in on June 8th celebrating the life of the late Luella Nisly, wife of Wayne Nisly.
That Thursday evening 617 cars and close to 1000 people were in attendance. The support from the Central Ohio car community for Wayne, Luella, and the cruise-in was amazing. Looking back at the crowd of people during the raffle drawing gave me goosebumps. It will be a cruise-in I will never forget.
Continuing with Der Dutchman, twice this year heavy rains overnight caused either cancellation of the cruise-in or partial closer of the main field because of standing water. This is the first time in the twelve-year history of the cruise-in that happened.
The Capital City Corvette Club's annual Vettes, Rods, and Classics in Gahanna, Ohio continues to be one of my top shows in the area. The Creekside District makes a great venue for a car show. Sprinkle in some "live" entertainment from the band Reeling in the Years. Then add in lots of community support, a great cause, and beautiful Corvettes and classic cars and you've got all the ingredients for a successful car show.
The Rod Knockers Car Club out of Marion, Ohio still managed to put on the best no-registration fee monthly car show in the area. The club did this despite a change in management at the Rural King which wasn't particularly car show friendly.
Sadly, the club announced after the last show in October that it had decided to take some time off to re-evaluate its direction moving forward. This means no more monthly car shows at the Rural King in Marion for the foreseeable future. These monthly shows will definitely be missed by a lot of folks in 2024.
Organized and promoted by Glayton Noggle, the Friday evening River Pop-up meets at Griggs Reservoir in Upper Arlington, Ohio turned out to be very popular by season's end. Clayton's military background made sure everyone followed the rules and it resulted in more people feeling comfortable enough to participate in the meet-ups. Attendance at the August 25th meet-up was estimated to be between 200 - 250 cars. Very impressive for a meet-up.
It's easy to take for granted Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals since it comes to town every year (2020 being the one exception). We are truly blessed to have an event like this in our backyard every July.
For anyone who loves cars, the show and the after-hours parties at the Crown Plaza and Polaris Hilton are like a kid in a candy store.
When it came to Goodguys Awards, Central Ohio was well represented this year.
Looking back, I participated in 14 events this year for the very first time. The one that stands out from the group is the Antique Car Show and Petroliana Swap on Memorial Day in Mt Victory, Ohio.
Cars parked all over people's lawns are something you don't see at many cruise-ins. Factor in the opportunity to view the oil and gas memorabilia in the outbuildings on Don Houchin's property and you soon realize the Mt Victory event is rather unique. I plan to go back next year.
Events that were my favorites in previous years, continued to be favorites again this year.
There's just something special about the cars, the crowd, and the venue that makes Columbus Cars and Coffee Arena District Meet something special.
If you own a Corvette or are into Corvettes, The Ohio Corvette Club Alliance Corvette Gathering in downtown Lancaster, Ohio is one of those events you definitely need to attend. It's essentially a BIG Cruise-in for Corvettes. This year the Gathering registered more than 400 Corvettes.
In July, the Toy Barn in Dublin, Ohio started hosting weekly meet-ups at the dealership. Each meet-up featured a different vehicle. One week it was All American Cars and Trucks. The next week it was BMW Night. After that it was Bourbon and Exotics, then Viper Night -- you get the picture.
I attended two of the meet-ups -- the All American Cars and Trucks and Corvette Night. Corvette Night turned out to be one of the most enjoyable events I did in 2023. I hung out that evening with Arch Mayer and Greg Hopkins, enjoyed a cold beer, and saw some beautiful Corvettes. Doesn't get much better than that in my book.