SALEM — The Salem Super Cruise came to a close Sunday afternoon, blessed with great weather and great crowds all four days.
“Everybody said it was the best show they’ve ever seen,” cruise director and city councilman Dennis Plegge said, based on his conversations with vendors, car owners and people attending the event.
“I think everybody was ready to get out when they heard the weather was good,” he said.
He reported no major issues, except for maybe a burnout or two on the streets, saying that in the lots, the car owners watch out for each other. He also said the crafters all reported doing well.
Overall he said it was a great week. Plegge took over this year as cruise director after longtime cruise chief Gene Johnson stepped away with his cruisin’ crew in the fall. Johnson agreed to help Plegge get through this year and said everything’s good. He said Plegge will have it under control next year when he’s on his own.
Plegge thanked Johnson for everything he showed him and for all his help this year.
“I thank the city of Salem for allowing me to do this,” Plegge said, thanking all who were involved in making the cruise a success, including the people who came out to support the event.
When Johnson started doing cruises with the Cruisin’ Crew, such as the former Arby’s cruise on Saturday nights, he raised money for local food pantries or collected food to donate to them. He said the Cruisin’ Crew has donated almost 3 million pounds of food.
He continued to help the food pantries when he volunteered to oversee the Salem Super Cruise for the city, offering to donate money made from T-shirts and raffles and the car shows to food pantries who sent volunteers to help. That continued this year, with three pantries helping out, including Oasis in Columbiana, St Patrick Church in Leetonia and Abundant Life Fellowship in New Waterford.
Those three pantries will split the net proceeds, which totaled $7,340 from the car show fees, T-shirt sales, 50/50 raffle, Chinese auction and beef raffle. According to Sue DeJane, a volunteer from St. Patrick Church who helped out as a treasurer for the event, the gross income totaled $5,342 for T-shirts, $1,266 for the cars shows ($385 at Diehl, $571 at Donnell and $310 for the Show & Shine on Sunday), $2,363 for the 50/50 raffle, $1,538 for the Chinese Auction and $1,350 for the beef raffle. Out of the $11,859 gross, she subtracted out the $500 prize for the beef raffle, $1,181 for the 50/50 and $2,838 for the cost of the T-shirts.
The Show & Shine sponsored by Gilbert’s Auto Service in Salem closed out the cruise on Sunday after attracting 90 show vehicles for display. Johnson said the weather reports Sunday might have reduced the numbers even though it never did rain or storm. The show held Friday at Donnell attracted 150 show vehicles and the show held at Diehl on Saturday attracted 100 show vehicles.
John Gamble of Winona won the Show & Shine Best of Show trophy for his 1921 Chalmers, a true classic he’s been working to restore the past four years. He found the car on eBay and drove to Oklahoma to pick it up. The car has an electric start but he can use the crank on the front if he wants.
At age 83, he’s been a mechanic his whole life and retired as the bus mechanic for United Local schools at age 65. After he retired, he restored an International pickup for his son and that got him started.
The first car he ever owned as a young man was a 1950 Chevy hardtop so the first car he bought for himself to restore was of course a 1950 Chevy hardtop. He also owns a 1953 Mg TD.
“I like the old ones,” he said.
Restoring the cars gives him something to do in retirement, he said, and he goes to a lot of car shows, including the Salem Super Cruise.
Other major winners at the Show & Shine included Mayor’s Choice winner Dirk Stratton for his 2009 Corvette Drift Car and Sponsor’s Choice winner Allen Alesi for his 1970 Chevelle SS. The winner of $1,181 from the 50/50 was Kristin Smith and the beef raffle winner from Moore Farms was Andy D’Apolito. D’Apolito will have the choice of taking $500 cash or $500 worth of meat.
Other winners at the Show & Shine who received trophies included: Robert Stephen, Rat Rod; Dallas Rozeski, 1933 Plymouth; Carl Calhoun, 1935 Plymouth; Roger McDaniel, 1948 Chevy; Ian Nenadic, 1940 Chevy; John Borza, 1957 Chevy; Paul Baker, 1953 Dodge; Gary Russell, 1955 Chevy truck; Jim King, 1951 Chevy; Benny Wright, 1967 Chevy Impala; Steve Bailey, 1969 Chevy Nova; Jessica Slocum, 1967 Mons Minor; Al Carli, 1966 Corvette; Dwayne Johnson, 1965 Chevy Belair; Don Walter, 1967 Pontiac GTO; Sara Houchins, 1977 Chevy Camaro; Cory DeAngelis, 1963 Chevy Nova; and Lloyd Willis, 1981 Austin Mini.