Eleven years ago, the Washington Township Historical Preservation Commission held its inaugural antique car show. In its first effort, the commission had fewer than 20 cars register, in its 10th year, it had more than 120 cars. This year, the 11th year, it looks to break that record.
The car show, which will take place at the Olde Stone House Village on Egg Harbor Road, is free fun for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27 with a rain date of April 28. In that four-hour window, more than a dozen classes of cars will be on display. There’s a class for everybody to enjoy. For example, there’s a specialty class for vehicles like fire trucks or ambulances. From there, the classes are broken down into decades: ’49 and older, ’50-’59, ’60-’69 stock, ’60-’69 modified, ’70-’79 stock, ’70-’79 modified leading up to ’90 and newer, hot rod/rat rod and all original/unrestored.
Nick Appice, the chair of the historical preservation commission, said trophies will be awarded to the winners of each class in addition to a best club participation award for the car club that brings the most cars to the show. Winners are voted on by the registered car owners.
Spots are still available to register for those looking to show off their cars. The cost to register is $15 and can be done the day of the event between 8:30 and 10 a.m. To expedite the process, send an email to Townshiphistory1836@gmail.com to receive a registration form.
“If you’re planning on parking with friends and family, make sure you arrive together,” Appice said.
In addition to the car show, there will be food vendors, a DJ, 50-50 raffles and a basket auction. Tours of historic homes will be available as well. New this year is an open hearth cooking demonstration in the Olde Stone House. The demonstration will include a re-enactor in period time clothing cooking vegetables and meat over the fire, teaching attendees how food was cooked in the 1700s-1800s.
“We’re trying to get something historically into the car show,” Appice said. “We usually do this at the harvest festival.”
A presentation will be delivered on the front mobile, which is a front-wheel-drive vehicle manufactured in Grenloch by the Bateman Manufacturing Company. According to Appice, there is only one known remaining vehicle, which is in an automobile museum in Nevada. The presentation will outline the history of this legendary vehicle.
While the car show has no admission price for spectators, the proceeds from the show will benefit the Olde Stone House directly. The Olde Stone House is in need of beam restoration in the first floor. Appice estimates the cost of the project to be close to $40,000, and the car show brings in roughly $6,000 on average each year. For those looking to donate, checks can be made payable to the Washington Township Historical Preservation Commission with “beam donation” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to the municipal building.
The event is family friendly and continues to grow every year, which is something Appice hangs his hat on.
“I like the fact that every year it’s consistently growing,” he said. “We’re getting a better turnout every year. People look forward to it. We’re seeing a lot of families growing with the event.”
For more information, email Townshiphistory1836@gmail.com. The historic preservation commission holds its meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the municipal building. It’s always looking for volunteers.