Father’s Day car show in Oakmont motors through its 65th annual installment
A Father’s Day tradition of cars and catching up with friends continued Sunday at Riverside Park in Oakmont.
The Horseless Carriage Club of America Pittsburgh Region’s 65th annual car show took place despite rain keeping many would-be participants in their garages.
Only about 35 cars were displayed in the park compared to the average 250.
“It’s a tradition,” region President John McCollum said. “Always on Father’s Day. People automatically know to come here (to Oakmont). We’ve only had one rainout in 65 years, other than the little rain today. The car club guys don’t like to bring their cars out in the rain.”
Rain didn’t stop the Oakmont Rotary or the Riverview Athletic Association from helping out with ticket sales and operating the concession stand. Other activities included raffles, a deejay and selecting winners from 16 categories.
“It’s a big participation from other groups in Oakmont to help put this on,” McCollum said. “It takes a lot of work.”
Top prize winners were a 1941 Cadillac series 62 convertible, a 1971 Chevrolet El Camino and a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am.
McCollum, 60, of Oakmont recalled coming to the show decades ago with his father, Richard McCollum, while growing up across the river in Springdale.
“(There’s) a lot of history for us with this,” McCollum said. “I’m now here with my kids.”
Organizers said the car show was started by one of the club’s founding members, Jim P. Eaton of Oakmont.
It originally took place at Chambers Acres in Monroeville before being moved to Riverside Park.
Eaton was involved in the event until his death in August 2017 at age 100.
“It was a family thing,” said his son, Jim E. Eaton, 77, of Rochester, Mich. “We grew up with this. He was a people person.”
Eaton’s sister, Donna Dexter, 72, of Oakmont inherited one of her father’s cars, a 2009 SAAB 9-3 with only 1,000 miles on it and in pristine condition. It took first place in the 1986 to present foreign car category.
“He would be proud it wasn’t canceled even thought the weather was against us,” Dexter said. “He never liked to cancel. It would make him happy (to keep it going). He loved cars.”
“He was probably one of the smartest guys you’d ever want to meet,” McCollum said. “You could never tell him, ‘no.’ He was a unique guy. He’ll never die in our minds because we’re always thinking about him.”
Former club President Ray Rivers organized things last year. Rivers died in January at 85.
McCollum said the club nearly disbanded after Eaton’s passing, but Rivers was able to hold things together.
“Ray kept it alive,” McCollum said. “We’re sharing that camaraderie with the other members. That’s really a big thing.”
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .