WINONA LAKE — The Winona Lake Exotic Car Show attracted crowds of interested residents from both Winona Lake and the Warsaw area on Saturday, June 18.
Dozens of shiny cars of red, black, yellow and blue lined East Canal Street. New and restored cars wowed and intrigued attendees at almost every step. Behind the attendee’s sat the owners, each in a lawn chair of their own, hiding from the sun beneath the shade of trees.
Roy Hauth, one such owner, sat behind a 1954 Jaguar XK120, a sleek, bright red classic that shined brilliantly in the midday light. “I had a Ford Thunderbird, but I always wanted one of these,” said Hauth, gesturing at his car. “I looked for years to find one, and I finally found it up in Michigan,” he continued.
The Jaguar wasn’t in the best condition when he found it either. “It wouldn’t run at all … The paint was done but the body wasn’t,” Hauth said describing his car.
Hauth wasn’t the only owner to have to restore his car. “[It was] Terrible, barely rolling,” said Adam Atherton, as he looked up at his 1982 Fiat Spider 124, which gleamed blue in the sunlight. “It cost upwards of $8,000 [to fix],” he stated.
Yet other owner and Warsaw resident, Mercedes Figa sat in the grass near her 1999 Porsche 911 Carerra, enjoying the sun. “We’ve always done it,” Figa said, describing why she and her husband were collected cars. “We’ve always been sports car fans. We’re even members of the Porsche Club of America.”
Karl Nelson, another owner, also sat and watched people admire his car from the shade of a small tree. “I’ve just always been a car guy, since I was kid,” Nelson said as he looked out at his bright red 1999 Ferrari 360. “It only has 5,200 miles on it.”
Regardless if the cars were maintained or restored, the reason the owners collected and displayed them was obvious to see in every shiny hood and in every leather seat; these cars are works of art and their owners are the painters.