This weekend is the 29th annual Nostalgic Indoor Invitational Auto Show in Peoria. It's a big deal. Back when I had old cars (I hope to have another someday) I went to many car shows and have the show plates to prove it. Every one who registers a car gets a metal show plate that has a logo and art work and date of the show.
I went around to places like Laura, Oquawka, Aledo, Keithsburg, Joy, Wataga, and even remote places like Paw Paw. I usually took my true show car, a 1961 Imperial Custom Coupe. It was a rare car and usually drew stares mainly for the unorthodox styling: floating headlights, high rear fins, stainless on the roof, and a square steering wheel. And it was huge. One of the biggest of the era and heavy with 5 gauge steel which lent them to good use on the derby circuit. In fact many demolition derbys banned them because they were like tanks compared to other cars.
She came from California and we traveled the countryside, never saw another like her at shows and she was truly a great car. In all the shows I ever went to, this was the only one of my 3 that was ever invited to attend the Peoria Invitational. Again, that's a big deal.
My Imp only broke down once, at the DQ on Henderson Street in Galesburg. Otherwise she performed flawlessly. Here she is inside the building that houses the other 60-70 cars invited in 2002.
She had a presentation board (in front of car leaning on bumper) made by Julia Breuer-Jackson, who was a counselor at the Mary who could make about anything. The color was Autumn Russett and with torsion bar suspension floated like a cloud.
I don't think that car was ever prettier. Inside was also a Chrysler Highway Hi-Fi. They were record players Chrysler made as an aftermarket item and records were grooved deeper to allow for bumps in the road as you were driving. It still didn't work well so it only lasted a few years. Mine lit up and was installed, but I never used it because needles cost over $400.00. Mine didn't have a needle.
Picture of a Highway Hi-Fi.
When I moved here I sold all the cars. Here it is very difficult to have an old car because I have no garage and storage costs are high. I do, however, have some storage options up North.
Perhaps one day I will either become a snow bird and be able to have an old car again, or maybe just go back up and stay. I really haven't been the same without old iron in my garage. What to do, what to do?
Anyway, I didn't win anything this weekend in Peoria, but I didn't have to. It was about the apex of my old car showing hobby to be invited and have the weekend to gawk and people gawk at my car. There was a palpable pride this weekend, of displayer and displayed that will never ever be replicated again. This is the stuff of memories. And that is a big deal.