Morrow County’s Rod n’ Tique Car Club celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The club is commonly known for its annual Father’s Day car show held at the Morrow County Fairground.
It all began in 1976 when three young men – Richard Day, Homer Hellman and Bud Lemley – were in sitting in Lemely’s backyard thinking of a way to involve their families and friends with their love of cars.
“Somehow the name Rod n’ Tiques came up,” Lemley remembers, “and it just stuck immediately. Right from the start, we wanted family to be a part of it.”
Bud’s wife and club member, Diana, also has a car in the club, and according to Lemley, “She had to have it in her name so I wouldn’t keep tearing it down and rebuilding it. It’s a common urge if you’re in this hobby for long.”
According to Lemley, the show was started two years after the club’s founding and it’s been growing ever since.
“We try to involve everyone who comes out by putting on games during the show,” he adds. “Club members organize races such as creeper, blind driver and backwards-steering lawnmowers, along with other games, with categories and awards for all. It’s a lot of fun for everybody.”
During the show, Lemley, the only remaining founding member, was constantly shaking congratulatory hands with friends new and old from around Ohio and neighboring states.
“It’s like a reunion each year,” he says. According to the Whirlpool retiree, this year of course is special because it marks another decade, but according to club member and wife, Diana, every year is no less.
The 2016 edition brought out over 230 show cars and over 100 spectator cars, around 400 people young and old– gray hair, long hair and no hair.
Indisputably, the most distance travelled was by 1965 Mount Gilead High School graduate Chuck Weaston, and his wife who now live in Rosenberg, Texas.
“I still have a lot of family and friends here and in the club,” says Weaston. “We just had to come this year to see everyone and be a part of the anniversary celebration.”
The club enjoys car “cruises” around the state, organized by its youngest member, 21-year-old Aaron Martin.
It’s a big job, according to club secretary Cheri Munroe, “But the memories are mostly with the people, not just the cars and the trips.
According to Munroe, the group really cares about the community as well as each other. “Each year we hold a 50/50 drawing and the proceeds go to the local hospice.”
Current president Damon Cooper explained, this year the club took over the restoration of a ’70 VW Bug — a project of a former member, now deceased — that was intended as a gift for his 16-year-old daughter.
The club plans to present it to her later this summer. According to Cooper, “She’s busting to get her hands on that car.”
The club is open to all and meets the first Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Wilhelm Building on West Marion Road in Mount Gilead.
“A lot of people make it an expensive hobby,” says Cooper. “But it doesn’t have to be.”It’s about preservation as much as restoration and customization, he says. “Any type of car is welcome, from new to antique, muscle to tuner.”
And according to secretary Munroe, “We have members from many backgrounds, but all you have to do to enjoy yourself is like cars and car people.”
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