July 2012 Issue
Gearing Up for Good Times
Cruise in to Ohio car shows to see some amazing wheels.
Outdoor car shows are popping up like pistons across Ohio. The events are for those who love four wheels and anyone who enjoys a fun-filled family outing. Think mustard-covered hot dogs and DJs playing ’50s music or elegant vintage cars with pedigrees. Many car shows are also significant fund-raisers for local and national charities.
Each show has a distinct personality. Here’s a look at three shows and three car owners.
Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles
The undisputed crown jewel of Ohio car shows is the Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles in Canton. The 18th Annual Concours D’Elegance, September 14–16, features invited cars only from across the country.
Bill and Chris Snyder of Hudson return this year with their rare 1930 supercharged Stutz. Although the couple own 26 exquisite classic cars, the Stutz has the most personal story. On his 16th birthday in 1947, Bill Snyder had permission from his father to buy a car if he “had the money.” Snyder bought the Stutz for $500, much to his father’s chagrin. That summer, he drove out West, gathering memories for a lifetime, including having the car overheat in the desert.
“I paid 25 cents a gallon for water to put in the car at an airport when gas was going for 17 cents,” recalls Snyder.
The Stutz stayed with Snyder until shortly after he started his own commercial screen-printing business, Nordec Inc., in 1962. To financially support the fledging business, the Stutz was sold. For 40 years, the car sat in a garage of its new owner who cannibalized some parts for his other cars. Happy-ending alert: Snyder bought back the car in 2004 and restored it to perfection.
The Snyders are active members of the Classic Car Club of America, nationally and regionally. Chris Snyder has organized many car tours, most recently a trip to Europe where classic car owners shipped their cars for an extended time.
This year’s Gathering features steam-powered autos, World Class Performance Cars (Porsches, Ferraris and more), 1928–1949 motorcycles, the legendary 1935 Mormon Meteor race car and many other stunning vehicles, according to the event’s executive director, David Schultz.
Cooking demonstrations, a gala dinner, two seminars (automotive design seminar and how to buy a classic car), automobile art and literature, a world-class display of hand-built, scale-model autos and engines, and other activities fill the weekend.
Wear sunglasses. The reflection from all the chrome and shiny paint jobs on more than 6,000 rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, street machines and trucks is blinding. The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association is nationally known for its car shows, the largest of which is in Columbus. At the 15th Goodguys PPG Nationals, vehicles made through 1972 will line up door to door for the highly popular “Show and Shine.”
But the event, July 6–8, is about more than just amazing vehicles. It is also part Goodgals Gallery (a shopping extravaganza), swap meet for car parts, nostalgic stage shows, nightly parties and a kids’ day camp with arts and crafts. The Super Sunday Get-Together is open to all years of American-made or -powered vehicles. Goodguys is really a car show on steroids — or at least a super engine additive.
“Columbus brings out the best cars. It’s the best outdoor car show in the country,” says car enthusiast Larry Brunkala of Mentor. “The competition gets harder each year, and now some of the best car builders in the country want to enter. But Goodguys offers a variety of awards, not just for car owners with a lot of money. It’s like they want to show their appreciation for you being there.”
Brunkala’s 1932 Ford five-window coupe won the Goodguys Hot Rod of the Year award in 2007. Brunkala and his business partner and friend, Dan Tesar, collaborated on the car that still wows judges. Brunkala will be in Columbus for this year’s show with the four-speed ’32 Ford with its 355 Chevy motor. Brunkala says the look of classic 1960s dragsters was the inspiration for the Ford’s hot rod personality.
Brunkala’s father is a car mechanic and he admits his own “gearheadedness” is probably an inherited trait. Brunkala, who opened Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication in Macedonia in Summit County last year, is also building a 1926 Ford hot rod for his 13-year-old son.
For most car shows, participants drive to the location, park their cars and drive home after the judging. But that’s not what will happen July 28 at the 58th Annual Jerry E. Moore Memorial Antique and Classic Car Parade and Show in Butler County.
Vehicles manufactured in 1987 or earlier in stock (original or restored) condition will be shown first in Hamilton and then parade to Fairfield, about 45 minutes away, for another car show. Cars return to Hamilton for the awarding of three trophies in each of 55 classes, according to event organizer Bob Piper.
“Along the way, people sit in lawn chairs or in the back of pickup trucks watching the cars go by,” says Sam Sunberg, who has been part of the event for more than 20 years. “We usually have between 300 and 500 cars. As far as I know, it’s the oldest running car parade in the country.”
Sunberg, a member of the Corvette Club of Hamilton, will drive his 1978 C3 Corvette. Sunberg’s car is distinctive because 1978 was the 25th anniversary of the Corvette and it is equipped with special commemorative touches, including a special emblem.
“Dramatic changes were made in 1978 to the Corvette,” says Sunberg. “One was the fastback roofline that really gives the car a nice, smooth aerodynamic appearance. You just look at the car and you think it is moving.
“I keep Hot Wheels in my car. When I see a lady pushing a stroller with a couple little kids looking at my car, I’ll give them each a little toy model. It’s a way to get kids interested in cars,” says Sunberg.
When Sunberg is not driving his Corvette, the semi-retired company owner is behind the wheel of one his tank trucks — delivering channel catfish and rainbow trout to stock public and private ponds and lakes.
WHEN YOU GO
Check out some of these Ohio car shows taking place this summer.
15th Goodguys PPG Nationals Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus 43211, 925/838-9876.
Arthritis Foundation’s 30th Annual Classic Auto Show and Cruise-In
555 Metro Pace N., Dublin 43017, 614/876-8200. arthritisautoshow.com
12th Annual Loudonville Car Show, Downtown Loudonville, 877/266-4422. loudonville-mohican.com
The Jerry E. Moore Memorial 58th Annual Antique and Classic Car Parade,
Begins at the Hamilton West Shopping Center, Hamilton 45013. antiquecars.org
Southern Ohio Corvette Club’s Classic Car Show, Adena Mansion and Gardens, 847 Adena Rd., Chillicothe 45601, 740/772-2636. adenamansion.com
Cruisin’ Times 2nd Annual Hillbilly Rod and Custom Nationals Al Koran Shriners Headquarters, 1000 E. Edgerton Rd., Broadview Heights 44147, 440/834-1363. cruisintimes.org
18th Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles Glenmoor Country Club, 4191 Glenmoor Dr. N.W., Canton 44718, 330/966-3600. glenmoorgathering.com