|Sunday's Autorama largest show of its kind in the Midwest|
|Written by Dennis HInes/Stateline News|
|Monday, 12 September 2011 13:37|
Organizers expect more the 1,200 classic cars to be on display Sept. 18 at the Beloit Autorama car show. The show at Preservation Park features antique cars, street rods, custom cars, modified high-performance vehicles and special interest vehicles. Photo submitted.
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BELOIT TOWNSHIP — Local car enthusiasts will rev up their engines and head to the town of Beloit Sept. 18 to display their classic automobile.
The 35th annual Beloit Autorama will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18 at Preservation Park located at 3444 S. Riverside Drive. The event will feature antique cars, street rods, custom cars, modified high-performance vehicles and special interest vehicles. Todd Nelson, co-chairperson for Beloit Autorama, said he expects about 1,200 vehicles to be displayed at this year’s event.
Nelson said most of the participants are from Illinois and Wisconsin, but the event also attracts people from surrounding states.
“It’s the largest one-day car show in the Midwest,” Nelson said. “We get people from Iowa and Minnesota. We even get people from farther states, such as Ohio and Missouri.”
Participants may register their vehicle for $10 during the day of the event. The purpose of the car show is to raise money for the Beloit Evening Lions Club. More than $715,000 has been raised during the past 35 years.
Nelson said the event attracts about 5,000 spectators each year.
“It’s busy. I’m usually all over the place,” Nelson said. “There are cars in different classes. The show was featured on ‘My Classic Car,’ which is a nationally televised program, about three or four years ago. They said they’ve never seen such a wide selection of cars.”
Besides the Beloit Autorama, Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers will host their seventh annual cruise night from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 17 in downtown Beloit and South Beloit. Nelson said many people participate in both the cruise night and Beloit Autorama.
In addition to the wide selection of cars, there will be a raffle drawing for a classic Chevy street rod during the Autorama. Raffle tickets are $100 each and may be purchased at Finley-Dencker Buick GMC, located at 2700 Milwaukee Road in Beloit, or during the day of the event. The proceeds will be donated to Project 16:49, a program designed to assist homeless teenagers in Rock County. Ann Forbeck, co-coordinator, said she hopes the raffle drawing will receive a good response.
“People don’t have to spend the entire $100 if they don’t want,” Forbeck said. “They can get in a group and purchase a ticket together.”
Forbeck said more than 1,000 tickets are available and about 300 have been sold already.
“The odds of someone winning the car at this point are pretty good,” Forbeck said.
Gary Schultz of Janesville donated the car. He built it about 50 years ago and said the car is still in good condition and has been restored several times.
“It’s been in storage about 90 percent of the time,” Schultz said. “I didn’t take it out much, because I was always working. It’s a pretty rare find ... I hope whoever wins it takes good care of it.”
Schultz said if someone wins the raffle drawing and they do not want the car, they are welcome to sell it.
“If they don’t want the car, they can sell it. The starting bid might be about $10,000,” Schultz said. “If they get a few people to bid, they could make some good money.”
Schultz said he decided to donate the car to help raise money for Project 16:49.
“When I was young, I was dirt poor, so I can relate to these kids being homeless,” Schultz said. “I didn’t realize I was poor until I got into high school. I dug my heels down, worked about 16 hours a week and became a successful construction worker.”
Schultz said he has been promoting the Beloit Autorama and the raffle drawing at several car shows during the past few weeks.
“I’ve got a lot of people thinking about the car, but the car is a gift,” Schultz said. “The real purpose is to help the children. It’s more for the children.”
Members of Beloit Autorama, Beloit Evening Lions Club, Coachman Street Rodders and Blue Ribbon Classic Chevy Club are involved with organizing the car show. Nelson said they work on the event throughout the year.
“It’s a year-long event,” Nelson said. “We start meeting in October and start planning in December.”
Schultz said he enjoys attending the car show each year.
“It’s a big deal,” Schultz said. “They have a good turnout. It seems everybody wants to go. I haven’t missed it in years.”
|Last Updated on Monday, 12 September 2011 13:55|