Car show puts classics on display downtown

Carolyn Van Houten/The Herald
Shadows fell on a 1952 Ford convertible owned by Jerry Blackman of Georgetown as the car was displayed Saturday at the Huntingburg Kiwanis Car Show in downtown Huntingburg. The annual show, in its 16th year, attracted more than 100 entrants. For more photos, click here.

Herald Staff Writer

HUNTINGBURG — Petals from the dogwood trees fluttered about the cloudless sky while chrome engines roared up and down Fourth Street on Saturday during the 16th annual Huntingburg Kiwanis Car Show, an event highlighted by a 1901 Motor Buggy manufactured by Huntingburg Wagon Works. The buggy, constructed in the same year as Henry Ford’s first car and normally on display in City Hall, sat roped off in the middle of Fourth Street.

Alongside the buggy, nearly 125 entrants lined up their vehicles of every shape, color, size and era on both sides of the historic drag from North Geiger to North Van Buren street, all to show off their rides and to raise money for the local Kiwanis club.

Al Mihajlovits, co-chair for the event with Phil Pyle, was thrilled with the turnout Saturday and said it was one of their most successful car shows to date.

“Kiwanis’ focus is the kids. Our hope on this day is to generate $5,000 profit,” Mihajlovits said. Those profits will then be parceled to help fund scholarships, while others are sent to Riley Hospital for Children and worldwide aid organizations. “It’s been a great day for us. The weather makes it all.”

Many of the classic cars didn’t have far to travel. That included Larry Boeglin’s 1956 Ford F100 that made the quick trip from Holland.

“I just want to share my piece of iron with everybody else so they can enjoy it, too,” said Boeglin, seated behind the charcoal gray truck.

Chad Petry, also of Holland, has been working on his 1967 Chevy Camaro RS since 2003. Petry did all the work on the muscle car himself.

“If you’re going to do something, do it to the full extent,” he said. “You can’t cut corners in a car show.”

Up and down Fourth Street, spectators of every age peered under the popped hoods and into interiors. A 1948 Studebaker Champion street rod, built by Gerry Taylor of Bedford, had been rebuilt from the ground up and repainted a pale orange and caught sunlight on a clear day with temperatures in the 70s. Taylor placed a drive-in style food tray on the window, complete with plastic french fries, hamburger and a figurine from the Big Boy chain of restaurants.

“I had a ’56 Chevrolet and (the tray) was in it (when I bought it),” Taylor said of the decoration. “Sold the Chevy and kept the tray.”

Several owners came from a bit further away, bringing with them cars not from around these parts.
Herman Ralph and Andy Shoemaker, both of Owensboro and members of the Sir Brit South Car Club, showed up in pristine Triumphs, a uniquely British vehicle.

“This is the first time I took it out of Owensboro,” Ralph said of his cherry red 1974 Triumph he’d named Homer, after the 19th-century painter Winslow Homer. “Oh, it was a fun drive.”

Ralph also had a 1979 MGB Roadster, driven by his head mechanic, Allen Howard. Shoemaker drove his 1962 white Triumph TR3 to the show. The two-door sports car, sitting low to the ground without a straight edge in sight, was customized with white-wall tires and Union Jack decorations.

“All these little cars are like go-karts (on the road),” Shoemaker said. He rebuilt the car after finding it in a collapsed barn, almost totaled. “It was a clunker.”

The show was rounded out with rows of Corvettes and Mustangs, several motorcycles, a military transport from 1984 and even a 1980 Volkswagon Rabbit from Poseyville.

“When we can fill Fourth Street like this, that’s always a good thing,” Mihajlovits said. “We’ve been blessed.”

Awards were handed out for the top 35 vehicles and many other individual honors, including best in show, farthest distance and top club award.

Contact Jonathan Streetman at

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