Another Cruise in the books | News, Sports, Jobs

Winona resident John Gamble poses with a pre-restoration photo of his 1921 Chalmers that he’s spent the last four years restoring. The 83-year-old found the car online in Oklahoma and brought it back to Ohio to fix up. He won the Best of Show trophy for the car during the Show & Shine at the Salem Super Cruise. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

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.

Isaiah Tingley, 7, and Eli Tingley, 8, brothers from Greenford, take the wheel of the 1921 Chalmers for a photo with car owner John Gamble. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

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.

Jennifer Brown of Berlin Center sits with Roy Brown in front of her 1971 Ford Pinto during the Salem Super Cruise on Sunday. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

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.

This 1951 Chevy pickup owned by Jim King of Carrollton won a participation trophy in the Salem Super Cruise Show & Shine. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

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.

Visitors cruise the show lot on the final day of the Salem Super Cruise. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Ed Wilson & Son Trucking of New Springfield brought in some big trucks for the Salem Super Cruise. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Salem resident Mark Slocum gives the participation trophy for his daughter’s car to his aunt, Washingtonville resident Sue DeJane, who was volunteering at the Salem Super Cruise for the St. Patrick Church Food Pantry. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

From left, Allen Alesi accepts the Sponsor Trophy for his 1970 Chevelle SS from Show & Shine sponsors Katie and Lonnie Gilbert of Gilbert’s Auto Service in Salem. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Dirk Stratton accepts the Mayor’s Trophy for his 2009 Corvette Drift Car from Salem Super Cruise director and city Councilman Dennis Plegge, who acted on behalf of Mayor John Berlin. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Councilman Dennis Plegge, this year’s Salem Super Cruise Director, presents the Best of Show award to John Gamble of Winona for his 1921 Chalmers during the Show & Shine on Sunday. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Hailey Clark, 9, picks the winning ticket for the beef raffle from Moore Farms. Winner Andy D’Apolito can choose $500 cash or $500 worth of meat. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Dennis Plegge and Gene Johnson celebrate the end of another successful Salem Super Cruise. Plegge took over this year as director, with help from Johnson, who previously ran the cruise with his Cruisin’ Crew before stepping down last fall. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.