Amherstburg goes “Car Crazy”


By Josh Beneteau


Amherstburg went crazy for cars for the eighth year in a row Sunday when the Gone Car Crazy car show took over downtown.

Car Crazy2 Car Crazy9Close to 700 cars were shown, on a day full of food, music and fun.

“It’s amazing, people are coming from everywhere,” said Eleanor Renaud, chairperson of the Gone Car Crazy committee. “You constantly hear, ‘what a beautiful town.’ The weather is perfect so there is no reason why this can’t be our biggest year.”

Bob Luckino of Amherstburg won the Paulie Award for Best of Show with his 1956 F100 Ford Truck. And he was very surprised with the win.

“This is the first car show I’ve ever entered,” Luckino said. “I only bought this truck in January, when all the work was already done.”

Councillor John Sutton presented Luckino with his award. Sutton made sure to mention the award’s namesake, Paul Renaud, who served on council for 15 years and died in 2010.

“When you worked with Paul, you discovered three things,” Sutton said. “Number one, he loved his family. Number two, he loved this town. And number three, he loved this car show.”

For a show that is only eight-years-old, this one sure has grown. And every car has a story. Like the 2012 Nissan 3702 that 78-year-old Jack Greenway of Amherstburg races.

“We just came back from Shannonville two weeks ago, where I rented the track for the day,” Greenway said. “It was a wet day so I was only a couple seconds off the track record.”

Renaud said every car imaginable was on display Sunday.

“We’ve got some from the 20’s and some that might be older than that,” she said. “Then we have new cars, race cars, drag racers and even an all-electric car.

“Everyone is welcome, that’s what’s nice about this show,” she continued. “You aren’t stuck into categories.”

The show now attracts people from all over the county, and from places as far away as Barrie and Cincinnati, Ohio. After being featured in the Canadian Hot Rod Magazine, Renaud says the show has really become popular.

“(The editor) was so impressed with us that he gave us five full pages of coloured pictures in the magazine,” Renaud said. “That really put Amherstburg on the map.”

One of those far traveled cars is owned by Frank Polito, who drove his 1981 AMC Concord Station wagon all the way from Hazel Park Michigan.

“My friends and I try to do different car shows every year,” Polito said. “I saw this one in the cruise news so we came down and did it.”

And how does this show stack up to others Polito has done?

“This one is really nice, I like it a lot,” he said. “There are a lot of people coming to look at the cars.”

Everyone seemed to agree with Polito.

“We were here last year and we really enjoyed it,” said Derek Foy, who was showing his 1953 Morris Oxford off for the fifth time this year.

“My wife really enjoys the ice cream and breakfast at the legion,” he said.

Renaud stated she will keep working on the show because it’s so much fun.

“We’re all about fun and having a good time,” she said.


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