(London, Ontario Canada) – The Fleetwood Country Cruize-In car show happened this past weekend, even with the Dark clouds and threats of rain, it still wasn't enough to keep the crowds away from Steve Plunkett’s sprawling estate Saturday and Sunday.
But the lousy weather had an obvious impact, with both the car count and spectator turnout down from previous years. Still, the huge number of cars and trucks spread out over the 42-hectare park-like property was reason enough to draw the crowds.
As you know from our coverage last year, every year on the first weekend of June about 11,000 people from across North America and around the World come to this car show, which is Canada's largest outdoor show, the event raises money for more than 30 different charities.
And every year hundreds and hundreds of Vintage, Classic and Exotic and Custom vehicles attend the show, in previous years the show car numbers have reached around 3,000, but with the threat of rain this year, the numbers were down.
What did you miss from this years show? well the event has a number of highlights, like Celebrity guests George Barris and Gene Winfield, who are two legendary custom car builders, both were on hand to sign autographs and talk with the fans at the show. In keeping with the retro theme, two stars from the movie American Graffiti, Bo Hopkins and Candy Clark, also did autograph duty for show visitors.
In addition the popular Amphicars were taking show-goers for rides in a large pond on the Plunkett estate, and I have to ask what other car show can you see Amphibious cars operating on water? well this is the only show I know of that has this, and these unique amphibious cars have become a regular attraction at this event, with onlookers fascinated by the dual-purpose capabilities of these increasingly rare vehicles.
Another popular attraction was the Team Farmall dancing tractors. Yes I said it, dancing tractors! the team of eight drivers uses restored red antique Farmall tractors and precision driving to perform carefully choreographed square dances. The team is based in Teeswater, Ont. and their tractors are the Farmall H and Farmall C models, with narrowly spaced front wheels, built from 1924 to 1963. The skill involved with the driving is quite amazing, these drivers show their experience every time they perform.
Steve Plunkett the shows host will admit his passion for old cars, especially Cadillacs, he has 49 of them in his 70-car collection. Steve's love of cars is matched only by his love of ’50s and ’60s music, so he books in a couple of major names each year to stage concerts during the weekend in a huge big-top tent. This year, Frankie Valli, of Jersey Boys fame, and the Four Seasons kicked off the event with a rockin’ sold-out show Friday night, followed the next evening by a dinner show featuring Paul Revere and the Raiders. These concerts help boost Fleetwood’s bottom line, which has generated nearly $2-million for more than 30 charities in southwestern Ontario.
Naturally the event's main attraction is all vehicles in attendance, and any Ford fan would have had a blast, with '32 Ford Hot Rods. Mustangs galore and a sprinkling of some Cool Mercury and Lincoln products as well, and a wide range of Blue Oval Muscle was also in attendance as well, from Torinos to Galaxies and even some Falcons and Cougars, also the show had some uniquely Canadian Ford products in attendance, like a couple of '50s Meteors.
All in all the show was a blast and luckily the weather held up with only a threat of rain and clouds on Saturday and a few moments of sunshine made the day, but Mr. Plunkett's grounds took another hit this year, with the ground being saturated from previous day's rain, some of the cars tore up the lawn again. But even with the weather problem, the event was another hit, and it was a fun time for all, and the variety at the show defiantly satisfied any gear head.
Well that concludes my coverage of the 2012 Fleetwood Country Cruize-in, I highly recommend all car enthusiasts to mark their calenders for the 2013 show.