CAM Car Club
of Madisons annual show a hit
MADISON, Ind. (May 2003) Choice Automobiles of
Madison, or CAM, was founded in 1994 by a group of area individuals
who shared a common interest in automobiles. It was just a bunch
of car enthusiasts that started talking about (forming a club),
recalled vice president and charter member Bruce Anderson. We
had a lot of people interested. The club officially obtained status
as a non-profit organization in July 1994.
Run VIII Poster
CAM held its first car show, River Run I, just two years
later in 1996. Despite battling less than perfect weather each year,
the show has been a resounding success ever since. Even on the rainiest
of days, at least 200 cars have lined along the river front to be judged,
said charter member and club president Pete Backus. Enthusiasts have
come from as far away as Georgia to enter a large variety of vehicles
in one of 15 classes at the show. Last year, 375 automobiles and nine
motorcycles were featured.
This year, 10,000 to 15,000 automobile enthusiasts and collectors of
all kinds are expected to converge on Madisons river front on
Saturday, May 24, for River Run VIII. Show festivities will begin on
Friday night, May 23, with a cruise-in and poker run. The poker run
will start at 6 p.m. at CAMs headquarters at Crystal Beach Pool
House on Vaughn Drive and will consist of five area stops. Participants
will be given a card at each stop, and at the end of the run, awards
will be presented for Best Hand, Best Hand with Wild Card and Best Cruiser.
On Saturday, CAM officials anticipate having more than 350 automobiles
along Vaughn Drive between Mill and West streets and the adjoining side
streets with access from Broadway. Registration, $15 on the day of the
show, will be from 8 a.m. to noon (EST-slow time). All entries must
be driven to the show.
In addition to judging, a 50-50 drawing will be held and major prizes
will be raffled to show participants. There will also be plenty of food
and drinks, music and lots of fun. Concessions for the day long event
will be provided by the several local high school band booster clubs.
In conjunction with the car show, each year CAM produces
a T-shirt featuring the previous years best in show winner and
two CAM member vehicles with a historic site in Madison as the back-drop.
Past years shirts have featured a river front view, the Broadway
fountain, the former Park & Eat Restaurant, a popular 1960s hang-out
and Lanier Mansion. This years shirt, with 15 sponsors, features
J.D. Whitmans red 1934 Plymouth Coupe, the 2002 Best of Show winner,
and club members Missy Powells yellow 1951 Ford truck and Jeff
Websters black 1968 Firebird convertible. The historic railroad
station and caboose in downtown Madison appears in the background. Mugs
featuring the design will also be available.
This years T-shirt design was created by Madison artist Larry
Rudolech. Rudolech will also sketch this years Best of Show, which
will be presented to the recipient. The winner will also receive a plaque
and a place of honor at next years show. More than 150 awards
will be presented by Madison Mayor Al Huntington on Saturday beginning
at 5 p.m. Huntington will also select a vehicle for the Mayors
Choice award. The mayor has presented awards at the show since its first
Huntington said he enjoys the event and thinks Madisons river
front provides the perfect backdrop. Its in a very shady,
beautiful area, Huntington said, Its actually relaxing
to go down there and look at the cars and the craftsmanship that the
owners have put into the restoration.
Besides River Run, the car club sponsors regular cruise-ins from 5 p.m.
to 8 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month from April through October
at the Wal-mart Super Center on Ivy Tech Drive in Madison. Anyone is
welcome to attend the family-oriented gatherings, which feature a theme
each month, music, food and fellowship. The clubs cruise-in season
got under way April 5 and, despite chilly temperatures, 41 vehicles
showed up, said Backus. In addition to the regularly scheduled cruise-ins,
a few special cruise-ins will be held throughout the summer months at
CAM invites auto enthusiasts of all ages to join. Club activities include
road trips, private garage tours, parties and participation in the Madison
Christmas parade. This year, the club also plans to be part of the Madison
Regatta Festival parade. CAM supports local charities such as the American
Cancer Societys Relay for Life, the American Red Cross, First
Steps and Shop With A Cop and club members volunteer their services
to the Festival of Lights. All proceeds from River Run VIII will go
to charity. If we can be of assistance we sure try to do it,
The club also awards two college scholarships to local high school students
each year. Yearly membership dues are $12 per person or $18 per family.
Club meetings are held at 2 p.m. on the first Sunday and 6 p.m. on the
third Thursday of each month on the second floor of the Crystal Beach
Poolhouse, which they share with the Jaycees. Current club officers
include Backus, president; Anderson, vice president; Johann Backus,
treasurer; Missy Powell, secretary; and Ron Main and Delmar Clarkson,
ª For more information about River Run VIII, call (812) 265-3620,
ext. 4004 or visit the website: www.camclub.itgo.com. Car club members
say hobby is expensive endeavor but worth it.
in its 8th year,
River Run offers a colorful display
MADISON, Ind. To car collecting enthusiasts, owning and maintaining
a classic vehicle is a wonderful hobby. From gleaming paint jobs to
customized interiors, classic cars definitely attract attention and
produce a great deal of pride.
CAM club vice president Bruce Anderson owns two classic cars, a 1966
Chevy Corvette coupe and a 1967 Chevy Corvette convertible. Anderson,
who has owned both cars since the 1970s, said he estimates his Corvettes
to be worth around $25,000 each. A substantial value, especially considering
he paid only about one-tenth of that amount for the cars when he bought
Anderson said he only drives the cars to cruise-ins and
shows in order to keep the miles low. Such care is common among classic
car owners, who want to protect their investments. For Anderson, that
means maintaining the cars he purchased many years ago. But for many
classic car hobbyists, that means putting a lot of time and money into
restoration. Its not unlikely for owners to invest thousands of
dollars in making an old vehicle look brand new.
To cut costs many hobbyists do as much of the restoration as possible.
Versailles, Ind., resident Eric Huntington has been restoring cars as
a hobby for more than 20 years.
When I first started, it wasnt that expensive. But now things
have changed quite a bit, Huntington said. Some people might
put $5,000 just into the interior. The expense has gone up quite a lot.
In addition to money, theres plenty of time and effort that goes
into rebuilding a vehicle, according to CAM president Pete Backus. Backus
is currently working to restore a 1937 Plymouth. Its basically
building a car from the ground up, he said.
How much time it takes to restore a vehicle basically depends upon what
kind of shape its in. According to www.secondchancegarage.com,
a typical frame-off restoration of a common, mid-1960s
pony car will take at least 1,000 hours of your time.
Although many restored cars look as good as they did when they first
left the production line, a major goal of most owners is to make sure
they run even better. Early cars were fairly primitive, according to
Backus, and lacked most of the amenities modern car drivers take for
granted. Even more importantly, they were without safety features, such
as anti-lock brakes, that are standard on most vehicles today. So when
it comes right down to the nuts and bolts of a classic vehicle, safety
is almost as important as looks.
One way owners can gauge their cars safety is through a free inspection
offered by the National Street Rod Association (NSRA), said Backus.
The safety inspection, according to the NSRA, is completely voluntary
and includes 23 different items ranging from the lighting system to
suspension, the sole purpose of which is to advise the street
rod owner of problem areas, either real or potential.
Every state has a volunteer team of NSRA Safety Inspectors that provide
the service. Inspections are also offered at each of the eleven annual
NSRA events and at hundreds of independently produced rod runs all across
Individuals interested in classic car restoration can find
out more about the hobby at CAMs River Run VIII car show, where
hundreds of restored vehicles will be on display May 24 along the Madison
riverfront. Information about the National Street Rod Association can
be found on the Internet at www.nsra-usa.com
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