The grounds of the Medfield State Hospital (MSH) roared to life on Saturday as the Medfield on the Charles Auto Show iterally rolled into town. This was the 20th installment of this antique, classic and custom car show, and like the previous 19, it did not disappoint.
There were old cars, new cars, muscle cars, cruisers, hot rods and more, both foreign and domestic, that filled the grassy aisles of the hospital property, while classic 50s, 60’s, and 70s music and retro car radio ads filled the air. There were an estimated 500-600 cars on the property, some instantly recognizable -- like the classic Model T, Camaroes and Mustangs -- and some unfamiliar electric vehicles making their auto show debut, including some of the all-new, all-electric 2022 vehicles.
Visitors to the show where almost as numerous and as diverse as the cars that lined the properties. The 90 degree temperatures did not deter the spectators of all ages, who came out in hopes of catching a glimpse of their dream car -- or simply walk down memory lane.
“My sister had that exact same car, only in blue,” one older visitor said, pointing to a 30-year-old green Pontiac parked under a tree. “Wow, that brings me back.”
“This is amazing,” another spectator stated about his very first visit to the car show, despite being a Medfield resident for almost 75 years.
The show appealed to more than just the “young at heart”. Many of the younger attendees stood in line to take pictures with famous Hollywood autos, like the DeLorean from “Back to the Future” (flux capacitor and hover-board both present) or the ’77 Pontiac Firebird from “Smokey and the Bandit”. In the end however, it was David Ippolito’s 1969 “General Lee” Dodge Charger, signed by the cast of “Dukes of Hazzard”, that stole the show in the newly minted TV and Movie Car Category.
Also new this year was the show’s EV section, featuring vehicles from Ford, BMW and Tesla. Here, visitors could check out a variety of EV models and meet with owners to learn about their real-world experiences.
While there were over 500 cars for spectators to ogle, only a handful of these mechanical masterpieces would be driving away with one of the coveted auto show trophies. While the judges’ results were not available at the time of print, they definitely had their work cut out for them -- would it be the 1911 Ford Model T, the oldest car in the show; Bob’s classic “Chromero”, with it’s mirror-finished chrome engine; or the rare 1954 Kaiser-Darrin (one of only 435 ever made) with it’s exotic “pocket-style” sliding doors?
If there’s a people’s choice category this year, that trophy may well have gone to an unlikely candidate on this hot summer day: the C & C Ice Cream truck, by far the most visited vehicle, with well over a 100 customers an hour, according to its owner.
With the successful of the 2022 auto show, Charlie Harris the man behind the event, was asked what he could possibly do to top this year’s show.
“Probably retire!” He joked, which elicited a few chuckles from his friends and other longtime car show patrons.