PLAIN TWP. The parking lot at Gervasi Vineyard in Plain Township was parked full of new and classic cars on June 22 as part of the summer Cruise-In. Gervasi holds the car show 5 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday evening throughout the summer and early fall.
The event is free and open to car collectors and to those who want to walk through and view the variety of cars. Those who want to drive their cars in and set up for the show are welcome as long as there are open spots. On June 22, there were cars from the 1930s to newer 2016 models.
Laura Prengaman, operations support manager at Gervasi, said this is the second summer for the Cruise-In car show. They averaged 90 cars a week last year.
"We offer the car show as a way to get people who have never visited the property to come back to see the cars and walk the around the pond and listen to some great live music," Prengaman said.
She said they ask the car owners to register so they have the chance to win a t-shirt or a gift certificate. There is also a charitable organization every week that holds a 50/50 drawing and the organization gets to keep half of the proceeds. People from the Friends of Akron Children’s Hospital were selling the 50/50 tickets on June 22.
"We also hold car shows that feature car clubs such as the muscle car club," Prengaman said. "The car owners come in and display their cars from the 60s and 70s muscle car groups. We line them up along the vineyard and highlight some in the gazebo."
Hal and Kathy Hillson were among the car enthusiasts that evening. They drove in their 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Hal said he and his wife are the original owners of the car, which turned 50 this year.
"I have a wedding day photo of us standing beside the car, and I have the original price sticker from the front window," Kathy said.
The newlywed couple paid $2,808 for the car. The full sticker was $3,146 but the couple asked to have the power steering taken off of the car, which brought the price down.
"The car cost a bit more because it had a radio and heater in it," Hal said. "The car only has 86,660 miles on it. Everything but the hubcaps are original including the antique bronze color. We did restore it in 1980 and, at the time, I replaced the hubcaps which are from the 1960s, but they were not part of the car at the time of purchase."
Earl Swinehart of North Canton was showcasing his 1930 Model A Ford Business Coupe. He said the car is 99.9 percent original.
"The car has a rumble seat, an attached trunk, and spare tires with front mounts on each side of the car," Swinehart said. "I always wanted a Model A and I bought this one six years ago."
Dick Dutiel drove in his 1954 Chevy Bel Air which was bright red with white trim. Dutiel has owned the car for three years. It won Gervasi’s People’s Choice award last summer.
"The car is all original including the review mirror mounted on the dashboard," Dutiel said. "The car only has 33,000 original miles on it. It’s got a stick shift. Everything is stock but the paint and the carpet. I had it repainted in its original color and replaced the carpet after I bought it. I had one of these cars in high school and always wanted to own another one."