23rd Rod and Roll revved and ready

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Miss Dowagiac Amanda Hassle’s Queen’s Choice and the peer-voted Best of Show trophy are up for grabs at Saturday’s 23rd annual Rod and Roll Classic Auto Show downtown.

Padnos will bring new meaning to the words “compact car,” providing a bale for visitors to guess its make before it was crushed as a contest.

This will be the third year Jennifer and Dave Stolpe of Dowagiac Auto Body on M-152 and Kris Lamphere of WHO kNEW? Consignment chaired the event for Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.

Organizers, who rely on Honor Credit Union as their pit crew for logistical tasks, hope for the kind of gorgeous weather which shone last summer rather than the deluge which doused their inaugural enthusiasm in 2011.

The weekend forecast for 79 sunny degrees is on their side.

The parade of champions in 20 categories takes place at 2:30 p.m.

In 2012, Miss Dowagiac Erica Greenwood liked Ed Kazlauskas’ black-and-pink 1970 Dodge Challenger, while fellow registrants voted for Buck Clobridge of Niles’ 1949 Mercury two-door with “suicide doors” as Best of Show.

Suicide doors operate opposite the regular direction, with hinges at the back and the front of the door opening.

One hundred and 78 vintage vehicles registered in 2012.

City Council Monday night granted the Chamber plenty of (v)room to park cars on Front, from Division to Main; on Commercial, from Front to Penn; and on Beeson Street.

Autos park on both sides of the street, leaving an emergency lane down the middle.

Any overflow will occupy the city parking lot between Twistees and Front Street Crossing; the parking lot at Front and Main; and the north side of Main Street, from D&R Sports to Pennsylvania Avenue.

The parking lot at Main and Penn will be available for participants to park trailers which transport show vehicles.

Lamphere said show participants can enter by Depot Drive or Commercial Street.

Registration on show day costs $20. The first 150 receive commemorative dash plaques, mugs and T-shirts.

The familiar elements will all be in place unless you go back far enough when the hot rods shared the stage with hot bods — a more automotive-oriented Tailgate Flea Market in Beckwith Park, Fifties and Sixties music spun by deejay Bill Kraft from the Haggin-Wimberley bandstand, a Lions Club pancake breakfast, afternoon barbecue and, for the drivers, a scavenger hunt and swag bags.