Troy Traffic Jam revs up Big Beaver
By Terry Oparka
July 24, 2013
TROY — Are you loony for Lamborghinis, batty for Bonnevilles and crazy for Corvettes?
The Troy Traffic Jam, Chrome, Muscle and Music will once again deliver more than 200 classics, hot rods, muscle and sports cars during the popular one-day show in a park-like setting amid skyscrapers.
This is the sixth year the popular car show will roar into the venue on Big Beaver.
Troy resident Rick Knight plans to bring his ’64 1/2 teal Mustang to the show.
He explained that he and his wife, Deb, had been looking for a convertible for years when Deb saw it first in 2004 and told him to check it out.
“When we went over to look at it together, my wife said, ‘You have to buy it.’”
He explained the ’64 1/2 designation. “It was ordered before the car was officially launched. It was one of less than 2,100 made.”
The earliest official Mustangs are ’65s, Knight said. The 289 4-barrel engine and teal color Mustang models like the Knights own were discontinued in ’64.
“All the early Mustangs are titled ’65,” he said. “Only us freaks know there is a ’64 1/2.”
The car is 80 to 85 percent original. Knight drives it to a number of shows, most of which are close to his Troy home, no more than 1,000 miles a year.
“I drive it but I don’t drive it all the time. It’s not a trailer queen. It’s a semi-trailer queen. It doesn’t see rain,” he said.
Knight keeps it and works on it at his home in warm weather and at Gear Head Garage in Troy in colder weather.
He has shown the Mustang at the Troy Traffic Jam before.
“It’s a nice show and helps to support the Troy Historic Village,” he said. It won a best original car, first generation, in the Mustang Memories car show at Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn in 2010. He shows it at Talmer Bank at Long Lake and Livernois on Tuesday nights during warm-weather months.
This year’s Troy Traffic Jam will also feature sports and racing cars from the Lingenfelter, Penske and Fischer collections. Some of the cars include a 2008 Lamborghini Reventón, the Detroit Grand Prix Show Car, a ’57 Nash Ambassador, a 2008 Corvette CG 206 re-bodied to look like a ’67 Corvette, a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO, a 2014 Sting Ray Corvette and four Penske race cars. The Miss America X speedboat will also be at the show.
Cindy Stewart, community affairs director for Troy and a show organizer, described the show as free fun for the whole family in a park-like setting with shade trees in Columbia Center.
“We are so proud of the variety of cars we have, including the addition of unbelievable sports and race cars,” said Alan Kirluk, Kirco chairman. Kirco, Columbia Center, the Suburban Collection and Kelly Services are major sponsors of the event.
Troy Traffic Jam is free to spectators, and classic car owners may pre-register their vehicles for $15 or pay $20 to enter their cars on the day of the show.
Disc jockey Bob Steel will provide music. Food from Gateway Deli and Tim Hortons will be available for sale during the show.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the Troy Historical Society, which sponsors events and educational programs at the Troy Historic Village.
The Troy Traffic Jam, Chrome, Muscle and Music will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 4 at Columbia Center, 201 W. Big Beaver.
Car participants may download applications online at www.troymi.gov/carshow. Call (248) 524-1147 for information.
About the author
Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.
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