Amherstburg car show attracts over 600 vehicles

By Joel Charron

The downtown streets of Amherstburg were closed off as thousands of car lovers drooled over a cornucopia of modern, classic and antique cars displayed in the annual Gone Car Crazy Show.

Over 600 cars lined Richmond, Bathurst, Murray, Ramsey and Dalhousie Street and overflowed into Toddy Jones Park on Sunday afternoon.

According to Gone Car Crazy Show organizer Eleanor Renaud the over 600 cars entered in the show was the largest number of cars the show has accepted.

“This is our best show ever,” said Renaud. “We’ve had fantastic weather and the people are having a great time. Not to mentioned that car owner came out in droves today.”

Renaud said with over 600 cars on display it became a little challenging to find parking spots for all the cars but with some creative planning and strategic places all cars were able to get a spot.

“We’re just going to have to expand our parking,” she said. “We managed to fill every nook and canny.”

With the Gone Car Crazy Show growing each year, Renaud said they have to be careful it doesn’t get too big where they would have to discuss moving the event to a different location.

“This location is perfect,” she said. “Car owners don’t want to stand in a grass field. We want to have a big show but not too big where people don’t enjoy themselves.”

All types of car owners from the weekend warrior to the owner who only takes their car out for such events, displayed their four-wheeled masterpieces to the public.

The show featured all types of cars such as a ’67 Ford Mustang, ’47 Chrysler Windsor Coupe and a plethora of Camaros.

Renaud said one of the reasons why the Amherstburg Gone Car Crazy Show attracts so many people is because for most attendees “it’s like turning back the clock.”


Essex MP Jeff Watson and Gone Car Crazy chairperson Eleanor Renaud hand over the “Paulie Award” to Essex resident Larry Bennett for his 1932 Ford Coupe.

“Most of us are in the yuppie stage and its just bringing back those great memories,” she said.

Another reason why it’s so popular is because its location.

“We’ve got the riverfront, we have great shops along the Dalhousie and Richmond Street and we have the park,” explained Renaud. “We have a lot going for us and people just love coming here from all over.”

Renaud recalled a couple from Ohio, who visited Amherstburg in May, noticed the event listing about the car show, booked a room with a local bed and breakfast so they could experience and attended the car show.

As the day wrapped up, Essex MP Jeff Watson presented the “Paulie Award” for Best Car in Show. The award is named after the late Paul Renaud, a former town councilor who passed away from cancer. Paul was an important cog in starting the Gone Car Crazy Show.

“Your passion, attention to great detail and your beautiful vehicles that you have maintained, restored and brought to this town, not only remind us of a great time past but they are fueling dreams for a new generation about the wonder of the automobile,” said Watson.

The “Paulie Award” was given to Larry Bennett of Essex for his 1932 Ford Coupe.

Bennett said he purchased the ’32 Ford Coupe at a car show he attended last October.

The ’32 Ford Coupe is one of several cars Bennett has in his collection. He also owns a ’34 Ford, ’37 Ford, ’57 Pontiac and a new Challenger.

Bennett also noted that he didn’t have to do much work to the ’32 Ford Coupe.

“I just had to get all the little bugs out because everything was brand new,” he said. “I drive this car everywhere.”

Bennett said the Amherstburg Car Crazy Show is one of 12 cars show he enters throughout the year.

Award winners are as followed:

Favourite Engine: Terry Blyth, Woodstock. 1987 GMC s15

Favourite Classic Cruiser: Todd Johnson, Amherstburg. 1956 Mercury Custom Coupe

Favourite Artistic Artwork: Steve Macusre. 1981 Chevy Custom Truck

Favourite Nifty “50”: Bob Myers, Essex. 1956 Ford Crown Victoria

Best Original: Doug McCurdy, London. ‘57 Pontiac Sedan Deliver

Favourite Ford: George Holt, Leamington. ‘67 Ford Fairlane GTA

Favourite Customized Corvette: Ray & Carol Predhomme, Windsor. ‘65 Red Convertible.

Special Interest: Carlie & Chelsie Duffy. Junior Dragsters from Duffy Girls Racing.

Hottest Flames: Al & Kathy Barash. 1947 Cadillac

Favourite Panel Truck: Beaver Bob Briston, Leamington. 1967 GMC Handi Bus

Favourite GM: Randy Deneau. 1983 Chevy S10 Big Block

Best Use Of Color: Rochard Robinson, Tecumseh. 1932 Ford Coupe

Mayor’s Choice: Jim & Angie Regnier, Tilbury. 1934 Dodge Coup

Long Distance: Michal Dassler, Pompano Beach, Florida, 1600 km. 1958 Super 88 Oldsmobile

Coolest Ragtop: Garo Kalktik, Tecumseh. 1957 Belair

Favourite Interior: Neil Peters & Ron Hamelin, Kingsville. 1955 Chev Belair.

Favourite Golden Oldie: Gary Taylor, Lasalle. 1932 Chevy Coupe

Outstanding Pickup: Rick Ashman, Windsor. 1958 Chevy PKP

Favourite Mopar:  Jake Bowles, Lasalle. 1970 Dodge Charger.

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