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Christmas Classic Car Show by Jan's Cruiz-In • December 5, 2010
story and photos by Charlie Amaral

On December 5th, 2010, Jan’s Cruiz-In held her annual Christmas Classic Car & Truck Show at Leisure Lanes on US 19 just north of State Road 52 in Hudson, Florida. Jan always does her Christmas Event extra special because it incorporates a toy drive as part of the show’s registration fee, and nothing motivates Jan, her staff, and show participants more than unselfishly giving of themselves to a great humanitarian cause. Jan’s adopted charitable organization is the Pasco Center for victims of domestic violence, and in this case toys were collected to distribute to the children of the center. Jan’s show each December for as long as I can recall has been to collect donated toys for this worthy cause. It also seems they need a larger vehicle each year to cart away the donations, and this year was no exception as a mini-bus was employed to get the toys to the kids. It was a great job by Jan and her “Santa’s helpers”, which included Beverly, Carlene, Kem, Norma and Marge.

On my way to the show that morning I had some doubts on what kind of turnout she might expect. I left my house while it was lightly raining and as I approached US 19 from State Road 52 it was apparent that it had rained rather substantially at the location of her event. Actually, when I arrived there were only 15 or so vehicles there. Within the hour though the clouds had disappeared, the sun came out, and the rest of the day the weather was very pleasant. Arriving with the sun, classic cars and trucks from all directions began to arrive, with many of them proceeding to get a detail touch up from the rain splashed residue the roads they traveled had dealt them, and attendees already present began wiping the water from their parked rides. By 11:00am you could have asked any participant or onlooker about the weather and they would have responded, “What rain?”. Also, at 11:00am the rock group “All Shook Up” provided live entertainment, and Artie, George and Tom from the band provided a pretty eclectic selection of hits that seemed to please everyone in attendance.

Jan and the gang had some nice incentives awaiting the show’s participants when they arrived. That included free hamburgers and hot dogs offered for all who had registered their vehicles, courtesy of the staff from Leisure Lanes. The first 80 cars also received dash plaques. Participants also had chances at numerous door prizes, including over $500 in Wal-Mart gift certificates, discounted event T-shirts, and for the early birds there was complimentary coffee and pastry. The awards table was filled with special “Santa” themed custom decorated trophies, which would be given out to the 15 Best Of Show winners, and another 40 to those entrants who won Top 40 awards.

By noon there were about 100 cars registered, and the judges went about the unenviable task to pick the event’s top point earners. Judging was completed by 3:00pm. Trophies were then awarded, and the winning 50/50 raffle ticket was drawn on a pot in excess of $500. As the event drew to a close there was no doubt Jan, and the folks at Leisure Lanes had succeeded in putting on a terrific show. To me the show had some terrific entries, great food and entertainment, and great folks to be around....but the show’s true winners were the children from the Domestic Violence center who enjoyed a merrier Christmas thanks to the generosity of all the show attendees. CN

"Best Of" Award Winners:
Best Of Show Pre-1972: Joe Dunham • 1936 Ford
Best Of Show 1973-1985: Gary Vandenberg • 1975 Caprice Classic Convertible
Best Of Show 1986-1995: Joe Gutowski • 1995 Corvette
Best Of Show 1996-2011: Bob St. Jean • 2008 Mustang GT
Best Chevrolet: Ray Mitchell • 1957 Chevy Bel Air
Best Ford: Bob Brand • 1969 Mustang Mach 1
Best General Motors: Shane Struthers • 1955 Chevy Nomad
Best Mopar: John Arruda • 1972 Plymouth Duster 340
Best Custom: Roger Schultz • 1955 Ford F-100 Pickup
Best Wheels: Sam Holden • 1980 Corvette
Best Of Show Special Interest: Tommy Vee • 1953 Henry J
Best Of Show Foreign Vehicle: Vicky Muschetto • 1977 Datsun 280Z
Best Of Show Truck: Bob Reed • 1980 Chevy Silverado
Best Paint: Ron Tolley • 2001 Corvette
Best High Performance Vehicle: Jim Nelson • 1967 Camaro
Best Corvette: Mike James • 1961 Corvette Roadster
Best Engine: Jay Bernard • 1969 Chevy El Camino SS
Leisure Lanes Choice: Bob Birchmeier • 1955 Chevy Nomad
People’s Choice: George Sandone • 1949 Ford Station Wagon
Best Kids Size Car: Jenna Vencevich • 2005 Jeep Roadster