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Car show to rumble through Pawnee Park

May 25, 2019

The East Central chapter of the Midwest Street Rod Association (MSRA) is holding its 45th annual Memorial Day Show n’ Shine Car Show today at Pawnee Park.

The event will feature more than 100 cars of nearly all makes and models. No vehicle is off limits, not even those from the 1930s, like association president Carroll Adamy’s 1932 Ford.

“We allow anybody,” Adamy said of the event that’s free for the public to view. “It used to be just pre-’48 cars, but now it’s whoever wants to come.”

The organization refers to the event as the “oldest rod run in Nebraska,” but according to organization treasurer Jon Zavadil, the official rod run aspect hasn’t been a part of the event in recent years.

“We’ve had so many cars over the last couple of years that we just sit here,” Zavadil said.

Adamy has worked with the MSRA off and on for the last 45 years. He was there for the first 15 years, then left for the next 23 years before returning eight years ago. Like so many others who will attend this weekend, Adamy has a passion for cars and repairing them to their old glory.

“It’s a hobby,” Adamy said. “You can scrounge; you don’t have to spend all that big money. You can actually put something halfway reasonable together (without a lot of money).”

Zavadil joined the organization 20 years ago after a similar group that he was part of disbanded. He was looking for another group with similar interests, and he found it in the MSRA. He also gets a kick out of fixing up old cars and showing them off.

“I wanted to be involved with a group that had the same interests that I had,” Zavadil said. “I’ve done it all my life, since high school. I like doing mechanical stuff and it’s just something that I enjoy doing.”

In addition to the car show, other events are being held. Attendees had an introductory dinner Friday at the Ramada Hotel and River’s Edge Convention Center and a banquet will be held later on Saturday at the VFW. A raffle is also being held where people can bid on - among other things - a lighted Bud Light sign, a new tool kit, a painted toolbox and a new thermos cup. A 50/50 drawing is also planned, with proceeds being distributed to local charities.

In past years, a wide variety of cars have been displayed at the show. Adamy rehashed the stories of people who showcased such unique cars like so-called “rat rods,” which he referred to as “ugly,” semi-trucks and vans with six wheels.

However, the vast majority of people who come to this event don’t bring strange cars. Rather, they bring an enthusiasm for cars of all kinds, not to mention a curiosity regarding the history of many of the cars.

“Everybody is looking at everyone else’s cars,” Adamy said. “Seeing what you’ve done (to) change it, things like that.”

“It’s a chance for people that share the same interest to get together,” Zavadil added. “If you come down here, you’ll see that. People will be sitting around in groups talking about cars, different things about cars and different things (that) they’ve done. Everybody knows each other from other car shows and they just sit around and talk about cars.”

Both Adamy and Zavadil said they want people to enjoy viewing the cars that are on display, just as much as they enjoy refurbishing them.

“There’s a lot of ingenuity and craftsmanship that go into these cars,” Zavadil said. “(There are) a lot of nice cars, both old and new. Every year, we have new cars. You not only see something that you saw in years past, but you’ll see something new every time you come.”

Zach Roth is a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zach.roth@lee.net

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