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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"

The Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio held their first cruise-in of the season on Thursday evening.

The cruise-in registered 104 vehicles, 14 of which were first time participants.

Prior to raffling off the deserts and gift card, Wayne Nisly led a memorial for longtime cruise-in regular Carey Davis who passed away in February.

Cary's beloved Chevy El Camino was parked in front of the foodshed. A tree has been planted in his honor next to the shed. The restaurant also passed out two dash plaques. One to remember Cary and the other a "Thank You" for making 2018 a record-breaking year.

At the end of the memorial, everybody got in their vehicles and on cue started their engines. The entire cruise-in gave a few engine revs and horn honks in unison for Carey.

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Approximately 30 - 40 cars showed up on Tuesday evening for the first Polaris Hilton cruise-in. Considering the colder than normal temperatures, this was an impressive start.

As you can see from the photos, the parking area is huge. It can easily support more than 100 vehicles. There's also plenty of room for canopies and lots of shade trees around the perimeter whenever the weather around here finally decides to warm up.

The N.S.R.A Safety Inspectors were available to anyone wishing to have their vehicle inspected.

The Hilton passed out coupons giving vehicle owners special pricing at The Bar@8700 inside the hotel.

My only complaint was the lack of music. Without it, the environment seemed a little sterile. Otherwise, this cruise-in shows a lot of potential. I can't say I'll make it every week, but I'll definitely show up to a few more before the summer ends.

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For the second week in a row the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City, Ohio set an attendance record at its weekly cruise-in. 

This week 144 vehicles were registered during the evening.  Thirty-five of those vehicles were first time participants.

Here are some of the cars from this week's cruise-in:

First and sixth generation Camaros.

Dan Varner brought another one of his "Survivor" cars.  This time his 1968 Pontiac GTO.

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The third cruise-in of the season at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio set a new attendance record with 130 registered vehicles.

To handle all the cars, the inside of the horse pen was utilized for the overflow parking.Of the 130 cars that turned out on Thursday, 29 were first time visitors to the cruise-in.

One of those first time visitors was Dave Bratton with his 1937 Ford convertible. Dave is a regular participant in Central Ohio car shows.

Doug Leffel brought his 2018 Chrysler 300 "Hemi" this week instead of his Porsche.  The paint color on his car is called "Magnum Steel".  It can look black, gray, or dark blue depending on lighting. Continue reading

You couldn't ask for better weather to kick off the first Der Dutchman cruise-in of the season. The restaurant in Plain City, Ohio registered 90 vehicles during the evening.  Of the 90 that registered, 20 were participating in the cruise-in for the very first time.
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As the end of the year rapidly approaches, It's a good time to take a moment to look back at the 2017 car show season.  I had planned to write this year-end recap  back in November, but family commitments, Thanksgiving, my spouse convalescing from a total knee replacement, and updates to the website delayed this by a few weeks.

Now that things have started to settle down a bit, let's look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2017 season.

I managed to attend 80 events from January through November.  Of the 80 events, only six did I attend as a non-participant.

The list below reflects my opinion of the events I attended. In no way does it encompasses ALL the events that took place in Central Ohio during the season.  If you attended a show or cruise-in not on my list that you thought was exceptionally good or bad, please share it in the comments.  Feel free to also post a comment if you disagree with any of my choices.

Ok, so let's get started with the Good.

BEST REGISTRATION FEE CAR SHOWS:

  1. Champaign Cruisers 4th of July Car Show at Skelley's Lumbar Company in Urbana, Ohio.  You can tell the Cruisers have been doing this for 20 years.  The show is extremely well-organized. The club even goes as far as to mark off parking areas in the grass with spray paint.  There were plenty of food vendors,  nice door prizes, a unique venue, and great mix of vehicles from Ohio and Indiana.
  2. Vettes, Rods and Classic Car Show at the Creekside district in downtown Gahanna, Ohio.  Hosted by the Capital City Corvette Club, this show has grown steadily every year.  The Creekside district makes a unique venue for a car show.  There are plenty of restaurants in the district to meet most everyone's culinary tastes.  Judging is based on a point system, and awards are presented in two categories, one for the Corvettes and the other for the rods and classics.
  3. Cruisin' for a Cause at the Discover Church in Dublin, Ohio.  This show raises money for a different cause each year.  This year the cause was Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.  In addition to the cars, there's also a craft show and model car contest going on simultaneously.  Each year the show offers unique custom hand-made trophies.  All vehicles are thoroughly judged and awards are based on a point system.

