Cleveland – March 2019 – People, Art & Machines

Mid March means it is time for the Piston Powered Show at the IX Center in Cleveland. As the name indicates this show features all things with a piston: Cars, Motorcycles, Trucks, an Airplane, Tanks, Snowmobiles, and even a Steam Shovel – plus a few things without pistons.

Most of the cars are ‘by invitation’, which means they are the best of the best. To make it to be one of the best in a custom car show you must have good graphics – and this show has that. It also has a great collection of people who have as much character as the vehicles – all filling the million square foot (93,000 square meters) building.

As you enter the vast hall you are immediately greeted with some really nice restorations.

As noted previously, many had customized paint jobs including this mid 1960s Chevy El Camino hood.

A number incorporated famous graphics, like Speedy Gonzalez.

This customized Willy’s sedan had a matching mannequin.

The participants came from numerous states in a 500 mile radius of Cleveland, including this great paint job from Kentucky.

For some the audience made a good match for the car.

A Zombie car – because why not.

The Zombie car’s door art.

Most of the motorcycles were customized Harley’s, many containing skulls.

Some craftsmen were displaying their skills – he was cutting leather.

This car was a repeat from a couple of years ago that was my posting’s feature photo – still one of the very best custom designs I have ever seen.

An aptly named 1957 Chevy.

A group of local technical high schools were having a competition to tear down and rebuild an engine in less than 30 minutes. Not sure why these guys were wearing helmets though.

While most of the custom bikes were Harley’s this great sport bike paint job features a customization of the ‘Guardians of Transportation’ sculptures on a large Cleveland bridge. Ironically I was wearing my ‘Dia de la Muertos (Day of the Dead)’ T shirt that featured the same sculpture in a skeleton look, so I fit in with the theme on all the bikes.

There was a classic wooden boat display as well. The boats themselves are works of art!

As is this sweet 1948 Buick Convertible.

Even a plain old 1960s Ford Station Wagon can be made to look great.

There were a couple of internet radio stations present – this one is a community station that, among other things, featuring racing.

I am not positive what it is, but I am certain it is NOT a Prius.

Mixing classic art and hot rods.

Many had names.

Most had pistons, but not this turbine jet car.

Some cars like the ‘rat rod’ rusty, beat up look – some like the pristine restoration. This Paddy Wagon was somewhere in between, but still cool.

Also featured were a number of artists showing how they make the great graphics we saw on all the vehicles.

All obviously have very steady hands.

The detail is amazing.

His shirt says it all.

It is amazing on the metal how little paint it took to go a long ways.

This guy had great pedal cars.

Not sure how a bowling pin got into a car show – but hey it is Cleveland.

Ready for St Patricks Day.

The emcee, and auctioneer, had character. She was auctioning off the finished pieces for charity.

Once again the Piston Powered Show was a great way to spend a day inside checking out a great collection of vehicles, people and art.

Cleveland – March 2019 – Check Out Those Wheels

Since we were in Cleveland, and the car show was going on – well everyone has their addiction. For this show the focus is on the actuals wheels.

I would assume some car today would come with hubcaps, but I didn’t see any.

We did check out complete cars, including this bright orange Camaro.

What’s a car show without ‘Product Specialists’. This guy was so still I thought at first he was part of the sign. Once again each car company had their Product Specialists dressed the same.

The amazing Lego Chevrolet Pickup made it’s way over from Chicago. Either they are glued together or those are some amazing Lego’s to stay together on the Indiana Toll Road.

While the really cool Camaro had all black wheels that didn’t make a statement this simple Chevy SUV had really stylish wheels.

Most high performance cars, like this Dodge Challenger, have their brake calipers in red to show off how large they are. I can see the all black wheels here.

Again – a high performance car with all black wheels. The Alfa Romeo Gulia.

A Nissan Altima near production prototype has fairly basic, but nice looking wheels.

Another excited Product Specialist. Although to be fair this has to be a tough job standing their all day as thousands of people come by asking questions. I love her look of ‘Scotty Beam Me Up’.

The Honda electric cars have these quasi fender skirts.

While this Toyota has also gone with the geometric styling approach.

Also at the show this year were a few movie cars, including the Scooby wagon and the Dumb and Dumber van.

A Product Specialist doing her thing.

If you surmised this is a sports car with the massive brake calipers, you would be correct – a Ford Mustang.

The Cleveland Browns have their first winning season in forever with a rookie quarterback named Baker Mayfield and they are painting cars for him.

