By Ron Giofu
Despite rain showers through a portion of the event, this year’s Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show soldiered on anyway.
Numbers were down due to the weather but co-founder and organizing committee chair Eleanor Renaud was in good spirits at the conclusion of Sunday’s car show.
“Even though it rained, it cooled things off,” she said, referencing the high heat the area had experienced in the few days prior.
Ken and Gail Reder won the “Paulie Award” for their 1934 Buick “Woodie” during Sunday’s Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy Show. The “Paulie” goes to the car judged best in show.
Renaud noted that “it wasn’t a heavy rain” and that people still strolled the downtown streets with their umbrellas looking at the vehicles. The band Bigg Wiggle performed to a large crowd under a tent in Toddy Jones Park, she added, which was something they enjoyed.
“(The rain) put a damper on things as far as our numbers go,” she admitted.
There were over 360 cars registered for this year’s car show, down at least 150 from last year, but considering that the rain had been forecast heading into Sunday, the decline was anticipated.
Mark Feltoe checks out a classic pickup truck as he heads back to Fort Malden.
“That’s not a bad turnout for the weather we were expecting,” said Renaud. “We were fortunate not to have the oppressive humidity we had (Saturday).”
Crowds were down in terms of people strolling through, she added, but in discussing it with organizers of other car shows in the area, it is typical of what has been happening regionally.
“Numbers are down,” she said. “We’re fortunate to have gotten what we did.”
Jim Crichton, anchor of CTV’s Windsor newscasts, and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo helped with the awards ceremony with Ken and Gail Reder of Amherstburg capturing this year’s “Paulie Award” for best in show. Renaud added that a number of car clubs joined in at the show as well.
“The volunteers were awesome, as always,” she said. “We’re fortunate we don’t have incidents. People are friendly and co-operative. It was just a great day.”
The Reders brought their 1934 Buick, known as a “Woodie.” Ken said “Woodies” were not created in 1934 so he took the frame of his vehicle and built it in the model of a “Woodie,” which he said came out around 1940 or so. He spent two days per week over the past three years constructing the vehicle and he and Gail recently drove it to St. Paul, Minnesota without a problem.
Val Pelaccia stands beside his 1957 Chev Bel Air that was parked at the corner of Dalhousie St. and Rankin Ave.
“The wood is from the farm we used to own,” Gail added.
Jerome Johnson of Colchester came with his 1964 Ford Fairlane 500. He came to the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show three years ago and returned this year.
Janice Patterson and Jerome Johnson stand with Johnson’s 1964 Ford Fairlane. This was one of about 360 vehicles at the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show.
“I like meeting people. They are all nice people,” said Johnson.
Johnson added he was able to meet some people who will help him with his car as he made at least two contacts for parts.
Johnson, accompanied by Janice Patterson, said they go to about three or four shows per year.
“This is one of my favourite shows,” said Johnson. “It’s just fun. It’s a nice show.”
A Blues Brothers tribute act performs on stage during the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show.
Val Pelaccia of Amherstburg and his 1957 Chev Bel Air was parked just down Dalhousie St. from Johnson. He said he attended roughly 4-5 car shows last year and plans to do more now that he has recently retired as an elementary school teacher.
“I’ve been to Amherstburg every year, even with my other car,” said Pelaccia, whose other car is a 1981 Monte Carlo. “It’s my local town show. I like being in Amherstburg with my friends and highlighting our cars. There are a lot of friendships here.”