By Ron Giofu
Amherstburg went “car crazy” again this year with a sea of classic automobiles filling the downtown streets last Sunday.
The tenth annual “Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy” show was held in warm, sunny conditions and that was just fine for organizing committee chair Eleanor Renaud.
“It was a fabulous day,” she said. “The weather was amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Approximately 520 vehicles took part in this year’s event, with people coming from as far as the Georgian Bay area, Thunder Bay and all around Michigan.
“I am happy with that number,” said Renaud.
Renaud noted that one of the features this year was a drone that flew over the show filming it and she said they hope to put the video of it on their website (www.amherstburgsgonecarcrazyshow.com). She said the show had great media coverage and also had great entertainment with Rick Rock, Crystal Gage and a Blues Brothers tribute band performing.
“I want to thank my volunteers,” she said. “They are an amazing crew that doesn’t quit on me.”
The Amherstburg Rotary Club operated the food pavilion while Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 oversaw the 50/50 draw and that worked well, Renaud believed.
Some tweaking takes place year-to-year to make the show better, she added, but they want to keep with what is working.
“It sounds arrogant, but we are the best show around,” said Renaud. “We hear it all the time. I’ve not heard one complaint.”
Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presented the “Paulie” Award to the car judged best in show, with this year’s winner being Lionel and Helen Caza of Chatham and their 1957 Olds. Lionel said they have owned the car 16 years and was thrilled to win the award.
“My heels are coming back down to the ground,” he said, a few moments after they posed with DiCarlo and the trophy.
The award is named for Renaud’s late husband and former councillor Paul Renaud, whose career on council spanned 15 years.
“He lives on in our memories and everything he did for the community,” said DiCarlo.
The mayor, who described himself as a “car freak,” thanked the organizers and said he hopes the show continues into the future.
“We’re so happy to have it in our town,” DiCarlo said. “I hope this event keeps going and going.”
Wayne and Vicki Drew of Amherstburg brought their 1988 S10 pickup and their 2013 Volvo tractor trailer cab to the show. Wayne estimated they went to about 20 shows in Canada and the United States last year but rain has held that number down this year.
“This is probably the top one in Canada,” he said of the “Car Crazy” show.
Wayne added he liked that the show was close to home. He said this show featured a lot of variety, like many of the U.S. shows do.
Dan and Tina Mailloux of Stoney Point said it was their second year at the show with their 1969 Chevy pickup.
“It’s really a good show with lots of variety,” said Tina.
“It attracts a lot of people,” added Dan.
Dan said they attend three or four shows per year and “this is one of the biggest, for sure.”
Ron and Connie Fauteux of Puce brought their 1956 Thunderbird to Amherstburg for the show, as they have done for most of the past decade.
“We like being in town. We like being here, across from the park,” said Ron.
The Fauteuxs said they enjoy the mixture of cars, including some they don’t see on a regular basis.
“I just like the atmosphere,” Ron added. “It’s a great atmosphere for a car show. This is our favourite.”