Okay, this is the part all you classic and custom car owners have been waiting for: the winners’ list from last weekend’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show. This was the biggest car show in Berwyn EVER, thousands of visitors with more than 600 cars on exhibit. WOW.
I can tell you right off the bat that we have some repeat winners from last year; but before I get to that let me mention one thing that truly warmed my heart. There was finally an era-appropriate car to celebrate U.S. Route 66’s original birthday (November 11, 1926), and the judges even gave it a special award. Mike Home of Chicago won the Terrific ‘T’ award for his nicely preserved 1927 Ford Model T. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! And now I’m annoyed that I somehow missed seeing it in the crowd.
Even more outstanding was that there was a pair of 1923 Model T Fords – deuces! – that actually predated U.S. Route 66 by three years. James Grumbos of Villa Park won for Pleasin’ Presentation, and Robert P. Berkowicz of Chicago won the Righteous Roadster spot. Think of it: those cars were made the same year that one William Mitchell opened a restaurant half a block from Chicago’s Union Station, right on Jackson Boulevard, and named it after his son Lou. And history was made. We hope Jim and Bob made a stop at Lou Mitchell’s early Saturday morning for breakfast and a snapshot of their vehicles in front of the café; that would’ve been perfect.
Nor were these the only oldsters of the bunch: vehicles from Route 66’s first decade were well represented this year. A 1930 Ford Model A owned by Ken Wallenberg of Elmwood Park won the Awesome ‘A’ award. James Dvorak of Lyons won the Outrageously Original award for his 1930 Ford 2-Door. Berwyn homeboy Sean Lantis’s 1931 Ford Model A won the Pleasantly Preserved slot, whereas Marengo denizen Bob Madsen’s 1931 Ford Model A Coupe won for Cool Coupe. Two 1932 deuce coupes (how appropriate!) won titles –– a 1932 ford Coupe owned by Schiller Park’s Robert Lukowski was dubbed One Fine Deuce, and Steve Sawyer of Oswego snagged Low, Low Lid for his 1932 Ford 5W Coupe. (All together now, like the Beach Boys, sing it: Little Deuce Coupe, you know, you know what I got … ) J.B. Bracken of Chicago won the Scrapin’ award (as in: it’s soooo low, it’s scrapin’ bottom) for his 1935 Ford Pick-Up Rat Rod. Hinsdale’s Tim Pyle won Class Act for his 1936 Ford Cabriolet, and Joliet residents Eva & Randy Rucka’s 1936 Plymouth was the Chairman’s Pick.
The car that came the furthest to be at the show, however, won for Long Distance, a new category this year: a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner brought in by Michael Fassnacht of Costa Mesa, CA. A beach boy! Dude, did you bring your board, too?
Now for the other highlights. Best of Show for stock cars went to Tom Vlcek of LaGrange for his 1967 Chevy Impala SS427, while Best of Show for modified vehicles went to Tim Grant of Addison for his 1940 Ford Truck. The Co-Chaiman’s Pick was a 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe owned by William Tubbs of Chicago. The Head Judge’s Award went to Francis Golniewicz, Berwyn for a 1959 MG MGA. Then there was that other little cutie, a 1963 Triumph Spitfire, owned by Brain McCarthy of LaGrange Park, which won the Foreign Affair title. I’ve always had a soft spot for Triumph Spitfires, ever since a college boyfriend owned a red ragtop one. Sigh.
My favorite this year, however, was a tough choice. On one hand, I do appreciate classics, especially Porsches, and Mundelein’s Steve Moore showed a 1964 Porsche 356 Cabriolet that was named Impressive Import. That’s the one I really wanted to drive. On the other, the one I really wanted to own was from my neck of the woods in Oak Lawn: a beautiful, brand-new 2014 Ford Shelby GT 500, named Mighty Mustang this year and owned by Mike Arden. Hmmmmm, maybe I should get to know some of my neighbors better …
Two awards were literal repeats from last year: Whole Lotta Chrome went to John Zigauto of Brookfield for his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and Wild Wheels was won by Daniel Olavarria of Cicero for his 1989 Chevy Caprice. Tracey Vhren of Bensenville in her 1972 Pontiac Firebird muscle car was a repeat winner this year, too, but in a different category: Way Cool instead of last year’s Excellent Engine (don’t know about you, but I’d rather win Way Cool over an engine title any day).
The Bikemasters also made a showing. Tony Brown of Woodridge won Bitchin’ Bike for his 1999 Suzuki Haya Busa, native Berwynian Tony Roman won Hog Heaven for his 2008 Harley-Davidson Rocker, and Derrick Roderweiss of Cicero won Wild Ride for his 2003 Harley-Davidson Soft Tail Deuce.
SO many winners, 61 this year – five Mustangs and muscle cars and more, oh my; maybe we can get 66 next year? – that we can’t describe them all; so, below is the alphabetized complete list, as produced by the officials. Sincere apologies if anyone was missed, but this is all there was. Meanwhile, the weather’s still holding, so get out there and enjoy the last car cruises of the season, y’all, before it gets ugly out there.
Until next time, you road dogs!
