About a year ago, a fellow named Rick Paulick came to visit us at Gunner’s Great Garage. Rick worked at a small Chevy dealer near Green Bay and sold more Corvettes than anyone else in the state. He said he was going to work the same kind of magic with a new indoor car show he was planning to do.
Rick was kind of like the Donald Trump of the car show world. He had no experience running a car show, but he wanted to make Green bay great again. You see, there had been a World of Wheels event in Green Bay for years. My friend Bob Ashton was the last one to run it. When he got the carpet pulled out from under him, it left a vacuum in the Green Bay car hobby world.
Rick Paulick was determined to fill that vacuum. His show was a little like a World of Wheels event, but different, too. Instead of featuring just collector cars or just hot rods, he went after the whole spectrum of motor sports machinery with Corvettes, trucks, Jeeps, pull tractors, racing cars, dragsters, Bonneville streamliners, motorcycles and even snowmobiles. Somehow he pulled that first show off on Easter weekend without encountering disaster.
This year his show was about a week after Easter and he added a few things that turned out very successful. He had famous metal workers giving seminars, TV personalities, race book authors, off road racing champs, SEMA vehicles, a Road America Indy Car display and a manufacturer’s showcase with 40 or so big companies showcasing truck and high-performance accessories.
All of this reflected a year of hard work by Rick. He blended old ideas with new ideas and invited VIPs to make guest appearances. He lined up show vehicles, racers, racing tracks, sellers of nostalgic signs and automotive art, pin stripers, panel beaters, car clubs, manufacturers and promoters of other shows. He even had a build-your-own-metal-racing-car program set up for kids.
It was hard work, but it paid off big time. Large crowds were on hand all weekend. On Saturday, you could hardly walk down the aisles, especially when the Brushworkz Panel Jam organizers were doing their charity auctions (which raised over $10,000 to help fight breast cancer).
With just two years under his belt, Paulick has created a mini SEMA Show right here in Northeast Wisconsin. All of the members of the local specialty vehicle community seem to agree that he’s done a great job revitalizing the hobby in the area. And all of them are now looking forward to next year to see if Rick can add another sweet layer to his car show cake in 2017. Check out his Website (www.newmotorama.com) to keep up to speed with his future plans.