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Autofest wheels into Capac for a 21st year


Carl Scholz' event draws huge crowd on a perfect day to show off classics


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Brothers Ryan, John, Anthoney and Dennis Rivard of Imlay City check out what’s under the hood of a 1968 Chevy Nova owned by David Stein. photo by Tom Wearing.

October 03, 2007
CAPAC — No sooner had the sun risen Sunday morning than hundreds of classic car owners began wheeling into town to register their classic cars and trucks in the annual Scholz Auto Fest at the high school.

Sponsored by Capac businessman Carl Scholz, the 21st free event attracted an estimated 6,000 car enthusiasts to the school grounds, providing them a chance to mingle and motor down memory lane.

With the benefit of ideal weather conditions, Scholz said about 1,500 classic vehicles were on hand for viewing, with more than 260 trophies valued at $9,000 being awarded in various categories.

This year's show theme was dedicated to "Chargers" and "Barracudas," said Scholz. He thanked Kevin Mitchell, plant manager of the new Keihin Michigan Manufacturing plant, for his and the corporation's support and sponsorship of the featured cars.

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The 'Cudas and Chargers were a big hit, but it was the classics from the 1930s, '40s and '50s that were the center of attention.

Fred Swan of Oxford, the owner of a red 1936 Cadillac Model 60 Deluxe coupe, is a regular at car shows throughout Michigan and in the Midwest. He particularly enjoys taking part in the Capac event.

"We've been to about 16 shows so far this season, with more to come," said Swan. "I know Carl (Scholz) pretty well and he does a great job. We've been coming here for the past nine years and this is one of my favorite shows. There are a lot of great cars to be seen."

For the youngsters in the crowd, the show was a chance to feast their eyes on the designs, engines, colors and styling that were once the hallmark of the American auto industry.

Ten-year-old Jason Tyson, who attended the show with his dad, Jason, and brother, Hunter, 3, already has designs on becoming a classic car owner one day himself.

"I like to see the different paint jobs," said Jason. "My dad told me that when I get older, he's gonna' buy a car for me and we're gonna' fix it up."

While nodding in agreement, it could be an expensive prospect for the elder Tyson, or anyone else wanting to purchase or restore a classic car.

While stories were abundant among owners about how cheaply some of the cars had been obtained, either originally or in their various states of disrepair, the values of classic vehicles are skyrocketing.

"I'd be embarrassed to tell you how much I'd have to get to sell this car," said the owner of a beautifully restored 1930s vintage Ford.

Scholz said Sunday's sunny and comfortably cool weather was ideal, as evidenced by one of the largest crowds in the show's history. He added that it was so busy that some food vendors ran out of food.

"It was a huge turnout, one of the best shows in Michigan," said Scholz, who devotes two months of 10-hour days to prepare for the event. "It's a lot of work. It's taken a long time to get the show to this point."

While he's had offers to move the show to other locations, Scholz said he intends to remain loyal to the community and people who have supported him.

"This show brings a lot of people into Capac and it's good for the community," he said. "Everybody in Capac supports me, so I want to keep it right here."

Staff Writer
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