2012-06-23 / News

St. Ignace Gears For Two Big Car Show Weekends

“Do you want to show off your car or truck?”

Ed Reavie asks automotive enthusiasts this question on his Nostalgia Productions Web site, and, each year, hundreds of vehicle owners do. Taking up Mr. Reavie’s open invitation, they bring their prized antique, customized, and modified classic cars, hot rods, and automotive oddities to display on the street in St. Ignace in the town’s two signature summer car shows. This year, Antiques on the Bay will be Saturday, June 23, followed by the St. Ignace Car Show Thursday, June 28, through Saturday, June 30. Mr. Reavie has been hosting car shows in town for 37 years, and the shows have built up a following of car collectors and spectators from across the country.

Antiques on the Bay entries will arrive in town Friday afternoon, June 22, with a rally across the Mackinac Bridge and a tour through the parking lot of Mackinac Straits Health System Evergreen Living Center. The show will then offer a full day Saturday for perusing vehicles from 1987 and earlier at the St. Ignace marina, with some entries displayed in the marina parking lot and some on the grass under the shade trees along the Huron Boardwalk. Because of its relaxed pace and scenic location at the marina overlooking Lake Huron and Mackinac Island, this show is a favorite with many antique car owners, who enjoy preparing their cars for judging and a full day of setting up lawn chairs near their prized automobiles and answering questions from interested show-goers. Entries are judged and prizes will be awarded.

For the first time at the Antiques show this year, teams competing in The Great Race, a 2,300-mile endurance rally for antique cars, will stop in St. Ignace. The race will feature a 105-year-old Renault, the oldest vehicle entered in the race’s history, driven by Great Race former grand champions, Alan and Mary Travis. Cars in The Great Race must be pre-1969, and driving teams are not allowed to use technology such as computers, cell phones, or even their car’s odometer to aid them during the competition. Ninety-two cars are registered this year for the timed rally around the Great Lakes, and people in St. Ignace will be able to see them June 23 as they are parked along State Street at midday.

The St. Ignace Car Show will feature a Kewadin Casino Cruise Night Thursday evening, June 28, the Down Memory Lane parade Friday evening, June 29, and will display of hundreds of custom, vintage, and modified vehicles on State Street Saturday, June 30. Last year, more than 800 cars were displayed.

Joining crowds of car collectors and enthusiasts at the St. Ignace Car Show each year are many top names in the world of automotive invention, design, and customizing, invited especially to the show and the Guest of Honor Brunch by Mr. Reavie. Automotive writers and historians, muscle car designers, parts inventors, and race drivers are among the participants. Linda Vaughn, the “First Lady of Motorsports,” has been a regular at the St. Ignace show for many years, taking part in the parade and signing autographs for fans. Roy Sjoberg, the developer of the Dodge Viper, the late designer Caroll Shelby, hot rod innovator Ed Almquist, and Jack “Doc” Watson of Hurst Performance Research have all participated at the St. Ignace show over the years. Celebrity guests connected with America’s enthusiasm for classic cars have included John Schneider of “Dukes of Hazzard,” Paul Le Mat, Bo Hopkins, and Candy Clark of “American Graffiti” fame, as well as the “Happy Days” trio of Cindy Williams, Anson Williams, and Donny Most.

Chevrolet is sponsoring the car show this year, and will have a large exhibit downtown Saturday.

Two Michigan Pontiac car clubs will join the show for the first time this year, displaying about 50 vehicles in the city marina parking lot.

“Top Hat” John Jendza III, a specialty automotive historian and longtime master of ceremonies at the St. Ignace show events, will be this year’s car show guest of honor.

Admission to all events is free.

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