Vroom, Vroom...

Riverfront Run Car Show popularity continues to grow

Area car collectors say the show
is one of the best around

(May 2017) – When Jimmy Floyd takes his 1968 phantom blue Chevelle Super Sport for a spin and stops on the waterfront, people stop in their tracks to look. It is so dark that many people think it is black. Everyone who knows the car calls it “old blue” True, the car catches their attention, but everyone who stops to talk knows Floyd.
He is planning to bring the car to the Riverfront Run Car Show, set for May 26-27 along the riverfront in Madison, Ind. The show is organized by the River Rat Rodz Car Club.
“Jimmy is well known around the community,” said Riverfront Run Car Show organizer Ken Washer.  “He always had nice cars, and took good care of them. I’m not sure I have ever seen one of his cars dirty. His cars are absolutely meticulous. Most are all absolutely spotless.”

Photo by John Sheckler

Jimmy Floyd poses beside his 1968 phantom blue Chevelle Super Sport, a car he plans to bring to the Riverfront Run Car Show in Madison, Ind., in late May.

“I bought this car when I was 17,” said Floyd. “It was 1982, and I was just out of high school.”
Floyd is not a member of the car club, but he and his wife, Carrie, usually take two or three cars down to the competition.
“Everyone in town seems to know him and his cars,” said Washer.
“My beautiful wife usually drives our Plymouth Road Runner,” said Floyd. “We also have a 1985 Trans Am with only 14,000 miles on it.”
Floyd also owned another classic car, a yellow 1968 RS-SS Camaro that he recently sold to someone in Bakersfield Calif.
“My dad was crazy about cars, and my brother was the same way. They always had cool cars, mostly model years 1935-36.
“He was thrilled when I bought the car, but Mom wasn’t so happy,” said Floyd. “She said I would be getting tickets. She was right.”
Every Saturday night Floyd took the car to Nabb, Ind., for drag racing.
“All the counties meet there – Scott, Jefferson and Washington, he said. “We never knew which county cops would show up. Sometimes they would just show up and run us off.”
Floyd has been at the Riverfront Run Car Show since it started.
“It is one of the best ones I attend because of the prizes,” he said. “For me, it is mainly a social event. They put on one of the best shows. It has a nice atmosphere, with scenery and the river.  Everyone knows about it, and it is a very popular show.”
“The Friday Cruise-In is a good time for everyone to get together and enjoy each other without worrying if your car is being judged,” said Washer. “We just get together and enjoy the music. The cars come from a very wide area. There was a gentleman from New Jersey there on Friday last year.”
RiverFront Run Car Show has categories for cars, trucks, antique and military vehicles. The club is adding a new category this year for antique fire trucks.

Photo by John Sheckler

Riverfront Run Car Show organizer Ken Washer of Madison, Ind., checks the engine on his pride and joy, a 1984 Corvette.

Washer is a firefighter and knows of two Madison area antique trucks headed for the show.
“Engine Company No. 1 just brought their 1947 Mack fire truck back from Oregon,” he said. “There will also be an Ahrens-Fox fire truck there. It was the original motorized engine from Station No. 2.”
Riverfront Run Car Show had nearly 400 vehicles last year, Washer said.
“If we have good weather, we hope to have 500 or more this year,” he said. “The show has categories for all cars going from new cars all the way back to Model A and Model T. You can have the nicest car in the world, and if it is not cleaned up and show ready, you can’t win Best of Show.”
There are eight classes and 156 trophies, Washer said. “New cars are not judged against antiques.”
Ken and Kim Washer both have Corvettes, but they are very different. Ken’s car is a 1984 that he completely rebuilt. Kim’s 1982 corvette is almost entirely stock.
“I don’t think there is a bolt on my car that is still stock, except the roof,” he said.
Neither Corvette will be entered in the competition. None of the club members competes in the event, but they bring their cars and park in the grass so they can be seen.
“Early registration is nearly double this time last year,” said Washer. At this time of year, our home phone is constantly ringing off the hook.”
The club has a strong sense of patriotism. Members hope to grow the category for military vehicles. “Our opening ceremony will honor fallen vets for Memorial Day weekend,” Washer said. There will be a 21-gun salute and taps will be played.
“A special trophy will be awarded this year. It is the veteran’s memorial trophy,” said Washer. “The first was awarded last year to a couple who had both served back to back tours in Afghanistan.”
The event also features a big raffle for a four-post lift, donated by Direct Lift, a division of the Vehicle Systems Group, part of Rotary Lift.
Competition for cars, trucks, military vehicles, antique fire trucks and motorcycles is on Saturday. It is an open show. There is no cost for people attending just to watch.
New corporate sponsors are welcome, and donations to the River Rat Rodz Car Club are tax deductible.

• For more information, call Kim Washer at (812) 599-6635. A mail-in registration form is available on the club’s Internet website: www.riverfrontruncarshow.com.

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