SIDNEY – Visitors at the Anthony McLain Bicentennial Cruise-In, June 29, from noon to 5 p.m., in Tawawa Park, here, will be able to do more than just look at historical cars.
They’ll be able to ride in one, too.
Susan and Gary Bertsch, of Anna, will give rides to people in their 1922 Model T Ford touring car.
Shelby County Historical Society Director Tilda Phlipot has announced several other additions to the show, which will honor a recently deceased Sidney firefighter, Anthony McLain, and celebrate Shelby County’s bicentennial.
Honda will exhibit its NSX sports car. Two food trucks will offer hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade chicken and noodles, beef and noodles and apple dumplings. And several area fire departments will have engines on site for kids to climb into.
Souvenir koozies will be for sale, as will tickets for a bicentennial raffle of items donated by local businesses and a 50/50 drawing.
The Bertsch family has named its Model T Lizzie. They’ve owned the car for about 12 years.
“It has a hand crank. You have to crank it to start it,” said Susan. “When it’s nice, Lizzie is on the road a lot. She goes for ice cream, she goes to Lowe’s, she goes to Walmart.”
When they acquired the car, it had been partially restored. Gary, an auto mechanic, finished the work on it. It gets about 10 miles to a gallon of gas and has a top speed of 40 miles per hour. Riders at the car show won’t go that fast.
“We’ll take them through the covered bridge and back through an area (near the bridge),” Susan said.
Autos changed a lot from the early 20th century to the early 21st. Honda’s Acura NSX is proof of that. A supercar available in production and racing models, the NSX has been turning heads since its launch in 2016. With a list price of just under $160,000, it won’t be seen in every driveway on the block. But it can be seen at the Anthony McLain Bicentennial Car Show.
“We’re pleased that Honda has agreed to exhibit such an amazing vehicle,” Phlipot said. “A bicentennial is obviously a chance to look at the past and what it has meant, but it’s also a time to dream about and look to the future. The Acura NSX is certainly a car that lets us do that.”
Because the cruise-in honors McLain, it’s not surprising that fire departments were eager to participate.
Lt. Jason Truesdale, of the Sidney Fire Department, said that fellow firefighters will display McLain’s gear and a collage of photos along with Engine No. 3, a reserve engine that McLain rode on, from noon to 1 p.m.
“Kids like to get up in the engine,” he said.
Children will also get to climb into a 1970 fire engine which will be exhibited by the Jackson Center Fire Department during the whole length of the car show.
“A couple of us had Tony McLain as a fire instructor,” said Jackson Center firefighter Alexis Shady. That’s why they wanted to participate in the show named for him. The vintage engine also carries original tools that visitors can see.
Other trucks and equipment from the Lockington and Botkins fire departments will also be displayed.
The car show also includes the Chained Eagles of Ohio, who will erect its POW/MIA wall, which lists the names of 138 Ohio servicemen who did not return from the Vietnam War.
Car owners can register cars for the show beginning at 10 a.m. There is no registration fee. The park’s Kaser Dell will be closed to the public from 10 a.m. until noon while all participants are taking their places for the show.
Bridget McLain and her sons will award a trophy in memory of her husband. A People’s Choice Trophy will be voted on by all the participants. Trophies will be awarded at 4:45 p.m.
The first 100 car owners will be given dash plaques and the first 150 will receive goodie bags. Door prizes will be awarded starting at 4:30 p.m.
There is no admission fee to see or to participate in the show.