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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.


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 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 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


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.


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"


1967 Ford Bronco - Owner: Dan Stephens

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Der Dutchman Cruise-In:

There were 166 cars in attendance this week. Not bad considering how damn hot it was on Thursday.

There was a birthday celebration for Wayne Nisly who manages the cruise-in. Wayne turned 85 this week. He received a rocking chair with the name of the cruise-in engraved on the back.

We also found out that Wayne collects die-cast cars. He brought some of his collection to the cruise-in. It just so happened he received a few more cars as a birthday gift. What a coincidence.

Heels and Wheels Car and Bike Show:

On Saturday the Vanity Gentlemens Club in Columbus, Ohio hosted its 9th annual Heels and Wheels Car and Bike Show. The Garden on Bethel Rd and 7th Gear Exotics helped sponsor the show.

Held in the parking lot behind the club, the show registered 61 cars and bikes. Everyone that registered received a door prize ticket. The door prizes consisted of tools and buckets of car care products.

Adult beverages were available inside the club and food could be purchased outside at the show.

The Vanity Girls were happy to pose for photos with your car.

There were seven awards for the bikes and 11 awards for the cars plus a Best of Show. In addition to the car and Bike awards, the Vanity Girls also competed for awards. These included Best Butt, Best Breasts, Best Legs, and Overall Hottie.

Here are the motorcycle Awards:

The Car Awards:

The Best of Show Award went to Jamie Riffitt and Jackson Willoughby with a 1969 Camaro.

Purple Door Car Show:

The Purple Door Church in Grove City, Ohio held its 20th Annual Purple Door Car Show took on Saturday.

The show registered 109 cars this year. The Best of Show Award went to Ralph Carle with a 1959 Chevy El Camino.

Auto Smarts Radio Upper Deck Cruise-in:

Right around the corner from the Purple Door Show was the Upper Deck Cruise-in hosted by Auto Smarts radio.

The Show had 115 cars in attendance.

Just like Heels and Wheels, the Upper Deck Cruise-in had several lovely young ladies happy to pose for photos with your car.

For the second weekend in a row, Dale Pearce's 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup received the Best Truck Award, and Jason and Debbie Blankenship's 1959 Chevy Apache pickup took home Best of Show.

Blackwing Summer Blast Car Show:

The Blackwing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio held its annual Summer Blast Car Show on Saturday.

There were about 65 cars in attendance. Eleven awards were presented at the conclusion of the show.

Here's a sample of the cars that attended the show:

The Best Car in Show award went to the 1968 Chevy Camaro belonging to Tim Inscho.

Air Force One / Custom Air Skilled Trades Cruise-In:

With the help of Dan "Boots" Longenette and the Auto Smarts Radio Team, Air Force One/Custom Air held its first cruise-in at its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday.

Air Force One (AFO) is a commercial HVAC contractor. Custom Air is the residential side of the business. The purpose of the show was to help bring awareness to the skilled trades.

There were a total of 71 cars in attendance.

Food trucks from Roosters and the Grilled Cheese Gangster provided food and refreshments during the show.

Boots and Mindy Drayer broadcast their radio show live from the cruise-in.

During the show, someone with the help of another cruiser vandalized the license plate on my Camaro.

Unlike the cocaine left at the White House, there is overwhelming evidence of who the culprits were in this vicious attack on my car.

Getting back to the cruise-in.

Along with the usual trophies for the picks from Auto Smarts, Pepsi, Jegs, and Cruisin' Classics, were custom, handmade trophies. Members of the AFO/Custom Air team selected the cars to receive the custom trophies.

Here are the Auto Smarts "Top" Picks:

The AFO/Custom Air Custom Trophy Picks:

Best of Show went to Pete Lieb and his 1962 Chevy 409 Bel Air.

Other Area Car Shows:

  • Sabina Park Car Show had about 100 cars and trucks in attendance on Sunday. Awards were presented to the "Top" 25. Dale Pearce took home one Top 25 award with his 1950 Chevy 3100.

  • Several hundred cars attended the 43rd Annual Poor Man's Nationals at Pastime Park in Plain City, Ohio on Sunday

That's it for this week. Here are the folks that helped put together the News and Notes:

  • Jeff Shankle
  • Dave Bratton
  • Dale Pearce
  • Russ Annis

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

Central Ohio Forecast
7:08 am6:21 pm EST
4 am5 am6 am7 am8 am
63°F / 23°F
43°F / 27°F
52°F / 41°F
59°F / 45°F
70°F / 50°F


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Der Dutchman Thursday Cruise-In:

This week 316 plus cruisers celebrated the birthday of Wayne Nisly at the Der Dutchman Cruise-in in Plain City, Ohio. For those of you who may not know Wayne very well, he started the cruise-in back in May of 2012 and has been managing it every week since. Wayne turned 84 on Wednesday. Everyone gathered around the food shed at the end of the evening to sing Happy Birthday to him.

