It’s not too late. Really.
If you have let summer pass by without attending a car show or two, there’s still time to get a look at some classic automobiles as temperature and leaves begin to fall.
Although you’ve already missed Smithville’s Labor Day extravaganza, Spencer’s Apple Butter Festival show and Mitchell’s Persimmon Fest cruise-in. Next year, right?
Until then, here’s a quick rundown of just some car shows and cruise-ins around south-central Indiana during October. They usually get underway midmorning and go into the afternoon; other times are noted.
The first one on the list, it’s my favorite. It’s hard to describe the Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb, but I gave it a shot after attending, finally, after much coaxing from Jim Allison. (Thanks Jim; you were right.) Here’s the email he sent me in 2011:
“Dear Laura, Don’t forget the Newport Hill Climb. Americana at its best. Cheers, Jim Allison.”
I finally went, on a Sunday in 2018. A My Favorite Ride column from October of that year described how “a crowd gathers to watch as hundreds of vehicles manufactured before 1953 make their way 1,800 feet up a steep hill as quickly as they can. The score is figured by multiplying the time in seconds by the cubic-inch displacement of the vehicle’s engine.”
The Hill Climb attracts 100,000 people to the Vermillion County town of Newport, population 515, the first weekend of October. It’s early this year, on Oct. 1 and 2. Flea markets and cool events abound, and the selection of cars, hundreds of vintage cars parked everywhere all over downtown, is spectacular.
Some October car shows
54th Annual Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb & Car Show. Information at: www.newporthillclimb.com.
Bloomfield Apple Fest Car Show at 635 U.S. 231, behind Casa Sevilla, in Bloomfield.
Meet The Need Car Show at The Agape House, 3116 5th St. in Bedford.
Paoli Methodist Church Car Show, 81 Devon Road in Paoli.
Fall Foliage Festival Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show at John R. Wooden Middle School, 109 E. Garfield St. in Martinsville.
5 p.m. Cruise-In at The Ellettsville Pie Hole, 4747 Ind. 46.
Lawrence County Oktoberfest Car, Truck and Bike Show on The Courthouse Square in Bedford starting at noon.
Trunk or Treat at Johnny Junxions, Ind. 37 and Old Ind. 37 at the Judah crossroad in Lawrence County from 5 until 8 p.m. People and car costumes encouraged.
Cruise-In at The Bloomfield Dairy Queen, 309 W. Main St., Bloomfield, 4 p.m. until dark.
Friends of Classic Cars and Boys & Girls Club Switchyard Park Car Show, 1601 S. Rogers St. in Bloomington, noon to 5 p.m.
Hearing from readers
So, I got a package in the mail this week for John and Lynn Bower, famous for traveling all around taking amazing, dramatic, often haunting and mostly black-and-white or sepia-toned photos, sometimes of cars, documenting the passage of time. I am a huge fan of their work.
Wrapped up in white paper with many U.S. postage stamps featuring classic cars, was not a Bower book, but a collection of photos in a small book called “Car Culture,” published as part of the Howard Greenberg Gallery Photography Series.
In some of the photographs, the car is front and center. In others, there’s just a fender, a spoked wheel, a blur driving by. None of the cars are identified.
I love this book, and maybe can find a way to legally reprint some of the pictures for a future column, so stay tuned. Thank you to the Bowers, for the book, and for following My Favorite Ride.
Speaking of people who read this column, I’m passing along an email from this week that made me smile. After more than 20 years of writing about cars, I wonder sometimes if anyone is still out there reading. And what I’ve learned over time.
Then someone reminds me.
” Hello, My name is Al. I really enjoyed your article on the ’66 ‘Vette. And looking for you online, I found the pictures you took of that beautiful turquoise ’57. l had a white 1964 Super Sport with a turquoise top and turquoise interior. It was my most favorite car I ever owned.
“I remember you telling the story of how you came to write your column. No one else wanted to do it. You said something like this: ‘Oh hell. I’ll write the damn thing.’ When you told the story the second time, you had cleaned up your language!
“Maybe because time mellows us, and maybe because you discovered you liked writing it. It’s been such a pleasure for me to read it over the years. And I notice you have learned quite a bit about cars! Peace and good will to you.”
Have as story to tell about a car or truck? Contact My Favorite Ride reporter Laura Lane at [email protected] or 812-318-5967.
Read More: Car show season not over, continues through October