HomeEventsFirst HHS Car Show Cruises to Success

First HHS Car Show Cruises to Success

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On April 27, attendees wandered the parking lot of Hopkinton High School examining each of the nearly 200 cars at the Hopkinton High School Car Club’s first annual car show.

Anthony Gonzalez, a HHS teacher and the faculty advisor for the club, said 188 cars pre-registered for the event and others arrived the day-of to show off their cars.

Gonzalez was quick to give credit to Club President Surya Raja Amudhan and the other six core members of the club for organizing the event. He said the students took responsibility for coordinating with the school, the town, and the community to manage the necessary regulations needed to host an event of this size.

The club anticipates hosting more events in the future and hopes to work with the school and other organizations to expand the event and possibly add a fundraising aspect as well, he added.

Amudhan said he started the club because of his passion for car photography, a growing aspect of the car show community. He said local colleges have been hosting car shows and he wanted the opportunity to bring something similar to Hopkinton.

One of the first beautiful Saturdays of the season brought attendees of all ages to the event. Parents took photos of their children in the front seats as the car’s owners eagerly shared the story of how they customized the vehicles..

A wide array filled the parking lot, ranging from Tesla’s newest Cybertruck to a 1932 Ford Roadster, and each car told its own story.

Spectators paused in awe 30 minutes into the event when one of Tesla’s new Cybertrucks arrived in the parking lot. 

Ian and Lauren Haan, proud owners of the car, said they have only owned it for two days and this was their first car show.

Within seconds of their arrival, attendees flocked to the car’s parking spot to take photos and ask Ian and Lauren questions about their car.

Andrew Schmeltz posing with his 2008 Subaru STI.

Andrew Schmeltz, founder of Cruise Crew New England, stood proudly next to his 2008 Subaru STI, which was custom built by Throttl in California.

Schmeltz said he has only had his car for 18 months, but he regularly attends car shows with members of the Cruise Crew, many of whom attended the HHS Car Show with him.

He said he founded Cruise Crew New England three years ago and there are now nearly 100 members from the Central and Western Mass areas who attend car shows, many of which are geared toward children and charities. 

“We like going to things that have to do with charity or anything to do with children. … This was definitely somebody we wanted to show up to come out and support the people,” Schmeltz said.

He said the turnout was good, especially because of the amount of high schoolers in attendance.

“I like seeing a lot of custom builds. I like seeing a lot of the high schoolers with their own build starting out because all of us were at that point at one point in our life,” Schmeltz said.

Yan Blokhin, a junior at Boston University, brought his 2020 BMW Z4 sDrive M40i to the show.

He said many aspects of his car have been customized, including the engine.

“The biggest thing is the Toyota Supra engine cover because it’s practically the same car, so it’s more like a joke,” Blokhin said.

He said he brings his car to other car shows and found out about this one through mutual friends who helped organize the event.

Blokhin said the show had a “good lineup [and] nice people – a lot of friends that I knew before and a lot more new people that I met.”

Nick Kaltsas, owner of Royal Detailing, LLC, was cleaning a client’s McLaren 570S during the show.

Kaltsas said he has owned Royal Detailing for five years, but has been detailing cars for 13 years.

“If you take care of your investments, they’ll take care of you,” he said.

One thing he enjoys about the culture at car shows is the “different walks of life,” Kaltsas said.

“This event is quite more than expected, especially being organized by all the high school kids…this is absolutely phenomenal,” he said.

Mike Sheldon may have had the oldest car at the show, his 1932 Ford Roadster – which he has owned and been customizing for 15 years.

Sheldon, a Westfield resident, said his daughter lives in Hopkinton with her family and told him to bring his car to the show. This is one of three cars he owns and brings to car shows – his other two cars are a ’62 Corvette and a 1992 Nissan twin turbo.

He said veterans returning from World War II bought the ’32 Ford Roadsters, which were inexpensive at the time, to customize it and make them go as fast as possible.

“The whole premise of it is to take all the weight off that’s not needed to make it as light as possible, and you put the biggest engine in it that you can afford and go fast,” Sheldon said.

“I was born in ’49. If you had one of these cars when I was a kid, you were the coolest guy in town. So when I got older, I had to have one. It took us about two years to get it into shape and it’s just a fun car to drive,” he said.

Sheldon said he refers to his car as a ‘Frankenstein’ because although it is registered and insured as a 1923 Ford, it contains parts from a Corvette, Mustang, Chevy Vega, Chevy station wagon, and a Ford truck.

He said he and his group of ‘Gear Heads’ attend cruise nights almost every night in Western Mass. “We just love old cars and like bringing them to shows to show people, and people ask questions.”

Sheldon said at a car show similar to this one there are a lot of newer cars. “The younger kids don’t even know what this is, but I tell them, ‘All your cars that you guys have modified have DNA from this car.’ These are the first cars that people modified to get better performance.”

Hopkinton resident Brad Robillard said he did not pre-register for the car show, but saw the car show and brought his 1966 Volkswagen Microbus to its first show of the season.

“I call it the ‘Homegrown Camper’ because I built all this in the garage,” he said.

Robillard said he bought the car two and a half years ago and has been restoring and customizing it ever since.

“Everything’s new – all new wiring harness, new suspension, and new motor,” he said.

Robillard said he even bought a sewing machine from the 70s and taught himself how to use it to make the curtains in the car.

“My favorite part, now that it’s basically done, is just being behind the steering wheel and cruising the backroads. Everything that I’ve done, you can see. It’s my heart and soul,” he said.

Justin Kuras, a Milford police officer, said he brings his now-commissioned Florida Highway Patrol 2022 Chevy Camaro to special events around New England.

Kuras said the vehicle was in use from 2002-06 and had a unique journey before he bought it in 2021.

After 2006, the car was sold at auction and was abandoned outdoors in the auction field for 13 years. Kuras said the auctioneer most likely priced the car too high and was unable to sell it.

In 2018, the car was returned to Florida by a State Trooper and fully restored. It was then unofficially reinstated from 2018-21 by an auxiliary officer to be used by special events, mainly recruitment events.

Kuras said he purchased the car off of a Florida State Trooper in 2021 and brought it to Masachusettes.

He said he spent time talking to the Troopers who drove these patrol vehicles in order to restore the car as accurately as possible.

Kuras said it can be driven on the roads, but he mainly uses it for special events, including the Special Olympics Massachusetts Law Enforcement Torch Run Cruiser Convoy.

Follow the HHS Car Club on Instagram @hhscarclub or email them at hhscarclub@gmail.com to get involved with the club.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I wish this was publicized more. I am a member of a few Mustang clubs and know a few people who would have brought their cars!

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