Saturday, August 16, 2008

Aesthetic Finishers 2008, Piqua, Ohio


Well, I've been looking forward to this day for the last couple of weeks. I've been going through sort of a "withdraw", having not attended a car show or cruise in for several weeks. Add to that the anticipation of attending what was an outstanding show last year, I was eager to head to Piqua, Ohio today for the Aesthetic Finishers Open House/Customer Appreciation Carshow.

My son and I got around early this morning, backed Ol Blue out of the garage, and headed for my father's house (about a 40 minute drive). I had taken Ol Blue to the car wash and filling station last evening, then spent some time with a shop vac and window cleaner when I got back home, so she was clean and ready to make the trip. This would be the longest distance I have traveled in the car since I bought her last April. I've had some unfortunate "breakdowns" on a couple previous trips, (generator pulley disintegrated and heater hose ruptured on two separate trips last spring), so I was praying for a trouble-free day.

I took this as we left my father's road and pulled onto the highway.

We arrived at my dad's house at about 9:30 and took off with him leading the way to Piqua. My son chose to ride in the "lead car"; my father's 1947 Chevrolet. My parents live about 30 or so miles from Piqua. I was PLEASED that neither car had any issues, as we even stopped to buy a bag of ice in Greenville, Ohio to fill the cooler.

I had pre-registered both vehicles via the Internet. Our confirmation printout said that cars should be on the lot no later than noon. We arrived at about 10:40 and were AMAZED at the number of vehicles already at the show. Last year they anticipated 700 cars and had over 1800 in attendance. This year looked like it would have similar results.

We were pointed toward the back lot and had to "weave" through rows of cars and spectators to get to a couple of open spots. Dad got a nice spot near some shade, while they made me park across the row in the blistering sun. Upon arrival, we quickly unloaded our chairs and cooler and set up our "base camp" in the shade behind my father's car.

"Hey Dad!", my son said in an excited voice, "Is that Dennis Gage!?!?"

We then began to look around at the WIDE variety of cars in attendance. This show is open to all makes, models, and years, motorcyles are included too. My son and I split from my father for just a few minutes, when my son quickly recognized Dennis Gage, the host of My Classic Car on the Speed Channel. My son went over and introduced himself and proceeded to tell Dennnis what a big "fan" of the show he was. Dennis was very polite and allowed me to take a nice picture of the two of them. My father would get his chance later in the day to meet Dennis as well, and both my father and my son got autographed photos and "My Classic Car" decals.

Dennis poses with my son...."His #1 fan"!

Here we are again later in the day. My father and son are getting their autographed pictures and decals. Thanks Dennis!

As the morning went on, cars continued to "pour" onto the lots. It was great seeing a variety of vehicles, but I must admit that I was a bit disappointed as the number of "traditional rods" and "rat rods" seemed to be smaller than last year's event. There also seemed to be fewer Ol' Skool motorcycles.

The older you get, the fewer places you can go without running into a few people you know. This show was no exception. I saw a few folks who I know who own cars, including parents of a couple students at my middle school. This was the first time I got to check out their 1953 Chevrolet. Looks great Tim and Lynn!

Throughout the day, I took over 150 pictures of some of the cars that I deemed "Suede and Chrome worthy". It will probably take me the next week or so to get all of the pictures posted. How did the day end? Did we make it back to my parents house and then home without a breakdown? Keep checking back at and watch for updates! In the meantime, go back in the archives of Suede and Chrome to find pictures from last years event!