Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Virus and the Car Show Season

We have all seen our lives greatly altered by what is going on with the Covid-19 Virus situation. It has racked the entire world and sent us into a state of lock down where we can't get within six feet of each other (though my wife has been telling me to stay six feet away for years). We've seen major sporting events and leagues cancel or postpone games and even seasons. The Olympics has been pushed back a year. So amidst all of this it was no surprise to me that our local and regional car shows began moving dates and even cancelling events for the year. Even our major local concours d'elegance was called off. It will be the first time it has ever not been held.

For those in the area and the regular readers, you know that our car show season kicks off the last Sunday of April with the Sharonville Classic Car Show. Sponsored by this town's chamber of commerce and held in the main district known as the Sharonville Loop, this was to be the 44th year for this always large and welcome event. This event is always huge. Even with cold or wet weather there are in usually in excess of 1950-175 cars with last year filling every nook and cranny with over 250 brilliant machines. Wisely they pushed back the scheduled date to July 12.

The following weekend for us has seen a new tradition over the past few years of the Cruisin' To A Cure For ALS show that literally takes over downtown Lawrenceberg with almost as many great cars as show up at Sharonville. This past year they topped 200 and were parked in side streets and every available lot. The producers of this show managed to work a deal out with the city to reschedule the event for Sept. 6.

I've tried to get handles on some of the other shows that are traditionally scheduled through May and early June but have only gotten definitive answers on a few of them as I believe some are waiting to see how all of this plays out before making a final decision.

What this means for me and the blog is that I just might run out of photos that I have yet to post. Hopefully that won't be the case. I still have about two weeks of posts sitting in the blog's queue. In addition, I have enough photos left over from the 44th Pumpkin Run Nationals (with in excess of 400 cars on the fairground field it's always easy to have leftovers) I can carry on with posting new shots for an additional 45 days. Worst case scenario that would take me into June and by then we may have a handle on this and I can start posting shots from new shows.

In the mean time, if any of you locals have news about one of these early shows, I would greatly appreciate you sending it my way by either sending me an email at

Let's work together on this thing and follow the safe and logical procedures that the experts want us to keep in place. We can beat this and get back to some degree of normalcy. In the mean time, stay safe and spend the time getting those cars ready.


Middle Of the Week On the Hill

The 10th Annual Headin' For the Hill show has, over it's brief lifetime, become one of the top attractions for the end of the summer. Held on Labor Day, it seems to draw not only great cars and lots of people but also brings with it some fantastic weather. Among the cars on display this past year was a sweet pair of Dodge Super Bees owned by a husband and wife, a very pretty Ford Mustang, a 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, a 1966 Dodge convertible, a well decorated Chevy shag wagon, and a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Cars and Corona

I've always loved history. Add that to my love of cars and it's easy to see why I'm so fascinated with this old car hobby. But while I an often enthralled by reading about history, I'm currently not so keen on having to live through it.

Yes, this Covid-19 pandemic is an event of worldwide historical magnitude. The last time the world witnessed anything like this was the Spanish Flu that plagued the world from January 1918 until December 1920. During that time about a half a billion people were infected. To put that in reference, that was about 25 per cent of the world's population at the time. Imagine, one in four people around the world suffering from this disease. While no officials figures were ever available it is believed that between 17 million and 50 million people died of this flu; some estimates going as high as 100 million. This made the Spanish Flu perhaps the second deadliest pandemic to ravage the world's population behind the Black Plague.

One thing that helped spread the Spanish Flu back then was the fact that the world was becoming more mobile. Being mobile meant that there was more interaction with others and this spread the germs that caused the disease faster and farther. Yes, World War I had a lot to do with this as soldiers, perhaps for the first time in their lives, actually traveled beyond their own cities, towns and villages, often to foreign countries. When they returned home, many of them carried not only the scars of war but a deadly disease as well.

Another thing that aided in the spread of the Spanish Flu was that more people were traveling by boat and by rail and, yes, by that burgeoning new fad called the automobile. The end of World War I saw the beginning of a growing prosperity as well as an increased desire to travel. With technology that had been developed and refined for the war effort, manufacturers were beginning to create more powerful and reliable automobiles. There were also more options and, in many cases, much more affordability for those wishing to discover the freedom a horseless carriage could bring.  

