Rooster and I took our youngest son to the World of Wheels car show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This blog tells about our experience. #world of wheels #car show #Indianapolis #Indiana State Fairgrounds
World of Wheels
I am not a car person. If a vehicle carries me from point A to point B without a problem, I’m happy. My current ride is a seventeen-year-old Pontiac Sunfire. Zelda has been such a reliable mode of transportation I gave her to one of my characters in my Hen House Series. Rooster says I need to trade her in on a new model before she starts causing me problems. I plan to drive Zelda until her wheels fall off, or my kids pry my keys out of my hand because I’ve become too senile to operate a moving vehicle. I see no reason to get rid of her because she has a little rust and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles which come with a newer model, but I digress from the original intent of this blog.
Why we attended the World of Wheels event.
I might not be a car person, but Rooster Jr. is. He became fixated on the automobile the first time he held a Hot Wheel in his hand at the age of two. He’s had a bad year. Six months ago, he was hit by a car. He’s undergone two surgeries and six months of recuperation and still can’t stand on two feet. It’s ironic when you consider he was almost killed by the one thing in this world he has a passion for. This month our adventures have all focused on the theme of love.
We undertook the quest to give our son an experience that would surround him with the thing he’s most passionate about and uplift his spirits. We loaded him into the Sunshine Mobile and headed for the World of Wheels event at the Indiana State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis.
The first thing that caught my eye when we strolled through the door was an antique, cobalt blue Cadillac. Even to my untrained eye, I could tell this was a well-restored machine. I didn’t know if it could carry a person from point A to point B, but I had to admit it was pretty.
The exhibition hall was filled with so much automotive eye candy it was hard to decide where to begin looking over the vehicles. We chose to start with the Cady. The guy who restored it was kind enough to talk with my son about how he turned the car into the beautiful machine sitting at the entrance of the most prestigious car shows in the state. I gave Rooster a camera and told him to take a lot of pictures. I carried my little pocket Canon. We set off to explore a world of chrome and steel.
A taste of Hoosier history with the automobile.
Hoosiers have a love affair with the automobile. The first one of its type to appear on American soil was built by a guy named Elwood Haynes. He joined forces with the Apperson brothers and test drove his Pioneer to Pumpkinvine Pike on July 4, 1894, from downtown Kokomo. His trip started the flirtation Hoosiers have with the automobile. Elwood Hanes and the Apperson brothers began manufacturing the horseless carriage soon after that historic drive.
The automotive industry has been a big part of Indiana culture since Haynes drove the first horseless carriage on that long ago 4th of July. We threw our hat into the ring with the automobile when the first Indianapolis 500 was run on May 11, 1911. Our combined history makes the World of Wheels a big event around these parts.
The hippie van encounter.
We must have strolled around for a half an hour before the hippie van caught my attention. It was gaudy and loud with music blaring from a record player’s turntable.
Two teenage boys were admiring the scene created on the inside of the party van. I stepped up to take a picture and said, “Man those were the days.” One of the young guys asked, “Did you used to ride around in one of these.” I couldn’t help but play along. “You bet I did. Those were the days,” was my reply. “Was it a lot of fun?” the second one asked. “It was interesting,” was all I said before I walked away.
The truth was the vans I rode in back in the early 1970s were nothing like the restored van sitting on the exhibition floor. They were rust buckets. If there was any artwork on the outside, it was done with a couple of cans of spray paint in someone’s driveway. The music we listened to came from an eight-track tape player or the radio. I knew a guy who drove us around in a hearse which he bought from a local funeral parlor.
Meandering through the World of Wheels.
We meandered through the maze of cars. The people we met wore smiles on their faces, content to be surrounded by a world made up of chrome and steel. We were enjoying wandering the aisles snapping our pictures until we ran into this mean guy. He had an interesting piece of folk art on display.
The image made in the shape of the United States consisted of old discarded license plates. In the first place, a video demonstrating how the artwork was created ran for everyone to see. I stopped to look at the folksy stuff he made. The guy sprang out of nowhere and started interrogating us about why we were walking around with cameras. I believe he thought we wanted to snap a photo to steal his idea. Firstly, what he was creating wasn’t high-end art someone would want to copy.
This amusing item would look perfect hanging in a man cave or a garage. Secondly, if you worry about your idea being stolen, don’t run a video showing how to manufacture your product. Thirdly, everyone in the place was carrying a cellphone with picture capability. I didn’t even bother to take a picture of his product. Rooster did, but I won’t share it.
Evaluation of our World of Wheels adventure.
The World of Wheels turned out to be an excellent adventure. Rooster Jr. gave us the low down on every make and model of car we passed. His knowledge of the automobile is extensive. The guy is a walking talking car encyclopedia.
One of the more interesting stories was how Big Daddy Don Garlits came up with a way to move the motor in drag racing cars from the front to the back of the machines. As a matter of fact, before Grarlits came up with the design dragsters exploded ofter, therefore drivers would be injured or killed frequently.
I enjoyed the cars which had skeletons at the wheel. It added a comical touch to the exhibit. A tiny robot dressed in biker gear riding a miniature motorcycle rode around one display booth. He didn’t mind us taking pictures. He also posed for us. Of course, this is Indiana. It wouldn’t be a World of Wheels without one radical tractor in the mix.
How we celebrated International Pizza Day.
We wandered through three exhibition halls on our journey through the World of Wheels. Our stomachs were growling, so in honor of international Pizza Day, we drove to Blaze Pizza. This fast-fired, build your own pizzeria is our favorite. There is a chain of these stores throughout the Hoosier state. The one we usually go to is located at 12697 N. Pennsylvania Street Carmel, Indiana.
The place was busy on this Saturday evening. Hence, International Pizza Day became a celebrated occasion, or a sports team from a local high school had decided on Blaze as the after the game meal location. All three of us decided on the build your own Pizza, therefore, each pizza comes with a personal touch. The beautiful part about selecting the ingredients to go on the pie is you never eat the same pizza at Blaze twice. The one which pops out of the open-flame oven is as unique as the person requesting the ingredients.
In addition, a heated debate concerning pineapple being a pizza topping took place at our table. Rooster and Junior both agree it does. I’m still on the fence regarding the issue. The subject of egg on a pizza came up, but I refused to join in the debate. Breakfast pizza is just a way to make the morning meal look cool. Ending our adventure at Blaze was an excellent way to conclude a day filled with chrome and steel.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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