Plans being finalized for June 28 Automania event
June 25. 2013 9:32AM
Automania, the largest free car show in the Midwest, will converge on Brandon’s Holly Boulevard from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 28.
Organizer Bill Nelson said Brandon is the perfect setting for a car show of this magnitude, as the city offers plenty of parking for well over 1,000 muscle cars, hot rods, sport cars, classics and motorcycles. Automania historically attracts show registrants and spectators of over 50,000 and Brandon offers tons of parking and space to relax and enjoy the show, he said.
Millions of dollars worth of rare and classic vehicles from all across the U.S., Canada, and even two huge dirt-eating crawlers from Guam will be on display. More than 440 cars are pre-registered to be on display, along with 62 food and product vendors that will be set up for business.
Special cars scheduled to be on display include a 1969 Sassy Camaro, which is coming from La Broquerie, Maintoa, a concours nut and bolt restored 1967 Camaro RS/SS a 1966 Ford Mustang Retractable Hardtop (one of six known to exist), and a Viper GTS race car from Midwest Car Exchange in the Chicago area.
A sandy surface will set the tone for the beach party theme that will be enhanced by rock ‘n roll bands, The Surfaris and the Kahuna Beach Party, in addition to more bands throughout the event. To support the beach theme, organizers will bring in 15 to 20 loads of sand to recreate a beach area – something they weren’t able to do in Downtown Sioux Falls because of time constraints, Nelson said.
The Surfaris are an American surf rock band formed in Glendora, Calif., in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charges in the Los Angeles, Calif., area, and nationally by May 1963: “Surfer Joe” on the A-side and “Wipe Out” on the B-side of a 45 RPM single.
The band will be on the main stage from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.
The Kahuna Beach Party is a musical celebration of the Beach Boys, a light-hearted tribute to the fun and optimistic feeling of the early 1960s.
Other bands include Main Avenue Warehouse, DNR, Big Red Rawkit Riot, Oryx and the Troublemakers.
There will be opportunity to meet several TV personalities, including Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman from the Discovery Channel’s hit show, “Fast n’ Loud.”
The show’s stars will hold a meet n’ greet from 5 to 9 p.m.
Rawlings owns a mechanic shop in Dallas called the Gas Monkey Garage, where he and Kaufman find diamonds in the rough around the country, customizing them into works of art to be sold at auction.
From Rawlings’ coiffed hair and signature gray goatee to Kaufman’s ZZ Top-like beard, both the buys are pretty comfortable in their own skin in front of the TV camera and behind the scenes.
“Aaron and I have been working together for eight ad a half years and with us what you see on TV is exactly who we are. We haven’t had acting lessons and when we are filming we are in it 100 percent,” Rawlings said.
Rawlings’ step into featuring his shop on TV came at a time when Jessie James was originally on the air. “I was pushing every day and calling everybody I could meet and preach my sermon to,” he said.
His persistence eventually paid off until the economic crisis hit and his TV deal was called off.
“But I didn’t give up,” Rawlings said. “Mainly because when I say I’m going to do something I never give up.”
When discussions started up with producers once again, they wanted to film the show in Califorina, but Rawlings was adamant about keeping it in his hometown of Dallas.
“I’m glad that I won that battle,” he said. “We are a poor man’s working shop and have a small garage. We work with our hands, and don’t have a $3 million facility where everything is brand new and at our disposal.”
Byron Cherry, better known as “Coy Duke” of the famed “Duke’s of Hazzard” TV show, will also be n attendance, along with many famous and nationally recognized vehicles. Cherry will sign autographs and photos taken with fans at no cost.
Where to park
Event planners say 5000 free parking spaces are available within three blocks of Holly Boulevard. A shuttle service will also be in operation, and a special motorcycle/bicycle parking area will be set up south of the east entrance.
Automania outgrows Sioux Falls
Nelson said Automania – now in its ninth year – simply outgrew Downtown Sioux Falls.
And that’s why organizers made the move to Brandon.
“We just don’t have enough room,” Nelson said. “We’ve outgrown the Downtown Sioux Falls area and we anticipate a lot of room for growth in Brandon.”
Nelson estimated between 70,000 and 80,000 attended last year’s event with about 1,200 cars and 100 vendors. He anticipates the move to Brandon will allow them not only to draw more vendors and cars but more people.
And with that many people in Brandon, Kim Cerwick, executive director of the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, said the benefits of Automania for the community is big.
“Obviously our businesses are going to be extremely busy, which in turn increases the tax dollars we’re going to make,” she said. “This one day and evening is going to make a big difference.”
The decision to move is a gain for Brandon, where city officials have been working to bring in more events.
“We are more than happy to (host it) because it brings people into our city,” said Brandon Mayor Larry Beesley. “I think it’s a pretty good event for Brandon.”
“There’s going to be some headaches, no doubt about it,” adds Cerwick. “That’s what comes with this many people. But the magnitude of the good of this outweighs the bad.”
• Friday, June 28: Automania Main Event, Brandon, 3 to 11 p.m. on Holly Boulevard from Sioux to Splitrock boulevards. To pre-register for Automania’s Main Event, go to automaniabrandon.com or call 1-888-3487555 or (605) 338-4884.
• Saturday, June 29: Girard Auction, Wakonda, 9:30 a.m. Consignments are now being accepted. For more information go to www.girardauction.com or call (605) 267-241.
• Sunday, June 30: Motorsports Day.