The number of classic, antique and sports cars that showed up for the South Russell Police Department’s first annual car show was a surprise to everyone including the event coordinators.
By the end of the day last weekend, nearly 180 cars were on display on the village campus.
And not just any cars, there was a 2012 Bugatti Veyron sports car, a 1966 Malibu and a 1941 Ford Coupe, to name just a few.
Sgt.Todd Pocek, Officer John Zippay and police Chief Mike Rizzo coordinated the show along with car enthusiast Dave Brown.
Proceeds from the auctions and raffles are going to support a 4-year-old child who is undergoing treatment for cancer. It is the same type of cancer for which Mr. Zippay’s own son J.O. had been treated, he said. “So many helped my son and it is nice to give back.”
Debbie Pocek, wife of Sgt. Pocek, coordinated the auctions and raffles which were conducted at the conclusion of the show.
Bob Triplett of Bainbridge showed off his 2011 Corvette. It’s not his first. Mr. Triplett said he has owned six Corvettes in his lifetime with the first being a 1958 model. “It’s an addiction,” he said with a laugh.
South Russell Mayor Bill Koons was one of several individuals judging best of show. It was a difficult task, he said. “It is a wonderful cause,” he said of the support of the child with cancer. “The community rallied around the cause to help,” Mayor Koons said.
The cars lined the parking lots around the village’s service department, Village Hall and the police station. There were so many, they were also parked on the grass areas which had been prepared by the service department.
South Russell Councilman Ray Schloss enjoyed the show as he walked through the grounds. “It is the perfect event,” he said. “It is better than expected and it worked out marvelously.”
Councilman Gerald Canton said, “This is tremendous. It’s a great event that the police department is putting on for a great cause. People love these old cars.”
There weren’t only cars. Trucks were also on hand. Ed Klempay of Auburn displayed his 1951 Chevy 3100 truck. “It was a work truck,” Mr. Klempay said of its early days. “Now it’s a hot rod.” He has other classic vehicles including a 1967 Firebird Ram Air convertible.
Corporal Mike Cardaman, who is a member of the Auburn Fire Department, served as the medical person on site.
James Reinart, general manager of Ganley Chevrolet of Aurora, said the dealer was happy to sponsor the show. “The cops are our customers. And we support local police departments and local businesses. And this is an amazing cause.” He was accompanied by a celebrity, his dog Mavis who stars in the dealership’s TV commercials.
Brandon Boro, sales manager at Ganley in Aurora, said the show was the perfect event to sponsor, and he noted it provided excellent support for the child with cancer.
“We will do it again,” he said of sponsoring the car show. “We’re blessed to be a part of it,” Mr. Reinart, a graduate of Chagrin Falls High School, said. “We are blown away by the amount of people who showed up to support the cause.”
“This is awesome,” Councilwoman Cindy Nairn said of the turn-out, good weather and number of cars. “We couldn’t have imagined it would have the outcome it has had.”
She noted that the village service department members Tim Alder and Geoff Pausch prepared the village campus for the event. “It’s all for charity to help a youngster who otherwise would not have this support had Todd Pocek and John Zippay not been instrumental in organizing the event,” Mrs. Nairn said.
Rick Pausch had his father’s 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu that he himself restored in 1998. He also brought to the show his own 1966 Malibu which he bought when he was 16 in 1983. “I drove it through high school.”
One of the cars that drew a crowd was the 2012 Bugatti Veyron, a mid-engine Volkswagon sports car which cost $2.3 million. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, according to owner Dave Niederst of Rocky River. He was asked to bring it to the show after he displayed it at the Solon car show. Only 450 of the cars were built in the world. It costs $18,000 for an oil change, he said.
Bainbridge resident Rye Dalton was at the show Sunday with his 1941 Cadillac convertible sedan. He and his wife enjoy taking it out during good weather to drive around the Chagrin Valley.
Cars nearby included a 1935 blue Plymouth two-door sedan and a 1931 blue Ford Coupe.
Sgt. Pocek said the number of cars and people were double what they thought there would be. The Fox Cruise-In show was filming the event.
Chief Rizzo said the turn-out of cars and spectators was beyond expectations. There were 80 cars registered in the morning and there were between 180 and 200 cars by the end of the day.
Several cars in the show came out as winners in a variety of classifications. In the category of the Police Chief’s Pick for Best of Show, a 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby owned by Rich Bencal came out on top. For the Judges Pick of Best of Show, John Epprecht’s 1970 Dodge Challenger was the winner. The Kids Choice Award was taken by a 1969 1/2 Dodge Super Bee. The judges were volunteers at the event. The Fan Favorite was a 1956 Ford Thunderbird owned by Steve Daniels. The co-winner in the fan favorite class was a 1967 Pontiac GTO owned by Mike and Denise Clayton. There were an estimated 600 to 800 show attendees, according to Chief Rizzo.