TOWN OF BELOIT—They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
That was a familiar refrain at the 2021 Autorama car show on Sunday at Preservation Park in the Town of Beloit.
The event was hosted by the Beloit Evening Lions Club, Coachmen Street Rod Club, Blue Ribbon Classic Chevy Club and the XLR8 Car Club.
The public poured into the park beginning in the morning to appreciate the classic vehicles on display.
One man who brought his adult son with him and stopped to check out one of the classic beauties said such a gathering has a lot of meaning for people.
“Cars can bring all kinds of people together. They represent freedom. Basically, today a car is a computer on a set of wheels.”
The man, who identified himself only as “a car nut” said there was a time when car owners could take their vehicles apart and put them back together.
“Now you need diagnostic tools to take one apart.”
Dick Schultz, formerly of Janesville and now of Missouri, showed the 1950 green, Buick Eight Special that he restored.
The large sedan belonged to his father, he said. While some of the parts had been replaced, others were original, such as the front grill.
“It’s 71 years old,” Schultz said.
The categories of vehicles included: Corvette, Street Rod, High Performance, Stock, Modified, Truck and Import.
Lions’ volunteers and some of their wives helped out with the food tents.
At one tent, Lion Jerry Murray was asked how things were going.
“The weather is perfect,” he said.
Autorama Chair Todd Nelson said in all there were 1,241 show cars. And he said the crowd numbered about 4,000 people.
The warm, dry weather helped make it possible to hold this year’s event. In 2019, the park was flooded, so the event was cancelled. It also was cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As members of the public wandered among the hundreds of shiny, well-maintained cars and trucks, they offered bits of nostalgia.
“Quality and chrome,” summed up Patrick Hecker of Rockton as he viewed a 1972 Dodge Charger.
“New cars aren’t made to last,” he said.
Dennis Rodefeld of Madison also appreciates the classic models.
“I’m still crazy about the older ones; I like the original ones,” he said as he stood next to a 1961 red and white convertible Corvette in its original condition.
Proceeds from Autorama are given back to the local community such as to VetsRoll, Stateline Boys & Girls Club, Project 16:29 and others.