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Show goes on despite rain, attracts 95 entries

Staff writer

The 2023 Route 56 Classic Cruisers car show in Hillsboro Saturday attracted owners of 95 cars and two motorcycles each of whom put down a $20 entry fee to show off their cars and look at other people’s cars.

Rain Saturday morning didn’t appear to make a dent in attendance. Morning temperatures were mild, and rain had gone away before the show began.

“We’re really surprised at the turnout,” Classic Cruisers member Rex Abrahams said. “Most people decide about 7 a.m. if they’re coming to a car show.”

Cars, pickups, panel wagons, station wagons, and motorcycles — some souped-up and others looking greatly in need of attention; shiny or dull and rusty — were parked around the circle driveway at Memorial Park while owners lounged near their cars to answer questions and sauntered around scoring vehicles.

Hesston resident Lowell Unruh displayed a shiny red 1969 Jaguar with a hood raised at the windshield side. The Jag’s hood was open so people could inspect its engine.

Unruh bought the car at an auction in Hillsboro. Its former owner had three classic cars.

“I didn’t even want to buy the car,” Unruh said. “He had a lot of antique glass.”

He bid anyway. When he’d stop bidding, his wife would bid for him.

That’s how they ended up with the Jaguar.

The couple has participated in many Route 56 car shows.

“This is the first year for the Jag,” Unruh said. “In fact, it’s the third or fourth show it’s been to.”

The couple has other classic cars that aren’t finished. They aren’t even drivable.

“I hope they keep this car show going,” Unruh said. “We’re hearing they might like to stop having it.”

Kim Abrahams, Rick Moss, and Mike Duerksen started the club 26 years ago.

Abrahams remains longtime club president. His brother, Rex Abrahams, and other members from Hillsboro, Canton, Inman, Goessel, and other towns in the vicinity have kept the club, and the show, going.

Now Kim is ready for someone to step forward and take the helm.

Club members show their cars but don’t enter for prizes.

Kim no longer goes to car shows to win trophies, he says. It’s all about enjoying cars and seeing friends.

Mankato residents Raymond and Carol Wakefield displayed a 1930 Model A Ford pulling a small black trailer. In the back seat was a quilt made by Carol with the design of an eagle.

Alden resident Trenton Millspaugh showed a 1928 Ford Model A that his grandfather had rescued

The Ford has been kept mostly “as-is,” including glass broken by pellet guns during the years it sat in a pasture, an original red steering wheel, and its original outside-mounted horn can still be seen.

Prize winners from Marion County included:

Best Ford truck — 1934 Ford pickup, Donley Duerksen, Hillsboro.

Best antique — 1932 Chevy Cabriolet, Jim Hefley, Hillsboro.

Best high performance — 1966 Shelby GT-350H, Bruce Serene, Hillsboro.

Best motorcycle — 1947 Whizzer H1, Joe Bartel, Hillsboro.

Ray Abrahams Memorial Award — 1972 Buick Riviera, Ben Steketee, Hillsboro.

Mr. Nasty — 1929 Ford Coupe, Frank Werner, Marion.

Bad to the bone — 1923 Ford T-Bucket, Fred Wilson, Lincolnville.

Last modified June 15, 2023

 

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