As most people know, Henry Ford first rolled out the Model T in 1908. It was truly designed to be an affordable people's car. And it was, selling at record numbers. But the Model T wasn't the only great and memorable car of its time. I'm posting photos of some of the amazing cars that were introduced during that Spanish Flu time.

The car at the very top is a Model T of a different kind. This is a 1918 REO Model T. The car was put out by Ransom E. Olds who had left the company bearing his name in 1904. This Model T was powered by a 240 cubic inch F-head four cylinder engine that made 40 horse. power. The next car is a Cleveland Model 40 which cost $1385 when new.

After that is a 1919 Detroit Electric Model 75B. This early electric car was powered by 14 six volt batteries and made a top speed of 13 mph. Next is a 1918 Buick E-49 Touring. This seven seater was powered by a 242 cubic inch overhead valve six cylinder engine that made a fairly impressive for the time 60 horse power.

Next up is a 1918 Willys Overland 85B. Willys was the largest producer of automobiles at the time and this model originally sold new for $895. On a side note for the next time you're on Jeopardy, through a number of incarnations, Willys became the company today known as Jeep.

After that is a 1918 Davis Touring. Davis was one of the many cars manufactured in Richmond, IN. This two seater has a six cylinder engine. Next is a 1920 Pilot 45. Another Richmond built car line, this Pilot runs on a 44 horse power six cylinder engine.

 There were plenty of prestige cars during this time and few more so than this 1918 Cadillac Type 57 Phaeton. Under the hood was a 314.5 cubic inch early V8 that made 70 horse power. More luxury could be found in this 1919 Pierce Arrow Model 66A. This massive car weighed about 7000 pounds and stood seven feet tall. It also featured a mammoth 825 cubic inch six cylinder engine that churned out 90 horse power.

Next up is a 1919 Cole. It's General Motors derived V 8 engine made 80 horse power and the Indiana built car cost over $3000 when new. Following that is a 1920 Jordan Model M Playboy Roadster. Jordans were made in Cleveland and this model relied on a 224 cubic inch Continental six cylinder engine that produced 56 horse power.

Following World War I there were hundreds and hundreds of companies. Many failed during this time for various reasons. But it is interesting to take some time and explore those that once existed. Remember, the history of the automobile is tightly woven into the history of the 20th Century. So while you are living this current span of history, take some time to explore the past.

More From Headin' For the HIll

The 10th Annual Headin' For the Hill show in the heart of North College Hill was a grand success. With about 150 cars showing up under perfect skies, fans and collectors alike were able to enjoy a fantastic day. Among the cars they were able to see was a well worn 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo, a Cobra Mustang, a gorgeous 1968 Oldsmobile 98, a 1971 Nova, a Chevelle SS, a 1968 Dodge Coronet 500 that has been featured on this blog before (, and a pair of '68s I hadn't seen before.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Going Back to North College Hill

As I continue to go back and post photos from last season's shows that haven't made it on the blog as yet, I find that we're heading for the hill, North College Hill that is. For the next two weeks or so I'll be showing you some of the more than 150 amazing cars that showed up for this fantastic event.

Among the cars on display on that beautiful day was a rare 1986 Mercury McClaren. There was also a 1967 Chevelle 396, a 1959 Chevy Impala, a Chevy Fleetline, a sweet custom low rider, a first generation Ford Tunuderbird, a chopped T-bucket, and a nice little MGB.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Wrapping Up Rides On Monmouth

Due to a number of circumstances the Rides On Monmouth show, always one of the biggest and best, wasn't held in 2018. But this past summer, with the help of the help of the Newport Boys and Girls Club over 250 beautiful classic and collector cars were on hand. Among them was this Buick Special, a 1957 Cadillac, an actual retired Checker Yellow Taxi Cab, a Buick Regal, a Mercury Cougar convertible, a Buick Grand National, and more.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

GM Orphans In Newport

It has been sad to see the recent demise of some of those great automotive brands. GM has seen more than its share of what are now orphans. Since my dad was a Pontiac man until he could afford a Cadillac, I have a deep respect for those cars. And don't forget the greats Oldsmobiles that also are now in our past. But enough of them showed up at the Rides On Monmouth show to hopefully satisfy your hunger for these great cars.