blank 09/18/09 09:59AM Beloit Autorama, Car show, Events

Beloit Autorama
Annual car show Sunday

What started out as a simple fundraiser has now turned into one of the largest one-day car shows in the Midwest.

The Beloit Autorama will be celebrating 33 years of shows this Sunday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Preservation Park in the Town of Beloit.

Since the first show in 1977, which featured 130 cars from around the area, Autorama has grown to massive proportions. By 1987, the car show hit a record of 1,200 cars on display. This year more than 1,250 cars are expected in classes of Street Rod, Custom, Corvette, Antique, Classic, Truck, 55-57 Chevy, Street Machine, Muscle Car and Special Interest.

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Although the purpose of the event is to show off collections of cars, there is plenty of other things to do at Autorama. The event also will feature a parts swap, flea market and arts and crafts area with space for 300 vendors; a car corral area that will feature more than 120 classic and performance cars that are for sale, music by D.J. 3D Sound Company from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and concession stands in the park that will offer bratwurst, hamburgers, hot dogs, soft drinks and beer for an additional cost.

Autorama co-chair Todd Nelson said the biggest update to the event will be especially exciting for NASCAR lovers.

New this year is the Chapman Motor Sports display of the actual GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo that was driven by the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. at Daytona in the Twin 125 race, as well as the Busch Clash back in 1988. The group along with the Beloit Lions also will have a racing simulator on hand for guests to try racing at Daytona International Speedway in an actual 2006 #36 M&M’s Ford Fusion, driven by Elliot Sadler.

Nelson said there also will be about 8-12 cars on display that were used in the “Public Enemies” moving starring Johnny Depp.

An exciting portion of the day includes an awards ceremony where approximately 55 trophies and dash plaques are presented in all car classes. Each year, the trophies are made by club members and become more and more collectable. For the past seven years, Autorama has presented trophies that include a clock in the design to give the award a function.

“This year the awards are handmade steering wheels,” Nelson said. “They were made by KC Lamb.”

Nelson said he isn’t worried about the weather being bad and is just happy to raise money for the community.

Autorama is a fundraising project for the Beloit Evening Lions Club. Each year, the Coachmen Street Rodders and Blue Ribbon Classic Chevy Club donate their time and efforts to present the event. In over 30 years, Autorama has raised more than $663,000.

The proceeds have been donated to the Lions Club International Foundation and the Wisconsin Lions Club Foundation, which supports the Wisconsin Lions Camp for use by the visually handicapped, Merrill Community Center, Beloit Boys and Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, Caritas, Easter Seals Camp, and other community projects. Donations were made to these organizations in the total amount of $35,000 last year.

Admission is $6 for adult spectators and $2 for children ages 8-15. Children ages 7 and under will be admitted free.

For more information on Autorama, visitwww.beloitautorama.com.

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