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July 22, 2014

Troy Traffic Jam revs up Big Beaver

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Keith and Pat Francis, of Troy, take a look at the cars at the Troy Traffic Jam last year.

Foreign and domestic, stock and custom cars, Doozies and Dusters will roll into Columbia Center on Big Beaver Aug. 3.

The Troy Traffic Jam Chrome, Muscle and Music car show will once again deliver classics, hot rods, muscle cars and sports cars during the popular one-day show amid skyscrapers.

This is the seventh year the popular car show has roared into the venue on Big Beaver.

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.

Troy residents and brothers John and Roger Khami will bring their ’30 Ford Model A with rumble seat they’ve owned since ’74 to the show for the second year, although they’ve attended the show for several years. They recently took the car for a road trip along the back roads to Indiana for the Model A Restorers Club meet, garnering 485 of possible 500 points.

It took them 14 hours to drive 440 miles to the meet in French Lick, Indiana, and the car got a lot of attention along the way, with someone offering to help them get a needed part for the car when it broke down. They’ve done most of the work on the car themselves.

They enjoy taking the car to the Troy Traffic Jam because, “We like explaining our car and why it was important,” said John, president and CEO of Parkwood Properties. They also drive the car in the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“I saw one (Model A) when I was a teenager,” said Roger, an engineer at Ford Motor Co. for 25 years. “I found out about it, and I had to have one. There’s a whole bunch of firsts about it.”

He noted that the Model A was the only car that Edsel Ford and Henry Ford worked on together. It was the first car to have a laminated safety glass windshield, shocks, bumpers, speedometers and the blue Ford logo.

Both Roger and John like to go to the Troy Traffic Jam to talk to other car people and see the cars.

“There were three Duesenbergs at the show last year,” which Roger said would cost the equivalent of $600,000 a car today. “The diversity of the cars, that’s another thing I like about it. They’re so many pretty cars.”

“It’s a well-done event,” John said. He praised the Columbia Center venue. “It’s a terrific location, and the owners of Columbia Center are very gracious.”

Troy resident Stephen Baker will bring his ’71 Corvette Stingray to the Troy Traffic Jam, the only formal car shows he takes his Corvette to. He also brings his Corvette to the informal “drive-ins” at Kim’s Restaurant on Long Lake in Troy on Wednesday nights and the Gathering Place on John R in Troy on Tuesday nights during the summer. 

Baker bought the Corvette in ’99 and rebuilt the engine, transmission, and brake and fuel lines himself at his home, working on the car for up to five hours a day. A retired engineer from Chrysler, he’s working on another project car, a ’76 Datsun, using a conversion kit with the aim to make it look like a Ferrari. 

“What I like about the Troy Traffic Jam: there’s a nice variety of cars shown there, from cars from the brass era (100 years old) up to classic mid ’30s, muscle cars and later years,” he said. “It’s fun to walk around and talk to people. There are some really nice cars there.” 

Troy Traffic Jam is free to spectators, and classic car owners may preregister their vehicles for $15 or pay $20 to enter their car on the day of the show.
Deejay Bob Steel will provide music. Food from Gateway Deli and Tim Horton’s 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 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Columbia Center, 201 W. Big Beaver.

Car participants may download applications online at www.troymi.gov/carshow. Call (248) 524-1147 for information.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.