To be fair a main street through the eastern suburbs is (and has always been) Mayfield Road.

Being the Browns I will bet they crash and burn this year, going back to their familiar last place 🙂

This Product Specialist is extolling the virtues of her car – but by the looks of the people in the background they aren’t buying what she is selling.

The dad – how cool is this. The mom – where does the car seat go?

I have been thinking what I will do when I retire, and really like cars. Maybe go into a auto detailing business….nah I will keep my day job.

I have found the next ride! And the wheels aren’t all black.

Columbus – August 2018 – Classic Cars in a Historic Setting

Fort Hayes was a military post first built in Columbus at the start of the Civil War in 1862. At the time it was located just north of town, now it is at the edge of downtown.

One of the highlights of the remaining buildings is the former ‘shot tower’, used to make bullets in the 1800s. Today it serves as an art gallery and visual arts center.

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On this day they were having a car show on the grounds.

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While I always enjoy checking out classic cars, we wanted to use the opportunity to roam the grounds and check out the buildings.

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Many of the original buildings are still standing. A number of them, like the ones below, have been restored. Others on campus are in poor condition, or have been torn down.

Not shown on this posting is a high school that has been built in the last 30 years.

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We returned to the main yard where the cars were located and found a band was playing. She was clearly getting into it.

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While the guitarist kept his cool on this hot humid day.

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But the cars were the stars – a great VW bus.

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Hats and tails were in order (just not the formal black tie kind).

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Another great VW.

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There weren’t many cars on display, but it was a relaxed show with some shade so it was worth a quick visit.

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It was small enough all the car owners were on hand and happy to tell people about their rides.

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While the judges kept score. The show was small, but the setting was interesting and we left having enjoyed our brief visit.

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Warren, Ohio – August 2018 – Wings and Wheels

Sloas Airfield in Warren, Ohio is a nice 3,000 foot long grass landing strip that sees occasional use, except for 1 day a year – this day.

This was the day for Wings and Wheels. As we entered we immediately passed by a fantastic Porsche.

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Hurried by the Cobra.

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Skipped the Ferrari…

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Even blew by the Superbird, because on this day cars were anything but the Superbirds.

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The ‘Wings’ part of the show were the stars.

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Taking off and landing throughout the day.

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With biplanes.

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We were literally standing next to the runway for the takeoffs.

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The classic cars lining the far side of the runway.

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The pilots were showing off their skills.

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Many completing low passes down the length of the runway.

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Before gaining altitude and heading out.

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The weather was perfect, a few big puffy clouds.

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The ‘crew’ were the volunteers.

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Old school leather helmets were in order.

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Biplanes have a majestic look to them.

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Another one heads skyward.

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I would estimate there were about 50 airplanes when we arrived, many parked with their owners hanging out or checking out the rest of the planes and the cars.

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The noses of the various plans are very distinctive.

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As well as the tails.

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An immaculate Piper Cub.

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Even a couple of ultra lights.

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We spent most of our time in the planes, as we see custom cars all the time.

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Another one heads out – we were happy we were there fairly early as by noon many had departed.

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And he takes off for home.

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While one returns.

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The symmetry of a small plane.

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This photo illustrates how close you were allowed.

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Planes everywhere you looked.

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An excellent paint job for this biplane.

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Future pilots perhaps?

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Even the Porsche pales in comparison to this.

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Inside the hangar is a museum with numerous models.

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Most of the models were custom built.

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Models everywhere.

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All of the models had amazing detail to them.

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We headed back out into the heat to check out a few more airplanes. This one is a 7/8 scale Italian WW1 air force plane.

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The owner of this is an American Airplanes pilot. It must be strange going from 737s to a 2 seater.

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Finally it was time to fly on out (ok – drive). What a great event.

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Dublin, OH – July 2017 – Hey Elvis, It’s a Car Show

As we headed out for a Friday evening drive we came across an unexpected event, a car show in Dublin, Ohio (in an office park of all places). Even better, Elvis was there!! Ok it was an Elvis impersonator (of course), but his voice and singing were dead on (no pun intended), his look was average. Still how can you pass up Elvis on a Friday evening with cool cars.


A fantastic Porsche with a matching trailer.

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Classic 50’s Buick grill

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Cobra’s always look great.

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One awesome 50’s T-Bird.

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No Pink Cadillac’s for Elvis, but a Pink Continental.

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There were a few customized cars, but most were restored to original condition.

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GM Futureliner – a showcase for GM in the 1940s and 1950s. This one came over from the Automotive Museum in Auburn, Indiana.

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