By Andrew Revord
The parking lot is generally an object of little interest. It is usually filled with uninteresting cars, and in the case of Prospect High School, a serious lack of actual parking space. But on Saturday, May 8, Prospect’s parking lot hosted the third annual Prospect Auto Show. And with the Auto Show comes all sorts of great cars from every year, make and style.
Anyone attending this year’s show would find a show not unlike the previous years, but with a few changes.
This year, the cars were judged differently, although every judge was still a student, just like the previous years.
“From the first year, we had a lot of trouble the way the judging was done,” technical education teacher Matthew Kaiser said, who teaches the auto classes and leads the auto club.
But one thing was certain, there was a variety of cars to judge.
Unlike in previous years, the cars were split into several categories: best in show, best muscle, pre-’80s, post-’80s, post-2000’s, tuner and import, motorcycle, 4×4/truck, best restoration and best hot rod.
“We’ll have everything from the 1920s up to [cars that] came out this year,” Kaiser said.
The major concern for this year’s show was the turnout. Last year, about 125 cars showed up. “I’m hoping to match those numbers,” Kaiser said before the show, “but with Mother’s Day weekend, it’s a little bit of a problem.”
But even the on-and-off raining going on that day didn’t scare the contestants from seeming to match those numbers.
Another consistent aspect of the auto show is the fact that autos graduates will return to show off their cars.
“Each year there’s about 12 guys that come up to help out or show their cars. Numbers fluctuate, though,” Kaiser said.
One of these people is Eric Braman, an ’09 graduate who brought up his 1997 Acura Integra to the show this year.
Current students also came to show off their rides. Junior Michael Barrassa came with his red 1985 Chevy El Camino, into which he has put six hours of work. His reason was simple.
“I just like working on cars,” he said.
But not all the contestants are from Prospect.
Russell Regnier has taken his 1931 Chevy Deluxe Sport Coup to several other contests in Palatine, Barrington and Rolling Meadows.
He has had his car for some 30 years and has devoted countless hours into it. He admits that when he got it, the car was “more of a parts car than a car to restore, but I didn’t know better.”
Since then, he has completely restored the then-nonexistent interior, replaced the chrome door handles, repainted the entire car and fixed a long list of other parts. This has led him on a search for parts from across the country and even outside of it. The door handles, for example, are from Australia.
However, Regnier won’t be restoring any more cars any time soon.
“I’m too old for that,” he chuckled.
And of course, some come just to see the cars.
At least, that is the way that the autos students who volunteered their time to run the show feel.
Freshman and Autos 1 student Bradley McCormack, a self-described Ford Mustang and Chevy Corvette fan said, “I just wanted to see all the cool cars and have a good time.”
And the show has no lack of a variety of cool cars.
“It really depends on what your taste is,” Kaiser said. “We have cars to suit your every need. We have fancy hot rods, to factory and show quality muscle cars, to the highest of horsepower modified [cars]. You name it, we got it.”