Honorable Mention: The Purple Door Cruise In at the Grove City United Methodist Church, Spring Fling All Corvette Show at the Polaris Parkway Quaker Steak and Lube, and Cabela's Charity Car Show and Cruise In at the Cabela's store on Gemini Place in Columbus, Ohio.

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The Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio held the end-of-the-season cruise-in banquet on Thursday. More than 134 people signed up for the festivities.

For a little historical perspective, this marked the sixth year the restaurant has held a weekly cruise-in from May through September.  The very first cruise-in occurred on May 24, 2012.  A total of seven cars showed up for that first cruise-in. Boy have things come a long way since then.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Here are some of the highlights from this season...

  • The cruise-in reached 100 automobiles (104 to be exact) for the very first time on June 29. The 100 mark would be reached again on August 24 and September 28.
  • Bad weather affected five cruise-ins including the first week
  • Host, Wayne Nisely, missed his one and only cruise-in on June 22 because of a health issue.
  • Wayne celebrated his 79th birthday on July 27, however, the celebration had to be postponed to the following week because of bad weather
  • This season had 183 first-timers.  There were first-timers every week except for two of the rain outs
  •  327 people participated in at least one cruise-in this season
  • My  four-year old grandson recorded his first ever cruise-in

Der Dutchman presented everyone that registered for the banquet a beautiful plaque commemorating the season.

Of course, there had to be group photo of Wayne and the gang before the evening ended.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say a heart-felt thanks goes out to Wayne, his wife, Luella, Victor, Drew, and the Der Dutchman management for making this season the best one yet.

Next year's cruise-ins will kick-off on May 24, 2018.  I've already got it marked on my calendar. Can't wait for another great season.

Thursday evening the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio saw 101 vehicles turn out for their final cruise-in of the season.

This was the third time this year the cruise-in registered 100 or more automobiles.   What's interesting is  22 of those automobiles participated in the cruise-in for the very first time.

One of the highlights from the final cruise-in were the three Ford Victorias from the 50's that showed up.

Not very often a semi comes to a cruise-in or car show, but one joined the fun on Thursday.

Per usual, Wayne, Victor and Luella raffled off deserts and gift card at the end.

With this being the final cruise-in of the season and the count of cars reaching the century mark, the restaurant decided to raffle off a second gift card worth $100 to one lucky winner.

All in all, it was a great way to end the season.  I will surely miss my Thursday evening ride out to Der Dutchman and all the great friends I met over the summer.

Next Thursday is the banquet.  Look for a report and recap of the season next week.

I made the drive to Sunbury on Sunday morning to participate in the 28th Annual Sunbury Lions Club Country Cruise-In (formerly ASC Sunbury Relay for Life Country Cruise-In).

Although the weather was unusually warm for this time of year, no one complained too much.  We all understood there won't be many more warm and sunny days left in this year.

The Lions Club did something new this year that I think deserves comment.  They added three additional "Favorite" awards for vehicles 2000 and newer.  This brought the grand total of "Favorites"  to 73.

From what I understand, there were a few complaints last year about some of the newer cars receiving awards.  You can count my 2013 Camaro ZL1 convertible as one of those newer cars to receive a "Favorite" award at last year's show. Some felt the show was exclusively a "classic" car show, and as such, only classic vehicles should be eligible for an award.

I think any show intended for "classic" only cars should be up front about this in all advertising and marketing.  I have no issue with a show specifying that it's for cars of a certain age. On the other hand, understand that those of us with modern sport or muscle cars do enjoy showing off our vehicles too.  If we give up an afternoon and pay the registration fee to participate in a show, it's only fair that our vehicle be considered for award.  What is frustrating is a show that readily takes your money but has no intention of considering your car for an award.

With that said, I applaud the Lions Club for recognizing the newer cars.  This makes good business sense as it will expand the number of vehicles likely to participate in the show each year.  There's talk of increasing the number of 2000 and newer awards to five for next year's show.

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