by Anne Gibson
It used to be that one would see a group of vintage restored vehicles or bright, well cared for Corvettes traveling through the greater Vail area, but they didn’t stop. Thanks to Ed Buster and Bill Brodhagen, you now find organized car shows at almost every large event in the area. Brodhagen, a former professional race car driver, having raced for 12 years in Wisconsin at Hales Corners Speedway and currently serving as president of the Door Slammers Car Club, teamed up with Ed Buster, the father of five car enthusiastic boys, to make a great team. Together, they have held car shows at the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 and 2018 VailFest and the Vail Preservation Society’s 2018 Colossal Fourth Car Show and Parade.
The latest car show was recently held on Saturday, October 20th, at the Pima County Fairgrounds as a part of the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce’s VailFest. For the future, Brodhagen is now coordinating with Terry Newman of Rita Ranch Automotive to do a community car show. He is also working with Andrada Polytechnic High School as they have an academic pathway awarding automotive repair certification to its students.
One hundred and more cars attend the shows and automobiles of every type, year, make, model, and color have been shown in Vail. In addition, there may be a few foreign vehicles and specialty vehicles like military, law enforcement, fire, and off-road vehicles. “I caught the car show bug and haven’t been able to pull myself away from helping to bring cool cars and people together,” said Buster.
Attending the shows in the greater Vail area are vehicles from automobile clubs as the Door Slammers of Tucson, Corvette Club of Vail, Corvette Club of Tucson, Antique Automobile Club of America – Tucson Region, Arizona Corvette Enthusiasts, Classic Chevy Club of Tucson, Fat Fender Fords, Old Pueblo Mustang Club and more. “It seems there is a brother and sisterhood with automotive enthusiasts that just plain love their cars and enjoy sharing them with others,” Buster commented.
Several judges carefully evaluate the cars in nine to eleven categories depending on the show. The winners of each category receive trophies; but every participant is a winner, and each participant receives a unique automobile placard.
“There is no registration fee. Ours is donation only,” said Brodhagen whose show car is a 2004, 40th anniversary edition yellow mustang which has a Green Bay Packers theme. There is also a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for charities in the community, Brodhagen stated. Each year the proceeds are given to area non-profits such as in the past ReSources and the Vail Preservation Society. This year’s benefactor will be the Vail School District Foundation.