The Wednesday morning drive on the AMSOIL Road Tour took us along Route 2 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a beautiful morning as we traveled along the coast line of Lake Michigan, taking advantage of the many photo opportunities. We reached the Mackinaw Bridge in St. Ignace just after noon. The lake was fairly foggy and the huge bridge loomed in the distance as we took photos at the north end before we crossed over on our way to Charlevoix, Michigan.
After checking in at the hotel in Charlevoix we had a little time to explore the quaint lake side village and the shops in the area. Wednesday evening we were guests at the Ellsworth, Michigan facilities of Time Machines Unlimited and their sister company Rod Tops. We were greeted by owner Dave Draper and sales manger and engineer Chad Draper. Dave has been involved in the automotive industry for many years and has used his vast knowledge of the convertible top business to expand in retractable top manufacturing for the luxury boat industry. Rod Tops manufactures removable convertible tops for '28 - '34 Ford roadsters. Time Machines Unlimited specializes in complete restoration and fabrication on all types of vintage vehicles. Rod Tops and Time Machines Unlimited will be doing the top and interior work on next years Road Tour roadster. After our tour of the facilities we were treated to a great meal before heading back to Charlevoix for the evening.
Thursday morning we visited the facilities of Great Lakes Motor Works and Classic Instruments in nearby Boyne City, Michigan. Great Lakes Motor Works is owned by Mike Stowe and originally offered complete restorations on all types of special interest vehicles. Mike's personal collection and interests have expanded and Great Lakes Motor Works services Mike's fleet exclusively and offers limited service on customer's collector vehicles. Some years ago Mike purchased Classic Instruments and moved the operation to Boyne City. John McLeod has been at Classic Instruments since the original move to Boyne City and recently took over ownership of the company that still operates within the Great Lakes Motor Works complex. Besides their line of gauges for special interest vehicles of all types Classic Instruments also does restoration and updating of all types of original and one off gauges. While in Boyne City we also got a look at an incredible MoPar collection owned by Browney Mascow. We rounded out our morning with a visit to a private collection of racing motorcycles that boggled the mind. The internal combustion hobby is alive and well in Boyne City, Michigan.
By noon it was time to get to St. Ignace our destination for the weekend and the site of the famous St. Ignace Car Show. We arrived in St Ignace about 2Pm and the town was already beginning to fill with all types of street rods, hot rods, collector and special interest vehicles. Thursday evening the cars gathered at the Kewadin Casino and headed out for a parade through the streets of St Ignace. After the parade, awards were handed out and a Classic '34 Hot Rod pedal car was won by a lucky participant.
Friday morning the AMSOIL Road Tour participants were special guests at the annual VIP brunch. Grand Marshal automotive journalist Ken Gross was introduced and gave a great talk about the street rod hobby. Also in attendance was John Schneider of the Dukes of Hazzard fame, Linda Vaughn, and Ed Reavie who has been responsible for the success of the St Ignace Show for 34 years. Great food and the chance to meet and greet some of these celebrities was a fun way to kick off Friday in St Ignace. Friday evening cars again gathered for the Memory Lane Cruise down main street which included floats and dignitaries from surrounding areas plus an even larger contingent of cars as more people had arrived for the big Saturday show. Color commentary for the parade was done by Top Hat John from Detroit and I even took a turn at the microphone during the parade.
Saturday is the big day in St Ignace. The entire length of main street was blocked off and cars began to line up very early in the morning. There is no admission charged for spectators and the street was packed all day long. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was a great day at the St. Ignace Car Show. Awards were presented at 4PM and the weekends activities wrapped up. The St Ignace Show was very enjoyable for all of us on the AMSOIL Road Tour. It is a laid back, mellow show that is fun for spectators and participants alike. Many thanks to Ed Reavie, the Nostalgia Productions staff and the entire team that helps to make the St Ignace Car Show a success and made us feel so welcome.
In two weeks the Merrill Lynch Jones Group Road Tour starts at Woody's Hot Rodz in Bright, Indiana on Sunday evening July 12. We will make stops at Brookville Roadsters, Mid-Ohio Race Course, and be special guests at a huge get together at Quaker Steak and Lube in Youngstown, Ohio on Tuesday July 14. After a look at Fred Warren's incredible collection of street rods we will make a stop at Watkin's Glen then on to the huge Syracuse Nationals in New York. Check back here for all the latest updates and call the Road Tour Hotline at 1-800-664-1362 for info on joining us on any of the AMSOIL Road Tours this summer.