Plenty of hot wheels will be rolling into Syracuse May 16-17 for this year’s Cruisin’ Cuse Car Show, sponsored by the Wawasee Kiwanis Club.
To kick off the festivities Friday night, hundreds of antique, classic and contemporary automotive beauties will pack Main Street in the town’s most spectator-friendly traffic jam of the year. In addition, Friday’s activities will include food vendors, games and activities for the kids, music and more. Local businesses often feature specials for car show attendees on Friday.
The cruise-in will start, appropriately enough, at the 5 p.m. rush hour and will disperse at 8 p.m.
The showcase of cars, trucks and motorcycles will reconvene at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Syracuse Community Center, 1013 N. Long Dr. Adding to Saturday’s festivities at the center: a DJ and a variety of food vendors.
Attendees (admission is free) are invited to gawk over the meticulously preserved machines until the vehicles depart at 3:15 p.m. for a leisurely caravan around Syracuse Lake.
According to cruise-in director Robert Vandal, while the majority of participants come from within a 60-mile radius, others have come from as far as Ohio, Michigan, Merrillville, Indianapolis and Chicago. Friday night’s cruise-in typically features between 200 and 250 cars and trucks, with approximately 150 to 200 participating in the show the next day. The number of motorcycles varies from year to year.
Awards in more than 30 judged classes will be presented from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Classes include Street Rod (pre-1935 and 1935-1948); Original Collector (pre-1955 and 1955-1988); Corvette (1953-1967, 1968-1982 and 1984-present); Camaro (original 1967-1992); Muscle Car (original and modified); Late Model Original (1989-present); Pontiac (pre-1989); AMC/Mopart (pre-1989 original and 1989-present); Modified Tri 5 Chevy (1955, 1956, 1957); Classic Foreign (pre-1989); Foreign (1989-present); Mustang; Jeep Wrangler (modified); Street Machine (including pro street); Custom Car and Low-Rider; Original Truck; Modified Truck; Special Interest; Motorbike (non-Harley); Harley; and Youth Car/Truck (ages 21 and under).
Special awards (listed with their sponsors) will be given for Best of Show (Bill’s Automotive), which also includes a $100 cash prize (donated by Hoosier Hot Rods); Kiwanis Choice (Newcomer Construction); Police Chief’s Choice (Wawasee Boat Works); Best Engine (Lakeland Investment Advisors); Best Paint (Bud’s Body Shop); Best Interior (Jasper Plastic Solutions); and Best Engineered Hot Rod (NAPA Auto Parts).
Major sponsors are Ace Pest Control of North Webster; Huntington Street Bar and Grill, KeyBank, NAPA Auto Parts, REM Industries and The Papers Inc. (‘the PAPER,’ Mail-Journal and Auto & RV publications).
Door prizes donated by area merchants will be awarded on Saturday.
Wawasee Kiwanis will distribute event proceeds to charities it supports, including Riley Hospital, Teen Parents Succeeding, Syracuse Community Center and Harold Schrock Athletic Complex, along with scholarships, food baskets and other projects.
The entry fee for trophy contestants is $15. The first 150 registrants will receive dash plaques. T-shirts are available for $15 in advance. Non-judged vehicles can enter the show for $8.
For more information, or to download a printable entry form, visit www.wawaseekiwanis.org.