B.J. Messier showcases his 2003 Chevy Corvette at the Antioch Shopping Plaza at a recent car show. Messier won Best In Show (Jessica Lamberty/Hi-Liter).

By Jessica Lamberty
Correspondent

Last May, Ron Horton and the Capella Family of Wings Etc. organized a 10-week car cruise-in at the Antioch Shopping Plaza parking lot by Piggly Wiggly, 460 Orchard St.

It is held every second and fourth Tuesday of May through September. The event runs from 4 until 8 p.m. with drawings held around 7 p.m.

Classified as a cruise in, spectators and showmen are welcome to come and go as they please.

Although the biweekly event has bolstered Antioch’s revenue in the shopping plaza, it comes from a humble beginning.

The car show was originally started in the summer of 2013 with only 12 cars joining the lineup.

After five years, it boasts a record of 120 cars at one show and over three hundred different vehicles throughout the show season. Although many of the same cars are shown each week, there is a large turnover of new vehicles at each show.

As far as funding goes, the event is free to spectators and showmen alike. Awards are given by local sponsors in the form of coupons and gift cards. Wings Etc. holds a drawing at the end of the season for the people who have attended the most shows with their vehicle.

The first through third place winners receive cash prizes of $200, $150 and $100. To be eligible, one must attend at least five of the 10 shows that season, upon which they will receive a ticket for the drawing as well as additional tickets for every show after.

Horton has posted more than 900 flyers in five counties to promote the car show and the businesses around it.

The goal of hosting the car show in the plaza lot is to bring exposure and revenue to the local businesses in the area. It also provides car enthusiasts with the opportunity to show off their treasures while patronizing nearby businesses.

Tom Homan, an Antioch resident and regular in the car show, believes that the show brings in revenue and people, helping bolster business in the area.

“They host this for the community and the people who love cars,” Homan said.

“[cars] are not made to sit at home in the garage or driveway; they’re made to be shown and I wanted to do that,” claims Horton, who has two classic and custom cars of his own.

He does not, however, want the event to turn into a used car sale. With the limited space, showing vehicles to sell would hinder someone else’s ability to show their classic or custom car.

“I will permit them [to sell] but I don’t want it to be a used car lot,” Horton said.

Due to the success of the show, Horton has had to limit the amount of vehicles able to attend. After providing smaller parking stalls, the lot holds 134 cars per show.

Moving forward, regulations have been set for which cars can show. It must be a classic or custom car, meaning older than 1993 or a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Custom cars must be at least 60 percent non-production.

“I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I can only see it going up,” Horton said when asked about future plans for the show.

Horton also helps with the annual Village car show, held the first Thursday in August. The lot, located next to the Bandshell behind Main Street (IL. Rte. 83), holds about 125 cars, with many of the same cars attending both shows.

For inquiries about showing a vehicle or volunteering at the show, contact Ron Horton at (847) 343-9093.

 
 

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