More than 700 cars, trucks and motorcycles are expected to line the streets of downtown Delaware next weekend for the 20th annual Blast from the Past car show.
The Vintage Auto Club of Delaware will host what many consider the largest downtown event of the year Saturday, July 27. The show officially kicks off at 10 a.m. on Sandusky Street.
"Car shows are one of the most popular events in downtowns during the summer and anything that brings people downtown is great," said Holly Quaine of the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce. "The doors will all be open and there isn't a restaurant or shop that I wouldn't send someone to."
Owners will travel from all over the Midwest to show off their vintage and brand-new vehicles and vie for more than 100 trophies presented by local businesses.
There is no restriction on the year or model of vehicles that can register for the show, which is one reason it has been able to grow, said Jim Harter.
Harter, president of the Vintage Auto Club, will show off his 1955 Chevy 210. He spent 15 years rebuilding the classic car.
"I rebuilt the car from the ground up, from the body work and paint work to the engine work," Harter said. "Most all the cars you see at the show are done that way, and these guys take a lot of pride in their work, so they'll talk to you, answer questions and rev it up for people."
During previous shows, vehicle owners were allowed to cruise up and down Delaware streets. Because of safety concerns at the growing event, police have asked the club to discourage cruising this year.
Although show coordinator Jim Clements said "the cruisers" will be disappointed by the new rule, there will be plenty of activities to keep their attention during the daylong event.
Bands, DJs and vendors selling food and passing out information will take to the sidewalks.
There also will be a slew of prizes to win. Tickets will be sold for automotive-themed door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and a raffle in which the grand prize is a $1,000 gift card to JEGS. Other raffle prizes include four new tires and gift cards for Buehler's and Washington Auto Parts. A silent auction will feature gift cards, products and experiences.
"Everything is donated by local businesses so we can keep our costs low," Clements said. "It seems like every year we get more and more positive support from the Delaware community."
All proceeds from the show will be donated to HomeReach Hospice in Delaware.
While Harter and Clements look forward to the event each year and are proud of how far it's come since 1993, when it was first held in a small parking lot, their main focus is on how much the club will be able to give back.
"I'm just glad to see a big crowd because I know it's going to make a good chunk of money for hospice," Harter said.
"Benefiting HomeReach Hospice is the most important thing about the show," Clements added.
The 54-member club has raised $195,000 for the hospice through car shows. Harter said it became a special interest for the club when it was hosting its first car show because a member had recently dealt with the hospice.
"It's an organization that reaches out and helps anyone and everyone," he said. "They are really, really special people."
Harter said he's known cars to begin lining up on the streets as early as 4 a.m. looking to score a prime parking spot along Sandusky Street from Central Avenue to Harrison Street, but registration doesn't officially begin until 10 a.m. The show will end about an hour after the awards ceremony at 6 p.m.
Registration for the show is $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.
Registration forms can be found on the bottom of fliers at Delaware automotive stores, including NAPA, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and Washington Auto Parts.