Instead of raffling off baked goods this week, everyone was treated to a cupcake and ice cream to celebrate Wayne's Birthday.

Autosmarts Cruise and Ride at Ten Pin Alley:

Dan "Boots" Longenette and the Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride team made a stop at Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard, Ohio on Friday Evening. The show quickly filled up the parking lot with some cars having to park in between rows. All told the show registered 77 cars. Best of Show honors went to Chris Kramer and his 1970 Ford Torino GT.

To see more cars from the Ten Pin Alley Show, CLICK HERE.

Columbus Cars and Coffee at the City:

A wedding commitment Saturday afternoon limited my event choices for the day. I was bummed I couldn't make Heels and Wheels this year. It's always a fun and different show. Having the morning free, I decided to stop by Columbus Cars and Coffee at the City Apartments.

The nice weather Saturday morning brought out a nice mix of vehicles to the weekly cruise. I got the opportunity to see an all-electric Rivian pickup in person. Definitely not your father's pickup truck.

Here's a sampling of the other cars that stopped by CC&C Saturday morning:

Purple Door Car Show:

The Grove City Methodist Church's annual Purple Door Car Show set an attendance record on Saturday with 160 registered vehicles. The show presented "Top 40" awards along with 10 "Special" awards. Someone made the comment that out of 160 cars 140 of them were trophy worthy. Glad I wasn't involved with the judging.

Our good friend, Dale Pearce, and his 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup received the Best Chevy award.

The Best of Show award went to Hank Schreck with a 1970 Chevy Chevelle.

CLICK HERE for more vehicles from the Purple Door Car Show.

Poor Man's Nationals:

On Sunday, the Buckeye Rod Builders hosted the 42nd Annual Poor Man's Nationals at Pastime Park in Plain City, Ohio. If memory serves me correctly, the last time the show charged a registration fee and presented awards was in 2017. Since then the event has become a big cruise-in and swap meet.

I stopped by the Nationals on Sunday morning for about 90 minutes. I think the weather slowed the number of cars coming in early. Attendance was starting to pick up when I left at 11 AM. I have no doubt attendance surpassed the 200 mark by the time the event ended at 3 PM.

For more from the Poor Man's Nationals, CLICK HERE.

Auto Smarts Cruise and Ride at Moose Lodge 1427:

The Auto Smarts Radio Cruise and Ride crew hosted another show on Sunday at Moose Lodge 1427 in Westerville, Ohio. For Dan "Boots" Longenette, this was the third event he was involved with this weekend (Tin Pen Alley on Friday, Purple Door on Saturday, and Moose Lodge on Sunday).

The show registered 46 vehicles. Best of Show went to Dick Kleinhenz with a 1969 "Pro Street" Chevy Camaro.

A second show is scheduled at the Moose Lodge on October 2nd so mark your calendars.

To see the rest of the rides from the Moose Lodge 1427 show, CLICK HERE.

Other Area Shows:

  • I heard Heels and Wheels at the Vanity Gentlemens Club in Columbus had a good turned out on Saturday with around 90 cars. I'm still bummed I missed it. Oh well, it was a lovely wedding.
  • Dan Kirk and his 1969 Dodge Dart GT took Best of Show honors at the Pinecrest Car Show and Cruise-In at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Columbus on Saturday.
  • Dale Pearce, Tom Stewart and Cadillac Mac made the trek down to Sabina, Ohio on Sunday for the Sabina Park Show. The show had 67 cars in attendance. Tom and Cadillac Mac received Top 25 awards and Dale got DJ's Choice. Best of Show went to a 1949 Cadillac.

Important Info about the Mechanicsburg First Responder's Car Show:

I received an email from Damon Reese this weekend. Damon is involved with the Mechanicsburg First Responder's Car Show scheduled for September 3rd. According to Damon, there's been some confusion that the Mechanicsburg Lions Club Show that took place on July 9th replaced the First Responder's Show. This is NOT the case. The First Responder's show to benefit police/fire and first responders is STILL scheduled for September 3. Please pass the word.

