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The 34th annual World Series of Cars will roll into Jamestown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 23 at Bergman Park on 487 Baker Street.
This regional fundraising event tremendously benefits the Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee, which hosts the Babe Ruth World Series. “The cost of that series is about $150,000, so this is our major, major fundraiser ever year,” Kim Ecklund, Vice President of the Babe Ruth World Series Board of Directors said. A whopping 400 cars have painted the town in previous years, and Ecklund predicts at least the same turnout for 2017.
As a board member for the past 15 years, Ecklund said the cars have always been judged based on a strict judging process. Judged to the standards of the Chautauqua County Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), judges followed mandatory owner rules for original cars. This year is now an “open-avenue” car show, meaning both antique and modified cars are allowed and will be judged by their peers. “It’s the people’s choice,” Russ Diethrick, AACA committee member and 1997 Babe Ruth Hall of Famer said. “People are aware of what cars really excited them that day and then those cars will be chosen for an award.”
Ecklund said that car owners who couldn’t be judged based on the previous rules will now be able to attend, bringing more people to the series. “There are some changes in growth this year and I think it’s going to be exciting to see how it goes,” Ecklund said. “I think people in the long run will be happier. We have a tremendous committee, we have some people who have worked very hard to try and change the momentum of it and get people excited so I think it’ll be good to see.”
The major sponsor of the event is Dave Warren Dodge Ram, and senior sponsors include Chautauqua Pools and Power Sports and JS Auto Parts Plus. Dave Warren will boast a remarkable display of Dodge Ram Trucks, while the other companies have the option to show off their own displays. Cummins will also be on the scene with their impressive engine display.
What’s the Scoop?
“It started back in the ‘80s when Jamestown was honored to have the first World Series. Some of the local guys were going to car shows around the area,” Diethrick said. One man in the group was Les Ostrander, then owner of Babe Ruth’s car. “When they came home from the shows and were having a cup of coffee, they said ‘we’ll have to have a car show back home!’” Diethrick said. (Ecklund said Babe Ruth’s car will be at this year’s World Series of Cars).
Ostrander told the men it would be great if they could be benefactors. They belonged to the AACA and became the founder and sponsor of the Babe Ruth World Series. “They called it the ‘World Series of Cars’ because cars came from all over the area, were the best cars around and they supported the Babe Ruth World Series,” Diethrick said. They continued to put the car show on year after year.
“The community attended, they enjoyed it, they appreciated it – not only because they were helping the Babe Ruth World Series but because they had a magnificent car show every year,” Diethrick said. People have come as far as 500 miles to see the spectacular event.
Who Will be There?
Tons of tasty food vendors will be at the event, so car enthusiasts won’t go hungry after looking at one-of-a-kind cars the whole day. There will be a variety of foods ranging from traditional to ethnic cuisines. Stands include vendors that sell car-related items, like detailing.
Ecklund said that many people who are interested in cars will come to the event, from avid car fans to those curious about what they’ll see. “For people who are into Corvettes, our Corvette cars always show up in mass amounts,” Ecklund said. “The event draws crowds from real car enthusiasts to intrigued individuals.”
The variety of vehicles will be a sight to see, including antique and modern cars, motorcycles and as a new special feature, Ecklund said, “There will be a major display of local fire trucks, both antique and current.”
“It’s nice to put on a nice program and encourage visitors and it’s nice to make it meaningful,” Diethrick said. “Since 1980 there’s been some lifetime friendships made. It’s just an awesome event.”
Check out the World Series of Cars on Facebook at World Series of Cars Jamestown NY or visit http://jamestownworldseries.org/ or contact the event team at (716) 664-0405.