2017-06-15 / Front Page

Shows To Bring Best Of Antique, Custom Cars to St. Ignace

Antiques on the Bay This Weekend; Car Show Next Weekend
By Kevin R. Hess

Antiques on the Bay and the St. Ignace Car Show bring car owners and car lovers from all around. Many who have brought cars for the shows return year after year to St. Ignace, saying it is one of the best shows offered.

Car show founder “Ed Reavie is a genius,” said Bill Harper of Linwood on Saginaw Bay. “Everything he has done with these shows is first class. It’s more than a car show.”

Mr. Harper has participated in every Antiques on the Bay car show and in every St. Ignace Car Show since 1990. In fact, he has stayed in the exact same hotel room every year, the Budget Host Inn, Room #1. Throughout the years, he has built friendships with many who also stayed at the hotel and many of them return year after year to see one another. Mr. Harper says the camaraderie is a big part of the draw in coming to St. Ignace. He comes to St. Ignace on Wednesday before the Antiques on the Bay classic car show, and stays all the way through the St. Ignace Car Show the following weekend. Over the years, Mr. Harper has entered several different cars in the shows. Among them are a 1929 Ford Model A, a 1934 Chevy, a 1955 Oldsmobile, a 1956 Ford, a 1957 Buick, and a 1963 Corvette. He has received numerous awards, but says he doesn’t participate in the shows for the awards.

“The awards are nice when you need to sell the car because it gives them credibility,” said Mr. Harper, “but I just love being around all of the other cars and owners.”

In fact, the variety that the St. Ignace shows offer are one of the things he loves the most about them. He credits show founder Mr. Reavie with this.

“I attend a lot of local shows and they are good,” said Mr. Harper, “but it seems like it’s always the same cars. Ed [Reavie] has brought some top shelf famous car people and there is always a great variety of cars in the show.”

Today, the show is operated by the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, and Mr. Reavie often enjoys lending a hand in its organization.

This year Mr. Harper is bringing a 1949 Mercury Woody Wagon. He has brought it before, but it has been several years since it was last in St. Ignace. The thing he is most looking forward to is cruising in town and around the area.

“We don’t come up there to park our car and sit,” he said. “We want to go cruising.”

Mr. Harper has driven in the parade for several years and loves cruising throughout the town. He said it feels like a parade wherever they go because of the people who sit along the road to see all of the cars that are riding through town during the weekend.

Even before the show, Mr. Harper said, he also takes part in an unofficial cruise. A gentleman from Grand Rapids puts together a cruise route that starts in Mackinaw City. The route is different every year, but always involves ending at a restaurant where all of the participants will enjoy lunch together. The restaurants are informed in advance and are awaiting their arrival.

“It’s not an official cruise, but it is the highlight of my year,” said Mr. Harper. “I love it.”

Mr. Harper has always been interested in cars, but really became a “car guy” when he bought his first one, a 1956 Ford. He says he likes hot rods, but he is mainly into the stock cars.

Cleon Moss of Hessel is another who has participated in the car shows for years. He has had a car in the Antiques on the Bay every year and in many years in the St. Ignace Car Show. This year he has entered his 1982 original, unrestored, Ford Escort in the antiques show. He hasn’t yet registered for the big car show, but says he will at least be there to cruise and participate in the parade. He plans to bring his 1951 Willys Jeepster. In past years he has entered his Jeepster and also a 1973 Jeep Commander. He is part of a Jeepster Club and says that they used to participate in the car show regularly in its early years.

“We pretty much took over the marina parking lot,” he said.

When Mr. Moss was a young boy, his father painted cars. He would find old ones that needed work, and would fix them up and then sell them. He says this is where he developed his interest in cars.

“We used to have all kinds of different old cars around our house,” he said.

His first car was a 1937 Desoto. He bought two of them for $150 and used the parts to build one good-running car.

Mr. Moss has won awards for his Jeepster and Commander, but says what he enjoys the most is seeing the other cars, talking to the owners, and hearing their stories. He looks forward to crossing the Mackinac Bridge. He also enjoys the interaction with the guests.

“People like to reåmember when they used to have cars like ours,” said Mr. Moss. “It’s fun talking about them.”

Although he enjoys and participates in both car shows, he favors the slower pace of Antiques on the Bay.

“It’s a lot quieter and not so hectic,” he said. “All of the younger people seemed to be in to the hot rods, and that’s okay, but it’s nice to have the antiques show separate. Every year, you see something different that you haven’t seen before.”

Antiques on the Bay This Weekend

The 21st annual Antiques on the Bay classic car show begins Friday afternoon, June 16, with a Mackinac Bridge Rally that will proceed through downtown St. Ignace on State Street.

The rally will be followed by an early evening reception for those entered in the show in the St. Ignace Marina parking lot.

Saturday, antique cars will be on public display in the St. Ignace Marina parking lot from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

St. Ignace Car Show Next Weekend

The 42nd annual St. Ignace Car Show will bring rare, classic, and customized cars to downtown St. Ignace from Thursday, June 22, through Saturday, June 24. Admission is free of charge.

The show will begin Thursday, June 22, with a cruise night. Participants will line up at Kewadin Shores Casino at 5 p.m. for the cruise that begins at 6 p.m. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be concessions and awards at Little Bear East Arena, where the cruise concludes.

The Down Memory Lane Parade will be Friday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m. on State Street in St. Ignace, from Stockbridge to Church streets.

Cars will be on display throughout the day downtown Saturday, June 24. There will be live music at several downtown locations, as well as a children’s area at the American Legion Park. The guest of honor is Jack Walker, a custom car owner and builder from Belton, Missouri (see related story in this issue).

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