SYRACUSE — The weather could not have been any better Saturday, May 21, for the 28th annual Cruisin’ Cuse Car show, hosted by the Wawasee Kiwanis Club. Warm temperatures and a slight breeze brought out not only the spectators, but car owners for the show, including a record number for the cruise-in Friday evening in downtown Syracuse.
Approximately 140 cars lined Main Street Friday for the cruise-in and 153 cars were entered in Saturday’s event. Bob Trame, who oversaw the parking, reported he parked the first car at 7:15 a.m. and the last car at 12:30 p.m.
The parking lot at Syracuse Community Center and North Long Drive was filled with various makes and models including Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Pontiacs, muscle cars, low riders, street rods, muscle cars, and many more. One entry, which did not stay the entire event, was an antique fire truck, owned by Bremen Fire Department. The influx of participants was a pleasant site to Kiwanis members as weather conditions and competing car shows in other communities kept the numbers down the past several years. It was not just the numbers that were spectacular, but also the quality of the vehicles brought to the show.
“It was hard judging,” said one of the anonymous volunteer judges. “There was really a lot of top vehicles out there this year.”
Tammy Vandal stated “great weather made for a great show,” noting the weather the last couple of years hindered participation. “This is the first time in several years the weather was beautiful.”
Lunch provided by the Kiwanis was a sell out.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event, held the third Saturday in May.
Participants anxiously awaited the announcement of awards, given out in 29 categories — first and second place — and seven top awards. There were only two categories where no entries were received: non-Harley motorbike and Jeep Wrangler (modified).
Dave Slone, Warsaw, owner of a 1969 Chevelle SS received the Best of Show award. Slone, a newcomer to the local show, stated getting “best of show was a real honor. There was a lot of nice cars … tough pick.” He shared the Chevelle was his first car he owned, purchased in 1975 while in high school and held onto for 41 years. The car sustained heavy damage in an engine fire in 2007, and he was contemplating not trying to repair the car. But after encouragement from his wife due to all the time and money he spent in the vehicle, he decided to have it restored. The restoration took three years through the efforts of Automotive Unlimited, Performance Technology and Brian Bodh, Ligonier. “There is a lot of sentimental value,” Slone said, adding while most get rid of that first car, “I keep a hold of my stuff.” He plans on returning to next year’s car show, but isn’t expecting to win the top prize again, feeling everyone should get a chance.
This year’s winners are:
Best of Show — Dave Sloan, 1969 Chevelle SS
Kiwanis Choice — Ted Cook, 1950 Hudson
Best Engineered Hot Rod — Jim Wrigley, 1966 Nova
Police Chief’s Choice — Larry Stewart, 1957 Nomad
Best Engine — Ed Thomas, 1966 Chevy II SS
Best Paint — Lanny Rogers, 1964 Grand Prix
Best Interior — Larry Stewart, 1957 Nomad
Pre-1935 Street Rod — Danny Weeks, 1933 Ford Coupe, first; Bob and Evon Smith, 1931 Ford A Sedan, second
1935-’48 Street Rod — Dave Brody, 1939 Ford Convertible, first; Jeff Randolph, 1935 Chevy Cabriolet, second
Custom Car and Low Rider — Phil Smith, 1973 Galaxie 500, first; Richard Becker, 1951 Chevy Styleline, second
Modified Truck — Bruce and Darla Bordner, 1954 F100, first; Jerry Martin, 1965 Ranchero, second
Original Truck — Kay Bechler, 2000 Silverado, first; Leon Renfrow, 1952 Chevy truck, second
Youth Truck or Car (21 and under) — Tyler Hartwell, 1985 El Camino, first; Alex Cadena, 2005 GTO, second
Modified Tri 5 Chevy ’55, ’56, ’57 — Dwayne Hoover, 1955 Belair, first; Larry Randolph, 1956 Chevy 210
Classic Foreign Pre-1991 — Roy Hauth, 1954 Jag XK 120, first; Pat Neibert, 1952 MG TD, second
Foreign (’91 to present) — Chad Chenowith, 2005 Jetta GLI SE, first; Brice Kinyon, 2000 Audi A4, second
Original Collector Pre-1955 — Bob Lovejoy, 1934 Ford Vicky, first; Ron Schwartz, 1951 Packard 200, second
Original Collector (’55-’90) — Roger and Carol Komendat, 1964 Impala, first; John Mahnken, 1961 T-Bird
Late Model Original (’91 to present) — Terry McCoy, 2003 Mustang Mach 1, first; Craig Price, 2008 Mustang Bullitt
Muscle Car (Original) — Harley Cordill, 1965 Buick GS, first; Dave Dereamer, 1972 Mustang Mach 1, second
Muscle Car (Modified) — Dan Rex, 1967 Nova II, first, and Jim Hall, 1969 Camaro, second
Mustang (’64.5 -’93) — Judy Desommer, 1965 Mustang, first; Ray Mulins, 1968 1/2 Mustang GT, second
Mustang (’94-Present) — Ned Starnes, 2008 Shelby Mustang, first; Leon Bennett, 2005 Mustang GT
Camaro (’67-’81) — Mark Hollar, 1969 Yenko Camaro, first
Camaro (’82-Present) — Terry Baker, 2010 Camaro, first and Brian Burgan, 2002 Camaro, second
Corvette (’53-’67) — Dave Granger, 1959 Corvette, first; John Crabtree, 1959 Corvette, second
Corvette (’68-’96) — Steve Wilhite, 1991 Corvette, first; Ron and Arleen Corson, 1973 Corvette, second
Corvette (’97-Present) — Dick White, 2007 Corvette, first; Brett Campbell, 2010 Corvette, second
AMC/Mopar Pre 1991 Original — John Owens, 1970 AMX, first; Shannon and Lisa Pohl, 1969 Super Bee, second
AMC/Mopar (’91-Present) — Bill Meade, 2012 Challenger, first; Mark Moore, 2012 Challenger.
Street Machine (including Pro Street) — Terry Egolf, 1968 Camaro, first; Kirk Edwards, 1968 Camaro, second
Special Interest — Mike and Rhonda Clark, 1966 Dodge A100, first; David Johnston, 1985 Excalibur, second
Pontiac Pre 1991 — Greg Miller, 1964 GTO, first; Lisa Bevelhimer, 1972 GTO, second
Harley — Mickey Scott, 2009 Harley Ultra Classic, first.