2013 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show winners:
Absolutely Elegant – J. Paul Orednick, Lemont; 1932 Chevy 5 Window Original Coupe
American Dream – Roger Macnider, Elmhurst; 1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Asian Invasion – Jose Aponte, Cicero; 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR
Awesome ‘A’ – Ken Wallenberg, Elmwood Park; 1930 Ford Model A
B-B-Bad to the Bone – Michael Fazekas, Crown Point, IN; 2006 Ford Mustang GT
Best of Show, Modified – Tim Grant, Addison; 1940 Ford Truck
Best of Show, Stock – Tom Vlcek, LaGrange; 1967 Chevy Impala SS427
Bitchin’ Bike – Tony Brown, Woodridge; 1999 Suzuki Haya Busa
Chairman’s Pick – Eva & Randy Rucka, Joliet; 1936 Plymouth
Class Act – Tim Pyle, Hinsdale; 1936 Ford Cabriolet
Co-Chaiman’s Pick – William Tubbs, Chicago; 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe
Cool Coupe – Bob Madsen, Marengo; 1931 Ford Model A Coupe
Cool Cruiser – George Santos, Orland Park; 1968 Ford Galaxie
Current Events – Gregg Widman, Sr., Berwyn; 2000 Chrysler Viper
Excellent Engine – Sergio Martinez, Chicago; 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe
Fabulous Fat Fendered – Ron Macchia, Stickney; 1940 Chevrolet 2-Door Coupe
Factory Muscle – Hector Garcia, Chicago; 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Far Out Fins – Joe Koenig, Jr., Downers Grove; 1967 Ampicar
Foreign Affair – Brain McCarthy, LaGrange Park; 1963 Triumph Spitfire
Gorgeous Graphics – Ron Tonika, Berwyn; 2010 Dodge Challenger
Head Judge’s Award – Francis Golniewicz, Berwyn; 1959 MG MGA
Hog Heaven – Tony Roman, Berwyn; 2008 Harley-Davidson Rocker
Hot Hauler – Jose Bucio, North Riverside; 1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne
Impressive Import – Steven Moore, Mundelein; 1964 Porsche 356 Cabriolet
Inner Beauty – Jerry Klomsten, LaGrange; 1949 Ford Pickup
Intriguing Interior – Rich Kozar, North Riverside; 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Just ’Coz It’s Neat – Eric McShan, Maywood; 1988 Chevrolet Caprice
Ledfoot News Award – Jim Nieciak, Darien; 1965 Pontiac GTO
Long Distance – Michael Fassnacht, Costa Mesa, CA; 1969 Plymouth Road Runner
Lovely Low-rider – Jose Martinez, Lockport; 1954 Chevy Belair
Low, Low Lid – Steve Sawyer, Oswego; 1932 Ford 5W Coupe
Magnificent Mustang – Craig Mazzok, St. Charles; 1969 Ford Mustang
Mighty Mustang – Mike Arden, Oak Lawn; 2014 Ford Shelby GT 500
Mirror Image – Ron Gelatka, Crown Point, IN; 1965 Shelby AC Cobra
Need for Speed – Kevin Andelbrat, Westchester; 1964 Chevy Malibu SS
One Fine Deuce – Robert Lukowski, Schiller Park; 1932 Ford Coupe
Outrageously Original – James Dvorak, Lyons; 1930 Ford 2-Door
Perfect Pony – Karl Polaski, Berkeley; 1969 Ford Mustang
Pleasantly Preserved – Sean Lantis, Berwyn; 1931 Ford Model A
Pleasin’ Paint – Anthony Malacina, Homer Glen; 1967 Chevrolet Camaro R/S Convertible
Pleasin’ Presentation – James Grumbos, Villa Park; 1923 Ford Model T
Raging Ragtop – William Del Fiacco, Bolingbrook; 1966 Chevy Chevelle
Righteous Roadster – Robert P. Berkowicz; Chicago, 1923 Ford Model T Bucket
Scrapin’ – J.B. Bracken, Chicago; 1935 Ford Pick-Up Rat Rod
Sexy Sedan – Richard Vavra, Berwyn; 1957 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket
Size Matters – Bob Striker, Chesterton, IN; 1967 Chevy Camaro
Slick And Smooth – Ron Coco, Palos Heights; 1948 Buick
Slick Sled – Tony Maritato, Bridgeview; 1950 Ford Custom
Slo & Lo, Mark Hill, Naperville; 1938 Buick Coupe
Sooo Low – Alberto Melgoza, Chicago; 1966 Chevrolet Impala
Special Edition – Jeff Moeller, Downers Grove; 2012 Dodge Challenger
Street Sweeper – Steve Alexander, LaGrange, 1965 Shelby Cobra Mustang
Terrific ‘T’, Mike Horne, Chicago; 1927 Ford Model T
Terrific Tuner – Paul Stepanovich, Berwyn; 2013 Subaru STI
Track Star – George Robbins Mike Allison, Yorkville; 1951 Henry J
Tremendous Truck – Joyce Jones, Elmhurst; 1964 Chevy Pickup
Way Cool – Tracey S. Vhren, Bensenville; 1972 Pontiac Firebird
Whole Lotta Chrome – John Zigauto; Brookfield, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Wild Wagon – Raul Andrade, Berwyn; 1957 Chevy Wagon Belair
Wild Ride – Derrick Roderweiss, Cicero; 2003 Harley-Davidson Soft Tail Deuce
Wild Wheels – Daniel Olavarria, Cicero; 1989 Chevy Caprice