Linda Clark and I were selling car books at the "World of Wheels" in Green Bay, Wis., yesterday, when we saw a young boy walking past with a shirt that said "Street King" on it. Below the words was ae picture of an old car. We both noticed the boy, but Linda said it first. "Cool shirt for a kid, huh?" Then we both realized that the Shopko Hall at Brown County Areana, which hosts the show, was loaded with young boys and girls.
Show manager Bob Ashton and his hardworking crew make a point of reaching out to kids. Their attractions this year include Ben Jones who playsed "Cooter" on the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show (plus a "General Lee" Dodge Charger of course, cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, Jason Earles who stars as "Jackson" on the popular "Hanna Montana" TV series, the "Tow-Mater" tow truck from the Pixar-Disney "Cars" cartoon movie and Ron Kramer of the Packer Hall of Fame.
Many people in the car-collecting field talk about the problem of getting young people involved with old cars. This is something we have to do if we want our hobby to survive and grow in the future. It seem to us that the World of Wheels shows (produced by Championship Auto Shows) are reaching out to get kids to come to these events. Those boys and girlds may come to see a TV star, but when they get there, they are exposed to many old cars, hot rods and tuners that will help turn them into car enthusiasts.
The Green Bay World of Wheels continues Sunday, March 9. Why not come and see the show - and bring the kids along.