Prev Article Next Article

Time To Shine?Muscle machines flocked to US 131 Motorsports Park to the delight of those in attendance

Posted By: Evan J. Smith

Time To ShineMuscle machines flocked to US 131 Motorsports Park to the delight of those in attendance


Written by Steve Turner

Photography by the author 


Last year spotty weather dissuaded car show participants from showing out in force, but this year twice as many rides showed up over the weekend of July 22-23. Despite a questionable forecast, only Sunday morning saw significant rainfall at the track, and hardcore enthusiasts still stuck it out for a beautiful afternoon capped by the award on Sunday.


We covered the show field thoroughly on both days and saw a diverse showing of classics and modern performers. There was a little something for any fan of Detroit iron, and the judges from the Western Michigan Camaro Club, which hosted the show, had their hands full choosing the award winners.


Here we touch on some of the highlights from this year’s show, but we are already looking forward to seeing what shows up in 2024. Until then, check out some beautiful rides that earned awards in 2023.



Best Of Show

Mike and Diane McLemore scored this 1940 Chevrolet Master 85 Business Coupe, which had served the prior owner’s fishing car in 1968, and they transformed it into this show-stopper. They made the trip to US 131 Motorsports Park from Washington, Indiana, in the coupe, which is powered by a 350-cube small-block and is upgraded with creature comforts like electric windows and air conditioning. They drove away with the Best In Show award at the TorqStorm Superchargers NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Paul's High Performance.


Kudos to the Western Michigan Camaro Club for hosting the car show at US 131 Motorsports Park.


Tony Gully headed west from Romulus, Michigan, to display his 2007 Mustang GT at the TorqStorm Superchargers NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Paul's High Performance. Though it is powered by a nicely detailed Three-Valve engine topped by an EATON TVS supercharger, it was the striking custom interior that earned the Best Interior award at the show.


Bill Cotter’s beautiful 1967 Barracuda took home the best Best Chrysler of Show award at US 131 Motorsports Park. 


Featuring chrome wheels and a host of custom touches, including Hydrodipped interior bits, Blue Drew’s 2002 nabbed the Best GM of Show award in Martin, Michigan.


Peter Beeke came over from nearby Kalamazoo, Michigan, in his 1966 Fairlane and drove back with two awards. His small-block-powered ride earned the Best Fairlane and Best Ford of Show accolades.


Your scribe was taken by the deceptive nature of Anna Beelick’s 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Powered by a ProCharged LS, it is a stealthy sleeper that we bestowed with the Fastest Street Car Editor’s Choice Modern award.


A showstopper, Jeff Spencer’s 1969 Chevelle is painted in Olympic Gold, which is contrasted by a white vinyl top. Under the hood is a 396-cube engine that feeds 500 horsepower through a four-speed manual. It scored the Director’s Choice Modified award.


Fox Mustangs are hot fire these days, and Bob Poffinbarger’s 1993 Mustang LX features bolt-on upgrades like a Cobra intake, an MSD ignition, and a Star Wars sunshade. It scored the Best Mustang, ’79-’93 award on Sunday.


After the show each day, winners received their awards during a ceremony, then gathered for a photo with their well-deserved hardware.

