Car show returns to Madison
over Memorial Day Weekend
River Rat Rodz take over event for 2014 run
(May 2014) – An assortment of cars, trucks and motorcycles will gather this month on the Ohio River in Madison, Ind., for the Riverfront Run Car Show to celebrate automobiles past and present. Organized by the River Rat Rodz Car Club, the local car enthusiasts promise a fun, four-wheeled weekend.
Festivities begin Friday, May 23, with a poker run at 6 p.m. Participation costs $10. The Rumors, a pop and rock band, will play a free public concert at 8:30 p.m. at Bicentennial Park. The car show is Saturday, May 24.
Pre-registration is available at www.riverfrontruncarshow.com for $15. Registration at the gate will cost $20 and last from 8 a.m to noon. Trophies will be awarded to 140 cars, including the Top 100 and Best of Show.
A Poker Run on Friday night
and live music by Rumors on
Friday night will precede the car
show on Saturday, May 23-24.
“We’re expecting between 300 and 400 cars,” said event organizer Kim Washer. “It’s an open show, meaning there are no qualifications and we accept vehicles of any make.”
The River Rat Rodz Car Club is playing host to the event for the first time. The Riverfront Run Car Show began in 1996, hosted by the Choice Automobiles of Madison (or CAM) Car Club. As Festival Chairman for Regatta, Washer took over the show as a Regatta event in 2010. When Regatta decided cut the car show to focus on the hydroplane race, the River Rat Rodz decided to keep it going.
“We’re just a bunch of people who love cars,” Washer said of the River Rat Rodz Car Club. “My husband (Mike) and I have a Corvette. Our friends have a ’69 Camaro and a ’42 Ford. It’s a close-knit group.” Car shows have regained a certain amount of popularity as a warm-weather event for the general public as well as those with passion for their vehicles.
Dan Robbins of Bedford, Ind., falls into the passionate category. He has attended the Riverfront Run Car Show for seven years, though cars have captured his interest since he was old enough to drive. He won Best of Show last year with his 1937 Ford Coup. “I’ve won a lot of awards, but winning in Madison was a special one,” he said. He will return to showcase his prizewinning street rod this year.
Robbins, 64, has seven show cars including a 1934 Ford pickup, a 1965 El Camino, and a 1930 Plymouth that won Street Rod of the Year in 2011 at an Indianapolis event. He maintains his vehicles himself and alternates between them, driving to various car shows in the warmer months. He is also a member of the National Street Rod Association, an organization that tracks car shows and private sellers The NSRA also produces StreetScene Magazine, an exclusive monthly publication detailing the latest safety information and news surrounding automotive hobbies.
Upkeep for classic cars, Robbins said, is “just like new ones in that things go wrong with them. Every year before my season starts I get under and inside of them, check the mechanical parts are ready to go down the road. I like to tinker with them any chance I get.”
“A lot of money goes into the cars, but it’s money well spent,” said Washer, recalling numerous waxes and tire checks. She has seen hundreds of people take great enjoyment in the same hobby, making it worth the expense.
Robbins agrees: “For us street-rod people, the cars are our joy. All of us like to show them off. It’s not so much a trophy or that your car might be better. At car shows, we’re just there for fun. Most of us do the work ourselves and we pride ourselves in what we do.”
Washer and her friends also take pride in putting their group into action. The River Rat Rodz Car Club plans to give three scholarships to students going to trade school. They also contribute to Shop With A Firefighter, a program for underprivileged children at Christmastime.
Robbins is a fan of Washer’s club and of the Madison area. “When Kim took over the show, she really changed it for the better. My wife and I love visiting again every year and being on the river. It’s such a beautiful town,” he said.
Washer said she hopes there will be faces old and new at the Riverfront Run this year. “Even though it’s been seen as an old interest,” she added, “it’s really coming back.”
• For more information about the car show, contact Kim Washer at (812) 599-6635 or visit: www.RiverfrontRunCarShow.com.
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