A Saturday morning rain couldn’t keep car enthusiasts from the 12th Annual Route 56 Classic Cruisers Car Show at Hillsboro’s Memorial Park.
Thirty-four cars and five motorcycles were on display, with their owners hoping to take home awards.
The show’s registration fees from participants will go to the Marion County Toy Run, annual fall event that provides toys for families in need at Christmas.
Along with a $12 registration fee, car show participants also donated cans of food, which are donated to the Marion County Food Bank.
Winning the “Best in Show” and “Club Choice” categories was a 1946 International pickup owned by Ron Bartel of Hillsboro.
Dave Beumann was the “Classic Car” winner with a 1967 Ford Mustang.
C.D. McHenry won the “Best Truck Award” with a 1951 Chevy 3100 pick up. The “GM Truck Award” went to Cecil Butler’s 1984 Chevy El Camino Super Sport.
Winning “Best Ford Truck” was a 1955 Ford pickup owned by Greg Wolff.
“Best GM Car” went to Steven Clove’s 1968 Camaro. “Best Ford” went to Mark Tittel’s 1969 Mustang. A 1971 Plymouth Barracuda owned by Calvin Dirksen won “Best Mopar.”
Mitch and Dody Franklin and their 1947 Hudson Coupe went home with “Best Other” award. “Best Motorcycle” went to Jim and Leanna Hefley’s 1953 Harley Davidson.
A 2010 Chevy Camaro LT2 won “Ladies’ Choice.” “Savannah’s Choice” went to a 1940 Truck Street Rod.
Winning “Best Rat Rod” was a modified 1931 Chrysler 309 owned by Bright Built Hot Rods from Salina. Powered by a 330 hemi motor from a 1956 DeSoto, the Chrysler has found fame as a Hot Wheels toy.
Built by Ryan Miller and Tom Russell after Bright Built business hours, the rat rod was entered into a national “Paint Your Ride” competition. The winner was awarded a paint scheme on a Hot Wheel.
The car advanced to the national finals at a Good Guys car show in Columbus, Ohio, where it placed second.
After returning to Salina, the duo ran into a surprise while doing some shopping.
“We stumbled across the Hot Wheels in Wal-Mart one day,” Miller said. “We called the guy that used to design Hot Wheels (now retired) and asked him if that’s where he got his influence, and he said he did. It was pretty cool.”
Another car enthusiast that wanted to share his love for small-town car shows in the form of a television show, visited the Route 56 Classic Cruisers Car Show.
David Wolfe, owner of Water House Productions in Valley Center, joined son A.J. in Hillsboro Saturday to film one of 19 episodes that will air on KPTS Channel 8. Wolfe’s other son, Ian, also helped with the production.
Car shows in Park City, Halstead, Derby, Burns, Valley Center and Lake Afton, among others, will be featured in separate episodes.
Wolfe plans to focus on the process that goes into vehicle restoration and customization.
“When I was trying to work on my own truck—I have a ’58 Chevy that I’m working on—I was always trying to get ideas for the truck,” Wolfe said. “I’d turn it on to Speed Channel and whatever had car shows on it—but they weren’t telling me what they did to their cars.”
Wolfe said shows like the one at Memorial Park on Saturday were exactly what he’s wanting to feature, mostly because of participants love their craft.
“These guys love talking about their cars,” he said. “And I think a lot of these people are afraid to ask these guys about their cars.”