HICKORY CORNERS, Mich.— Close to 1,100 collector vehicles attracted more than 5,000 spectators at the Red Barns Spectacular Car Show and Swap Meet, sponsored by the Kalamzaoo Antique Auto Restorers Club and Gilmore Car Museum.
“It’s the vehicles that make the show,” said show chairman Richard Bowman. “Without collectors willing to bring them out for display, you have nothing.”
Built for the 1912 Paris Auto Show, and a past class winner at the famed Pebble Beach Concourse, this Gobron Skiff Touring Car was treat for both boat and car lovers.
Held Aug. 4, the Red Barns Spectacular had a generous and varied supply of both vehicles and collectors. From a display of pre-teen Brass Era cars to the muscle cars of the sixties, the 1953 GM Futurliner — restored and maintained by volunteers — to the student-built and raced Western Michigan University 2000 Solar Race Car, there certainly was something of interest for everybody. The show field included a wide assortment of vehicles from every decade, as well as several antique travel trailers and vintage boats.
More than 120 trophies were awarded in two separate areas, a Concourse-styled judged show and a Peoples’ Choice show, both open to vehicles 25 years old and older.
Ken & Lana Hindley, of Ontario, Canada not only drove this unique and stunningly restored 1936 Curtiss-AeroCar 5th wheel travel trailer and 1938 International Truck but they camped in it as well. Over 40 vintage travel trailers and Tin Can Tourists made camp as part of this year’s Spectacular.
Several clubs made the Red Barns Spectacular a part of their plans, and collectors young and old traveled from as far away as Canada and Australia to be part this year’s event.
Three collectors from Australia were among those who arrived for “The Brush Centennial,” a celebration of the Brush Runabout Company of Detroit. The Brush, with its unusual feature of a wooden frame and axles, was produced between 1907 and 1911. The display of 15 examples during the Red Barns Spectacular represented the largest such gathering since the factory closed in 1911.
Bill Westervelt, of Birmingham, Mich. with his 1908 Brush Truck — the only operable Brush truck known to survive — received the show’s award for the oldest vehicle.
“Boats at the Barns,” a special display of antique boats, was a first for the Red Barns Spectacular and drew a very interesting assortment of watercraft. This BMW Isetta was painted to appear as Nemo, the clownfish from the 2003 Disney – Pixar animated movie.
The youngest participant was five-year-old A.J. Eyre who had been talking about bringing “his” car to the Red Barns Spectacular for weeks. A.J. drove his car, a former miniature Model T clown car, onto the show field with his sister and parked it next to his father’s 1911 Model T. After winning the “Youngest Participant” award, A.J. told his father that it might be time for him to get a full-sized car.
Several states were represented by the “Tin Can Tourists,” a group originally organized in 1919 as a “fraternity of all autocampers,” that remained active until 1968. 1988 saw the rebirth of the “Tin Can Tourists” as club for the preservation and enjoyment of vintage trailers and motor coaches.
The show field, with nearly 1,100 collector vehicles displayed, had something for every taste and certainly presented a Spectacular view.
Winning the “Peoples’ Choice Best of Show” was a very unique and stunningly restored 1936 Curtiss-AeroCar 5th-wheel camper and 1938 International Truck owned by Ken & Lana Hindley, Ontario, Canada.
Tony Pienta, of nearby Kalamazoo, MI was awarded the “Judged Best of Show” trophy for his freshly restored 1911 Hudson, which was the first time the car had ever been shown.
The 2008 show will be held Aug. 3.