17th Cruise-In brings hundreds downtown

MANSFIELD — Hundreds of people flocked downtown Saturday to look at cars and more from days gone by at the 17th annual Heart of the City Cruise-In.

Russ and Joan Chapman of Ashland brought their 1929 Ford Model A called “The Brutus Mobile,” which they drive to Ohio State tailgate parties on game days.

“It has a matching trailer,” said Russ, who recently purchased Script Ohio door handles for the showpiece, painted in scarlet and gray.

Judging from his photo album, it seemed that OSU President E. Gordon Gee likes the car, too.

“Everybody likes to take his picture in it,” said Russ, a big Ohio State fan.

Every vehicle owner had a story.

Richland County Commissioner Gary Utt brought his 1967 Austin-Healy to the car show, where he and grandson Gary III enjoyed looking at vehicles that sparkled and shined as if they were fresh out of a new car showroom.

“I bought it about 40 years ago,” Utt said of the dark green two-seater.

Lorin Vance, 77, of Mansfield, a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, spent the day beside the Richland County Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 51’s 1952 military Jeep, known as a Willy.

“It’s the 60th anniversary,” he said, proudly admiring the sturdy Jeep.

Tony Korokany, 86, of Mansfield, parked his 1967 Ford Econoline red truck downtown along Park Avenue West.

“I didn’t get to wash it, but I decided to get it out of storage and come on down,” he said proudly. “It’s not restored, but just kept up nicely.”

Radio personality Tommy Barnes from Central Park kept downtown visitors entertained with music, around 3 p.m. introducing the band, Glenwood Boulevard.

Ohio Express also entertained the crowd at 5 p.m. from the pavilion.

There was something for everyone, from shopping to a vendor’s show and carousel rides during the day-long event.

Teens and volunteers Emily Hockenberry and Faith Owens pushed a cart selling popcorn for a dollar, a fundraiser for the Richland Carrousel Park. Sales were good.

Elsewhere, Richard Schuller volunteered his Saturday to make lemonade outside First United Methodist Church, selling cups of the sugary lemonade for $3 as a church fundraiser.

Restaurants and concession stands kept people happy with plenty of food and drinks, including ice cream cones and brats, hot dogs and peanuts.

John Tanchevski who owns Uncle John’s Place on the square, said the car show brings in a lot of customers each year, for food and a cold beer as temperatures soared near 90 degrees.

Twitter: @Lwhitmir