Relix Riot Car Show
By Scott Strenzel, aka Scooter
This car show gets it done like it ought to be! I’ll set this kool to the max event up like this. First off it is held in September at the exciting Gilmore Car
Museum at Hickory Corners, Michigan, between Kalamazoo/Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Michigan. This place in itself is a piece of automotive history. It is rated as one of the 10 best large automotive museums in the USA, over 175 vehicles and a vintage Shell Gas station and a fully operational vintage diner. The cost of admission is a five spot and even without the Relix bunch it’s well worth it.
So then if you toss in Mike (Gas Axe Garage) Boerma and his Relix club guys and gals doing their thing, you have one of the best rated traditional custom car and street rod shows around. Now I absolutely was told to be sure to instill in all of you out there in Auto-Round-Up land that this is not a Rat Rod car show. In other words Mike and his crew will not accept entry to an old car that’s been rattle canned to red rims and shows up with so much mechanical uncertainty that it probably would never pass a DOT safety inspection. Scooter will step out on a limb here and say this about many a person’s feelings about Rat Rods. Many times they are just a piece of junk deliberately built that way. The rest of us that understand the difference between a traditional custom and an old skool street rod should be able to agree some with this statement. But I also have seen Rat Rods defined as follows: fun, low budget, tradition (key word) patina hot rods and customs built with safe, junk yard parts, built to drive and not to trailer or just to show. They have no problem with a flat or patina paint job cars. This attitude
is catching on all over! Heck right now there are about four, count them, magazine publications you can buy that only do or cover this style of a car. These popular style of car shows are not the typical “we’ll take anything on wheels” car show. Mike and others that promote these “new” traditional cars events have arrived at basically the same rules for entry. All entries must have a pre-1964 title! And also not be titled an assembled kit car that looks like an old car. No billet, accessories, no IRS cars, nothing with post 1964 wheels and no open wheel cars, or stock restored cars! Damn it, old Scooter is really loving this style of an event. Plus, you’d think with all of these limitations the entry numbers would be low? Not so! Last year Mike and his Relix bunch turned away about 80 cars. This year he told me that number was down to about 50 complete with a pre-event party and the event will then be held on Saturday. This will give the growing number of out of town cars to have travel time on Sunday to get home.
Hey we’re only gettin started with the Relix Riot! There was much more to see and become a part of at this top notch event.
Like the three or four Rock-a-Billy live bands under the big white tent. They were ripping out the pre-60 and real early country stuff in big decibel numbers. Hell, one base player got so wound into it he laid his fiddle on its side and jumped up on the curve and leaned over and kept on playing the song for all of us. Ya gotta also experience the far out pin up girls walking among the cars and visitors. They are dressed to the max in WW II style clothing, that is to die for.
Moving on to even more “stuff”. They had a large Auto Swap Meet area! It was so full of good old pieces, I even sprung for a couple of things I needed for the 1948 Chevy. Plus, you can always walk into any of the large Gilmore Museum Barns. The quality and number of vehicles on display is mind boggling. If you don’t stroke out from having this much fun. You’ll probably be at least thirsty and maybe even hungry. Just walk up as old Scooter did to the old time vintage diner, and have at it, man this event is a total happening! I also saw it in print in some other old car magazines. If I get run over by the dog gone big old cement truck any time soon, I’m a happy camper for just being allowed to experience this event. It’s a done deal. Be there next year.
The garage is closed up!