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The Day America Got Home

Super Chevy was There

Tony Kelly Jun 26, 2002

If Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was the day war came to our shores, Friday, September 14, 2001, was the day much of America got home. We were on one of the first flights from the West Coast to Chicago, ironically an American Airlines 767, and the feeling of the passengers and crew was emotionally expressed with a thunderous ovation when the wheels touched down at O'Hare. These people were home!

We felt fortunate to have been at home when the world changed, but now we were going to see friends and colleagues at the Columbus, Ohio, Super Chevy Show. When asked by a TV interviewer during the week if the Super Chevy Show would still go on, Autostar's Roger Gustin replied that there were people in this world that wanted to shut our country down, but he (Gustin) "didn't want to participate in that." From the record-breaking crowd of Super Chevy Show cars and racers that came to Columbus, it's obvious that there were many people who felt the same way. As we talked to the show goers, exhibitors, racers, and vendors, we learned there was an overwhelming desire to be with those who had a common interest and to see people they might only get to see once a year at this show. There was also the sense that many wanted to escape the news for a while, and that's reason enough to come to where they could find a still-strong symbol of America: Chevrolets.


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Winners with trophies glistening in the sun. The deserving car owners show off their awards on Sunday afternoon.

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Junior dragster winner Chris Bear of Northwood, OH, cranked an 8.780 e.t@66.17 mph to outrun second place finisher Sara Watkins of Columbus, OH, who turned a 9.425 e.t.@64.47 mph.

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There were lots of great Tri-Fives at Columbus, and one of the best was Bill Watters' Wellington, OH, sedan. We gave it our Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

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Cavaliers get our attention when they're made to look like Dean Slusher's racer from Ashville, OH. To show our gratitude for the good work, we gave Dean and his car an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award.

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Tom Dutton brought this highly modified '67 Camaro to wow the pro street fans. He impressed us, and we awarded him an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

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If we didn't recognize that John Wells' Jeffersonville, IN, '49 Chevy was deserving of the Outstanding Custom Rod award from Custom Rodder magazine, then Custom Rodder magazine's editor, Jerry Wessner, would have to start coming to Super Chevy Shows with us. Come to think of it, you're invited anytime, Jerry. Wells' '49 also received the Meguiar's Medallion Award for Outstanding Body Appearance along with the class win for Big Car '49-54-Modified.

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Okay, this is getting spooky. At the most recent event, Topeka, we gave an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award to a racer and made the comment that maybe we would see him later in the drag racer's winner's circle. Well, we did. Then we made the same comment to Wellington, Ohio's Dan Doell when we awarded him an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award for his '85 Monte Carlo. Check out the race winner's photo and you'll see him holding the DOT Runner-Up award. We're going to have to watch what we say from now on! Nice work, Dan.

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Mike Zayne of Youngstown, OH, entered this great-looking '69 Chevelle as a pro streeter and went home with the Best Workmanship award from Waterloo Industries.

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We just love it when the Chicago Outlaws show up and put their street-legal machines up in the air. They take their racing seriously and are competitive with each other but never miss a chance to please the crowd. Of course, when it comes to keeping the fans happy, you can't beat Nitro Coupes, especially Bill Hill's awesome '69 Nova from St. Louis.

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This is truly a mid-engined car, and don't you think that old Ralph would have just blown a gasket to see an engine like this in a Corvair? We might still have these in production if GM would have made them. As it is, it was up to David Heermans of Parkersburg, WV, to show us the way.

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Here are the Gold Class winners. The only things better looking are their cars.

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Bracket race winners and Nitro Coupe winners gather around to congratulate each other and decide how to spend their prize money. Bracket racers have to race later, but they hang in there. Doug Winters hasn't been in competition for a few weeks, but he returned with a vengeance running 220.62 mph in 6.430 secs to take his '58 Corvette past Mike Swinarski's Hamburg, NY, '68 Camaro which made it close by running 209 mph in 6.645 secs. Winters is back in second place and making a run at leader Jim Nordhougen.

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First time we've seen Chuck Huber's magnificent '69 Yenko Chevelle. It took home an armful of awards along with an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

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If you see Manny Powell's '69 Z/28 sitting away from other cars, you might not guess what's been done to it. Park it next to a stock-sized car, however, and you have to appreciate what the Hebron, OH, native did when he started cutting up a bunch of wrecked '69 Camaros and pieced together this big-block racer.

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Dave Shearer from Galena, OH, is proud of his great-looking '69 Camaro, and we liked it so much we gave him and Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award.

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Rod and Suzie Lucas of Marion, OH, brought this highly detailed and well-done '62 Corvette to the show and left with an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

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Saturday Bonus Racers get their awards. Jim O'Neal of Marysville, OH, took the bonus in his '66 Chevy II by beating Dennis Meade of Newark, OH, in his '83 Z28.

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Pedal or motor-powered replicas are a hot item at Super Chevy Shows. The '57 mini-Chevy belongs to Brett Young of Fairborn, OH, and took home a special interest award. The Camaro was a prize and went home with a lucky Super Chevy Show fan.

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These guys are good at keeping secrets. Usually, I'm the one taking pictures of award winners, but Roger Gustin, Mark Rowe, and the rest of the Autostar crew pulled one off and honored me by presenting the Discover Platinum Partnership Award to yours truly. I'll treasure the award but most of all the kindness and thoughtfulness of everyone at Autostar and all the Super Chevy Show entrants that I've been fortunate to meet this season.

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The Navy came out to Columbus to show off their recruitment material. The fan we saw admiring the car won't be ready for a couple of years, however. Go Navy!

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Tamara Baxter of Richmond Dale, OH, stepped up to the counter to buy a subscription and came away with a freebie. SUPER CHEVY awarded her a one-year sub just for being there at the right time.

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The Outstanding Street Rod award presented by Street Rodder magazine went to Jack Dodrill of Millersport, OH, in his '26 roadster pickup. You've got to love roadster pickups, and Dodrill's is one of the finest we've seen.

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Showing some great paint and graphics, this '94 Camaro belonging to Ray Williams of Columbus, OH, took the class win for Camaro '93 and Newer-Modified.

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Teach 'em young and they'll grow up right. This young girl obviously appreciates the finer things in life.

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When we see great Monte Carlos, we take notice. Len Waites, Trenton, OH, brought his '72 Monte to the show, and we gave him an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

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This is the world's record for Editor's Choice Show Car award winners--all 10 showed up for the photo!

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Just before things get real loud and crazy, the Nitro Coupe drivers take a few minutes to sign autographs and talk with the fans. Left to right is Mike Swinarski, John Reynolds, Gary Irving, and Dan NIckelsen. This is as slow as you'll ever see these guys going.

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Saturday Specialty Award winners gather for their chance to become famous in SUPER CHEVY magazine.

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Simpson's Best Appearing Crew went to the racers from Ottawa Lake, MI, Duke and Sue Dilbone, who campaign a '69 Buick bracket racer.


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