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Signing Off...

 June 28, 2022


To All of our Hot-Rodding Friends,                                                                                                                               

 It hurts my heart to announce that Jalopyrama “Deuces & 40s” hot rod show on May 7, 2022 at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Maryland, was our final show. 

 It was really a dream come true to produce a traditional 50s-60s era style hot rod show!  Starting on the wooden floor at the Glen Burnie, Maryland National Guard Armory in the Fall of 2004, my dream became a reality.  Additionally, the show picked up my dad’s torch of supporting the Providence Center of Anne Arundel County, Maryland through Polka Dances and other fund-raising efforts.  The Providence Center helped my youngest brother, Robert, from age 3 through 45.  Robert had Down’s Syndrome.  After my dad’s passing in 2001, I vowed to continue supporting the Center in my own style. 

 The popularity of the Hot Rod Jalopyrama (it’s original name) exceeded my expectations.  Initially, I enlisted help from my longtime friends, Jay Fitzhugh and Steve Turner, and eventually 30+ additional guys and a few ladies. When both spectator attendance and hot-rodding participants exploded, more help was needed as well as a larger venue.  We moved to my favorite location, the Annapolis National Guard Armory in 2009.  Here, at this fenced, compound facility, we could only accommodate 250 hot rods outside within the compound.  Guys would arrive as early as 3:00 a.m. and sleep in their cars at the closed gate to ensure entry at the 7:00 a.m. gate opening. We now had a little over 30 pre-selected invitees on the inside floor.  These were set up inside on the floor on the Friday afternoon before the Saturday show and locked down inside the Armory overnight.

 After 6 highly successful shows in Annapolis, an order came down to stop all inside events at all Maryland National Guard Armories.  HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!

 Our 2nd move was to the Carroll County Agricultural Center in Westminster, Maryland in 2015.  Here, we kicked off our show by inviting all previous entrants and titling it “The Revival”.  Since this venue was so big, I wasn’t sure if we could even fill it!  We did manage to fill it with over 100 hot rods, customs, and vintage race cars.  With 2 more years in Westminster, we donated over $60,000 between the Kahlert Cancer Center at Carroll General Hospital and the ARC of Carroll County. 

 Our third show in Westminster was entitled “Customs at the Shipley.”  We had Custom Car entrants from California, Indiana, Florida, Canada, and all over the East Coast.  Over 120 Customs filled the floor of the 55,000 square foot Agricultural Center.  This was our final year at the Ag Center due to contractual issues.  2018 was without a show since an adequate facility couldn’t be found.

 Our 3rd and final move from Westminster was across the Bay Bridge to Easton, Maryland, into the Talbot County Community Center’s Ice Warehouse.  In 2019, we continued our featuring theme shows with “Gassers, Dragsters & Racers.” Our show was halted in 2020 due to Covid, but we returned in ’21 and ’22 with “Woodies, Wagons & Tubs,” and “Deuces and 40s.” From this venue we selected the ARC of the Chesapeake Region, the Talbot Hospice, the Easton Elks, the Talbot County Veterans and the Teen Challenge of North Central Virginia as beneficiaries.

In all, Jalopyrama provided close to $300,000 to 8 charities around our wonderful state.  The support we received from the hot rodding, custom and vintage race car communities throughout the U.S.A. and Canada was phenomenal.  It was an honor to be included in numerous publications over the years, such as The Rodder’s Journal, Rodding USA, Kustoms Illustrated, Traditional Rod & Custom, Ol’ Skool RodZ, Car Show & Cruise Guide and more.  We are grateful and humbled that we were able to bring a reminiscent sample of what our hobby was back in the 50s and 60s for these seventeen shows.

 Part of our success was due to the support from advertisers, sponsors and a few anonymous financial backers.  We were successful because, as its popularity grew, we would receive letters of thanks for producing this type of show.  We were successful because we continued to bring samples of traditional hot rods that surfaced by beating the bushes looking for old hot rods from the era.  Plus, your submissions of hot rods being built or being revived from this era added to the excitement! Your support enabled us to round up some of the BEST traditional hot rods, customs and vintage racers for display over the 17 shows in 19 years. A favorite comment, heard by my wife Sandi, from a spectator entering the Westminster Ag Center floor display in 2015 made her smile when the guy exclaimed, “I am in Hot Rod Heaven.” 

 We sincerely THANK YOU and hope our street rodding hobby continues to grow all over the country. 

 Mike Szuba, Jay Fitzhugh and the Rusty Nuts Hot Rod Group

Jalopyrama Hot Rod Show is put on by The East Coast Hot Rod Preservation Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. ©2019

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