Picture a neighbourhood block party with a fleet of classic cars and you get the idea behind a unique event in Sarnia called the Rutherglen Close Car Show.
Rutherglen Close is a residential street between Lakeshore and Cathcart Boulevard in the shape of a long oval, with a grassy island in the middle.
For the past six years the Bluewater Austin-Healey Club – with the support of each and every one of the street’s neighbours – has held a car show there that’s free and open to the public.
This year, 180 to 200 classic and antique cars will be on display in the park and the surrounding lawns of the neighbours.
A stage will be set up for a live band and a DJ playing music from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, along with tents, a charity barbecue and screenings of car-related movies.
“It’s a true community event,” said club member Bruce Scott. ‘’All of the money that comes from it goes to the Salvation Army, and all the food and the pop and the door prizes are donated by local industry.”
Last year more than $4,500 was raised for the Sally Ann.
The street party is the brainchild of Rutherglen resident Dan Moore.
“We’d go to other car shows and the guys in the club would say, ‘We should have one,’” Moore said.
“I looked out in the front yard one day and said, why not? It’s perfect. We have that little park in the middle and it’s never used.”
The fact that all two dozen homeowners unanimously support the event is “amazing,” Moore said.
“They all have a great day and they actually get to pick the cars that win the awards.”
The Salvation Army also appreciates the support, he added.
“They are the second-oldest charity in the city but you don’t see them advertise. They don’t get as much money as they need.”
Scott owns two classics – a 1928 Ford Model A “Phaeton” and a 1953 Jaguar XK120.
The “120” in the name refers the Jaguar’s top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h), which made it the world’s fastest production vehicle at the time of its launch, Scott said.
“Clark Gable had the very first one.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Rutherglen Close Car Show
WHERE: Rutherglen Close
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain or Shine.
COST: $10 per car, no advance registration. Free to spectators but donations of cash or non-perishable food welcome.