I want to once again thank Jeff Shankle, Dave Bratton, and Dale Pearce for their help preparing this week's report. They're a great team!

Central Ohio Forecast
7:08 am6:21 pm EST
4 am5 am6 am7 am8 am
63°F / 23°F
43°F / 27°F
52°F / 41°F
59°F / 45°F
70°F / 50°F


Another month of car shows and cruise-ins will be in the books after this weekend. Five months down only four more to go in the 2021 season.

This week the schedule for Saturday isn't as heavy as it has been the past few weeks, and there's a little more variety to choose from on Sunday.


A Thursday evening + nice weather = lots of cars at Der Dutchman. This past week saw attendance at the cruise-in in Plain City, Ohio reach 374 cars.

The highlights from the evening were a gorgeous resto-moded 1967 Camaro with an LS3 engine dropped in it and a white and chrome Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Another cool thing at Der Dutchman was the license plate collection of Kerry Rich. Kerry has a license plate for every year one has been issued by the state of Ohio. His father started the collection and Kerry has continued it.

To see more photos from Der Dutchman, click here.

The Blackwing Shooting Center in Ostrander, Ohio held its 7th Annual Summer Blast Car Show on Saturday. The show registered 91 cars with a few more showing up but not registering. The awards were an engraved Yeti Mug. I didn't realize that's what they were presenting for awards or I would have taken some photos of them. It's not often the music at a car show has to compete with the sound of gunshots.

To see the vehicles that received an award and other cars from the Blackwing Summer Blast, click here.

I received a report that the Battle of the Brands hosted by the GTO Association of Central Ohio at the Big Walnut Grill in Sunbury, Ohio set a new attendance record Saturday. The show registered somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 cars and could have had more but had to turn cars away because there were no more parking spaces. If you have any information on this show, please feel free to post in the comment section.

Jax Wax Street Madness is exactly what it turned out to be Saturday evening. There was a line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot when I arrived at 7:00 PM and a line of cars still waiting to get in when I left at 8:30 PM. There were too many cars to count, but I bet close to a thousand showed up for the event.

It was generally a younger crowd in attendance. There were Lots of Mustangs, Challengers, older Corvettes, and Japanese manufacturers. Not many classic cars. Some car owners had more money invested in speakers and amplifiers than they did in their cars. Air bagged suspensions seemed to be the norm Saturday evening.


Click Jax Wax Street Madness for more photos from the event.

Dave Bratton was kind enough to send photos from the Dick Marsh Memorial Car Show that to took place in Newark, Ohio on Sunday. The event registered around 100 cars. Best of Show went to Jimi Marshall and his 1960 Cadillac Eldorado.

And finally, congratulations to Brian Thompson for receiving the Larry Bickers Memorial Award at the C-Town Cruisers Saturday Night Cruise at Nik Fixx Automotive Show.

If you'd like to be notified by email when a new posting appears, click the Subscribe link at the top of the page. This is a non-profit website. Rest assured your email address will NEVER be sold to marketers. There's no risk of more spam mail in your inbox if you subscribe.

Central Ohio Forecast
7:08 am6:21 pm EST
4 am5 am6 am7 am8 am
63°F / 23°F
43°F / 27°F
52°F / 41°F
59°F / 45°F
70°F / 50°F

The awards presentation at Saturday's Vettes, Rods & Classics show at Creekside in Gahanna, Ohio took a surprising twist when my Camaro was announced as the Best in Class winner for C7 Corvettes 2017 - 2019.

While my car and C7 Corvette Z06 do share the same engine, I doubt many would get the two cars confused.

I suspect my car was accidentally entered into the computer as a Corvette during registration. Someone saw the "Z" on my registration card and thought Corvette Z06 instead of Camaro ZL1.

Anyway, the Capital City Corvette Club handled the error with grace and presented my car with an Award of Excellence plaque. I just feel bad that someone with a very nice 2017-2019 C7 Corvette didn't receive an award.

Aside from the award mix-up, the 5th Annual Vettes, Rods, and Classics show continued to carry on the tradition as one of the best car shows in Central Ohio.

This year the Capital City Corvette Club got the city of Gahanna to agree to close the streets in the Creekside district an hour early - 11 AM instead of 12 Noon. The hour change appears to have made the initial rush of vehicles into the show area a lot smoother than it had been in previous years. I overheard two participants discussing how smooth the parking was this year. I arrived around 11:30 AM and lucked into a "Premo" parking spot at the corner of Mill Street and Ogden Aly.

Continue Reading

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?

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