Jam with the classics at Columbia Center

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 21, 2015

 Linda Smith, left, and Rose Dascenza, both of Troy, look at a 1960 Nash convertible owned by Troy resident Jeff Rider at the Troy Traffic Jam last year.

Linda Smith, left, and Rose Dascenza, both of Troy, look at a 1960 Nash convertible owned by Troy resident Jeff Rider at the Troy Traffic Jam last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti


TROY — For John Khami, whose family will bring three cars to the Troy Traffic Jam, the show is all about family.

“It’s a family affair. We like driving our cars,” he said.  His brother Roger will drive a 1930 Model A Ford with a rumble seat, and Khami will drive a ’73 Porsche 911. Khami’s son, Jason, will drive an ’81 Porsche Targa to the show.

It’s their third year at the show.

“Cars like this, it’s a hobby. It’s a project. It’s a passion,” he said. “We enjoy turning a wrench, working on these cars and taking them out in the summertime to enjoy the ride.”

Khami drove the Model A in the Northville Fourth of July parade.

“It’s people. It’s memories. It’s smiles on people’s faces,” he said. “We enjoy answering questions, especially about the Model A.”

He said they let kids sit in the rumble seat and sound the horn, which makes an “ayuuga” noise.

“It’s enjoyable,” Khami said of the Troy Traffic Jam. “There’s always something to get your attention.”

Richard Coon will bring his ’79 Corvette to the show. He’s restoring the car himself. He’s had it for four years and has brought it to the show for three years.

Coon, a project manager for an auto supplier, said he graduated from high school in ’79 and always admired the car.

“I came across it at the right time,” he said. “I needed another hobby after our kids got out of college.”

He said he meets other “Corvette guys” at the show. “I like to talk to people. It’s a great event.”

Edwin Holter will bring his ’53 Morocco Brown DeSoto to the Troy Traffic Jam. The car is all stock, with a Firedome Hemi V-8 engine.

“It’s a two-door coupe,” he said. “It’s one of only five others we know of. It’s completely restored and one of the first Hemis. It looks like it just came out of the factory.”

It’s taken him four years to restore the vehicle. Brothers Custom Automotive in Troy restored the body, paint and chrome, and Holter works on his car at the Brothers facility. He takes the DeSoto to the Gathering Place in Troy on Wednesdays in the summertime, a hangout for other classic car and hot rod enthusiasts. He said he keeps it in his garage and ensures that his wife’s car, which is parked outside, is cleared of ice and snow and started for her in wintertime.

“My grandfather had one just like it,” he said of the DeSoto. “I used to drive it to high school in Platte, South Dakota.”

He said that when he came home from college, he learned that the car had been sold and crushed.

“It took me 25 years to find one like it,” he said.

He takes the DeSoto to six or seven shows each year.

“It’s a nice show and nice location,” he said of the Troy Traffic Jam.

More than 200 cars will be onsite and judged for awards. There will be a ’40 American LaFrance, Troy’s first fire apparatus, a Troy police hot rod and a ’32 Ford Coupe seized in a drug raid and modified by Ford for police use.

Specialty vehicles from private collections on display at the show will include a 1932 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat, a 2015 Chrysler Challenger Hellcat, and the Miss America 10 Speed Boat. A variety of 1950s vehicles will be showcased for the 60th anniversary of Troy’s incorporation as a city.

Troy Traffic Jam is free to spectators, and classic car owners may preregister a vehicle 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, Insalata Troy and Zoyo Yogurt will be available for purchase.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Troy Historical Society, which sponsors events and educational programs at the Troy Historic Village. 

“We are really excited about this great event in Troy,” said Alan Kiriluk, chairman of Kirco, one of the event’s sponsors, in a prepared statement. “We are so proud of the variety of cars we have, including the addition of unbelievable sports and race cars.  In all, it makes for a free, family-friendly event that promotes the city of Troy and benefits the Troy Historic Village,” said Kiriluk.

The Troy Traffic Jam, Chrome, Muscle and Music will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 2 at Columbia Center, 201 W. Big Beaver Road.

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