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1977 Ford Bronco - Owner: Tera Womack

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.

THE STATS:

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.

PARTICIPATION AWARD:

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.

Left to Right: Dave O'Brien, Jeff Tolley, Jeff Shankle

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.

...continue reading "2023 Central Ohio Car Show Season in Review"

1979 Pontiac Trans Am - Owner: Patrick Ellam

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NEWS AND NOTES

Starting with the August events, the Crossroads car, truck & bike shows will add a new category to the awards. The category will be called "Spotlight Car of the Week".

Here are the shows and the cars that will be in the "Spotlight":

  • 8/5 Vineyard Columbus East - Firebird/Trans Am.
  • 8/6 Eldorados Bar - Ford Mustang.
  • 8/13 Lewis Center Wings & Rings - Chevy Camaro.
  • 8/19 Texas Roadhouse Newark - Chevy Trucks.
  • 8/20 Polaris Quaker Steak & Lube - Dodge Viper
  • 9/3 Eldorados Bar - Dodge Challenger
  • 9/9 Deer Creek State Park - Jeep
  • 9/10 Lewis Center Wings & Rings - Pontiac
  • 9/16 Millersport Lions - Plymouth
  • 9/23 Chubby Hawaiian in Baltimore - Chevy Corvette

Der Dutchman Cruise-In:

The threat of severe weather once again kept attendance down at the weekly cruise-in in Plain City, Ohio. The turnout was only 119 cars. Lowest so far this season.

Despite the threat of severe weather, some really cool and unusual vehicles showed up on Thursday. The milk truck from Natural Choice Dairly garnered most of the attention.

River Pop-Up Meet:

More than 50 cars turned out for the River Pop-up Meet at Griggs Reservoir in Upper Arlington, Ohio on Friday evening.

Definitely a younger crowd. There were, however, a few "old geezers" like myself that stopped by.

Most of the cars were 2000 and newer. Mopars, Mustangs, and Corvettes made up the majority with a Tesla Plaid and McLaren mixed in. There were also some Hondas and Subarus that joined the meet-up.

It was a relaxed scene with everyone enjoying talking cars and taking in the nice weather on Friday evening.

Columbus Cars and Coffee Arena District Meet:

Once a year the corporate-sponsored Columbus Cars and Coffee holds one of its meets in the Arena District. It's a unique venue and one event I look forward to each year.

With the Arthritis show taking place at the same time, there weren't as many cars this year as last year. Still, the quality of the cars and the venue did not disappoint.

Here's a little slideshow from Saturday's Arena District meet.

Moose Lodge 2321 & Rippling Stream Campground Car, Truck & Bike Show:

With the help of the Big Dawg and the C-Town Cruisers, the Moose Lodge 2321 and the Rippling Stream Campground in Baltimore, Ohio held their first car, truck, and bike show on Saturday.

The show registered 104 cars. Awards were presented to the "Top 30" plus a Best of Show.

Jason and Deb Blankenship and their 1959 Chevy Apache pickup received the Best of Show Award.

River Valley Athletics Boosters Car Show:

The River Valley Athletics Boosters held its annual car show at the High School just outside Caledonia, Ohio on Sunday.

The show had a greater-than-expected turnout with 265 registered cars. The event raised $10,000 for the athletic teams at the high school.

Seventy sponsor-chosen awards were presented along with three memorial awards.

Our good friend, Dan Varner, received one of the sponsor awards for his unrestored 1968 Pontiac GTO.

There were two awards in memory of Ron Riser who passed away in October of 2022. One for a motorcycle and the other for a car.

The motorcycle award went to DJ Carter with a 2007 Harley Davidson Street Glide.

The car award went to the 1966 Chevy Corvette belonging to Buddy Glassburn.

The third memorial award was in honor of Doug Martin. The 1937 Wild Rod belonging to our good friends, Dave Bratton and Lou, took home the award. A photo of the Wild Rod will be on the front of the t-shirt for next year's show.

Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride at Massey's Pizza:

Dan "Boots" Longenette and the Auto Smarts Radio team hosted its annual show at Massey's Pizza in the Indian Mound Mall in Heath, Ohio on Sunday.

The show set a record with 182 registered cars.

Our good friend, Dale Pearce, took home the Best Truck Award with his 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup.

The Best of Show award went to Sean Guyer and his 1960 Chevy Impala.

Arthritis Foundation Classic Car Show & Cruise-In:

The big event this week was the Arthritis Foundation 40th Annual Classic Car Show & Cruise-In at the Metro Center in Dublin, Ohio.

The Foundation couldn't have picked better weather for its event on Friday and Saturday.

I stopped by for a few hours on Saturday afternoon as a spectator. From the reports I received attendance was somewhere between 350 and 400 cars for Friday's Cruise-In and around 400 cars on Saturday. If anyone has exact numbers on attendance, please share them in the comments.

I'm going to finish this week's News and Notes with a little slideshow from the Arthritis Show. The slideshow is a combination of photos taken by Dave Bratton, Jeff Shankle, and myself on Friday and Saturday.


Here are the folks who helped put together this week's News and Notes:

  • Jeff Shankle
  • Dave Bratton
  • Dale Pearce

I hope everyone has a good week! I'll see you again next week with a new report.

Central Ohio Forecast
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On Saturday, I attended the Blendon Senior Center Car Show in Westerville, Ohio. This was my third time participating in the show. Last year I praised it for being one of the better, small shows in the area. It has the usual door prizes (this year it gave away two televisions) and 50/50 raffle. There's always a DJ spinning tunes and announcing door prize winners. Food is available in the senior center cafeteria for the cost of whatever you feel like donating. This year free root beer floats were added.

In the past, the show has presented 25 "Favorite" awards, a Best of Show and runner-up Best of Show. This year the organizers decided to change things up and divide the vehicles into categories based on model year. The categories were 1940's and older, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's and newer. There were four awards in each category, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place runner-ups and an overall winner of each category.

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