2023 NMCA MI Car Show Awards 
Special Recognition Awards:
1. Chrissy Hartman    Winemac, IN  1993 Mustang
2. Nicholas Dewitt   Wyoming, MI   1953 F100
3. Justin Hewitt    Paw Paw, MI  1989 Mustang
4. Dennis Toth   Lansing, MI   1931 Ford
5. Steve Cole    Allegan, MI   1964 Ford F100
6. Andy Geellhoad  Hastings, MI  1933 Ford 
7. Jenifer Junde    Scotts, MI   1937 Ford
8. Joe Bikowski    South Bend, IN   1974 Ford Gran Torino
9. Tim V.     Constantine, MI    1997 Mustang
10. Bill McGlocklin     Westland, MI   1999 F-150
11.  Matthew Grinnewald    MI   1969 Camaro SS
12. Lynn Platt  Hicksville, OH   
13. Tom Byers   Vicksburg, MI   1957 Chevy
14. Richard & Barb Cavner   Lawton, MI   1968 Chevy C-10
15. Gary Goodin    Indianapolis, IN   1969 Camaro
16. Jim Warnez   Plainwell, MI     2002 Pontiac Trans Am
17. Larry Starkey  Sherwood, MI    1967 Nova
18. J. Barnes   Lansing, MI   1979 Olds Cutlass
19. Rich Verbrog    Belmont, MI   1940 Ford
20. Ron Wight   Grant, MI   2010 Camaro SS
21. Pete Champnoise    Dorr, MI  1972 Chevy C-10
22. Gary Trama    Plainwell, MI    1973 Chevy Vega
23. Ira Cole    Allegan, MI    1951 Chevy Truck
24. Scott Galloway   Goshen, IN  1960 King Midget
25. Dan Sweetland   Gowen, MI   1970 AMC AMX
Directors Choice Awards:
·   Best GM Muscle
·   Winner: Ralph Judekerk    Delton, MI  1967 Chevrolet Biscayne
·   Best Ford Muscle
·   Winner: Catherine & Clyde Dunphy    Pleasant Plaines, IL   1966 Shelby Mustang
·   Best Chrysler Muscle 
·   Winner: Steve Atwell   MI     1968 Plymouth GTX
·   Best Late Model  
·   Winner: Ryan Halvorsen   Chicago, IL    2020 Shelby Mustang
·   Best Street Rod
·   Winner: Mike & Diane McLemore   Washington, IN   1940 Ford 
·   Best Traditional Hot Rod
·   Winner: Chet Simmons     Plainwell, MI    1955 Buick
·   Best Pro Street/Race Car
·   Winner: Bob Gruber    Lake Zurich, IL     1994 Mustang
·   Best Truck
·   Winner: Aaron Avery   Alto, MI   1960 Jeep
·   FSC Editors Choice Best Classic
·   Winner: Kirk Bylar   Elkhart, IN   1992 Mustang
·   FSC Editors Choice Best Modern
·   Winner: Anna Beelick  2007 Chevy
·   Best Engine
·   Winner: Greg Tolles    Shelbyville, MI   1969 Chevelle
·   Best Interior
·   Winner: Peter Dunbar   Detroit, MI    2006 Mustang
·   Best Paint
·   Winner: Denny Otterman   Lansing, MI   1985 Corvette
·   Directors Choice Conservative
·   Winner: Bernie Hickey   Nashville, MI    1961 Chevrolet
·   Directors Choice Modified
·   Winner:  Jeff Spencer   Butler, IN   1969 Chevelle
·   Camaro 67-69 
·   Winner: Jim W.     Plainwell, MI    1969 Camaro
·   Camaro 70-81
·   Winner: Steve Ogrodzinski     Lowell, MI    1978 Camaro
·   Camaro 82-92 
·   Winner: Shelly Crippin    Three Rivers, MI   1987 Camaro
·   Camaro 93-02
·   Winner: Anne Purdun    Ionia, MI   2001 Camaro
·   Camaro Gen 5 
·   Winner: Linda Lawrence    Battle Creek, MI    2012 Camaro
·   Camaro Gen 6
·   Winner: Teresa Lins    Middleville, MI   2018 Camaro
·   Firebird All years
·   Winner: G. Rose   Calidonia, MI    1999 Trans Am
·   Nova 62-67
·   Winner: Todd Frazier   Kalamazoo, MI    1966 Nova  
·   Nova 68-Up
·   Winner: Ken Firlik    Holland, MI   1973 Nova SS
·   Chevelle All Years
·   Winner: Cliff & Lindsey Shellenbarger    Ionia, MI   1970 Chevelle  
·   GM A-Body (LeMans/Cutlass/Skylark) 
·   Winner: Art Valasquez    Ionia, MI    1971 Olds 
·   GM G-Body (Monte Carlo/Regal/Grand Prix/Cutlass) 
·   Winner: Mark Black    Vicksburg, MI   1970 Monte Carlo
·   Corvette 84 – 2019
·   Winner: Blue Drew     Detroit, MI   2002 Corvette
·   Corvette 2020- Present
·   Winner: Brad Wells    Wyoming, MI   2023 Corvette
·   Early Chevrolet Up to 49’
·   Winner: Mike & Diane McLemore   Washington, IN   1940 Ford     
·   GM Full Size All Years 
·   Winner: Chet & Theresa Simmons   Plainwell, MI   1955 Buick  
·   55-56-57 Chevy 
·   Winner: John & Mirjam Madges   Grand Rapids, MI   1957 Chevrolet
·   Full Size Truck All Years 
·   Winner: Richard & Barb Cavner    Lawton, MI  1968 Chevy C-10
·   GM Compact Truck All Years 
·   Winner: Alan Gullardo    Wyoming, MI   2000 Chevy S-10
·   Open GM 
·   Winner: Rich Verbrog    Belmont, MI    1972 Buick Riviera 
·   Best GM of Show 
·   Winner: Blue Drew     Detroit, MI   2002 Corvette  
·   Mustang 79-93
·   Winner: Bob Poffinbarger    Portage, IN   1993 Mustang
·   Mustang 94-04
·   Winner: Bob Gruber   Lake Zurich, IL   1994 Mustang
·   Mustang 05-14’
·   Winner: Tony Gully    Romulus, MI   2007 Mustang
·   Mustang  15-Current
·   Winner: Nektar Meletalos    2017 Mustang
·   SVT & Cobra Mustang 
·   Winner: Christine Hartmann   Winemac, IN   1993 Cobra
·   Shelby & Boss
·   Winner: Catherine & Clyde Dunphy    Pleasant Plaines, IL   1966 Shelby Mustang  
·   Comet, Cougar, Capri
·   Winner: Hayden Danford   Knox, IN   1985 Mercury Capri
·   Falcon, Fairlane, Maverick 
·   Winner: Peter Beeke    Kalamazoo, MI   1966 Fairlane
·   Open Ford (For Ford vehicles that do not fit into above classes )
·   Winner: Elaine Stewart   Lowell, MI   1955 Thunderbird
·   Best Ford of Show 
·   Winner: Peter Beeke    Kalamazoo, MI   1966 Fairlane
·   Chrysler B-Body (Road Runner/Coronet/Charger) 
·   Winner: Ben Phillips   Holland, MI    1971 Plymouth GTX
·   Chrysler E-Body (Challenger/Barracuda) 
·   Winner: Bill Cotter     Kentwood, MI   1967 Barrauda
·   AMC Open
·   Winner: Dan Sweetland   Gowen, MI   1970 AMC AMX 
·   Open Chrysler 
·   Winner: Ron Wight   Grant, MI   2012 Jeep
·   Best Chrysler of Show 
·   Winner: Bill Cotter     Kentwood, MI   1967 Barrauda 
·   Best Engine 
·   Winner: Chet & Theresa Simmons   Plainwell, MI   1955 Buick
·   Best Interior 
·       Winner:  Tony Gully    Romulus, MI   2007 Mustang 
·   Best Body & Paint 
·       Winner: Ben Phillips   Holland, MI    1971 Plymouth GTX   
        Best of Show 
        Winner: Mike & Diane McLemore   Washington, IN   1940 Ford    

join our

email list

You’ll be first to know about NMCA events, race results and so much more!