VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) The sights and sounds of street rods are filling the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fairgrounds as Frog Follies revs up and takes off.
Thousands of street rods and other vehicles started arriving at the 4-H Center earlier today. This is the 45th year for the annual festival. Organizers say the festival averages a display of about 4,000 street rods a year. Linda Lacer of the E’Ville Iron Street Rod Club says she expects more than 2,900 vehicles this year.
Street rod drivers come from across the Tri-State and the country for the weekend festival.
The Vanderburgh County 4-H Fairgrounds is already full of thousands of street rods despite the rain earlier today. One of them was Bobby Bickwermer who spoke with Eyewitness News’s Mike Pickett about his vehicle.
Mike Pickett: Tell us about the street rod you have here?
Bobby Bickwermer: It’s a 1932 Ford 5-window coupe. Got a big block Chevy 502 in it, with a turbo transmission and a quick changer.
Mike Pickett: You’ve said you had this for about 10 years. How did you get one of these?
Bobby Bickwermer: I’ve just always liked it when I bought it, ended up buying the body and the rolling chassis at a Good Guys meet in Nashville, Tennessee about 10 years ago. I just had it painted about last year this time.
Mike Pickett: What does it take to keep a street rod like this in good condition?
Bobby Bickwermer: A lot of wiping and cleaning.
Mike Pickett: I saw you were wiping the rain off earlier today.
Bobby Bickwermer: It’s been having some rain, but we hope it’s over and everybody wipes their cars off. We hope the rain is over for the weekend.
Mike Pickett: By the way, how does it drive?
Bobby Bickwermer: It drives good. It has plenty of power. It has 502 horsepower.”
Mike Pickett: That’s quite a bit of horsepower. Good talking with you Bobby and hope you enjoy the festival. Don’t forget, Frog Follies continues through today and runs through Sunday.
Another street rod owner at the festival was Pat Dennis of Boonville. She was there with her husband, displaying their 1939 Chevy.
Pat Dennis: This is a 1939 Chevy Streett Rod. We’ve had it about 5 years. We really enjoy it. For a lot of years, we took it to Florida with us in the winter.
Mike Pickett: How does it drive?
PD: Well, it drives wonderful. It has a Corvette engine in it, which adds a little speed to it, and it’s just like driving in a luxury car, in my opinion.
MP: What does it take to maintain a vehicle like this?
PD: You have to keep it garaged if at all possible, take good care of it.
MP: You guys were drying the car off from the rain as well. How did you guys get into street rods?
PD: Well, my husband has always had a lot of flashy cars over the years. We’ve been married for 55 years now, and we just graddually worked our way into street rods.
They also came in from outside the Tri-State. Among them was Mike Deutscher, who drove in from Wisconsin for this year’s festival.
Mike Pickett: You came here all the way from Wisconsin?
Mike Deutscher: Northern Wisconsin.
MP: What is it about this festival that made you drive down here?
MD: The friendly people and their dedication to community.
MP: Tell us a little more about the Ford.
MD: It’s a 1933 Ford. I’ve had it for 27 years. Got 93,000 miles on it.
MP: Only 93,000 miles on it and this is a 1933. How does it drive?
MD: LIke a Cadillac, but it’s a Ford.
MP: What do you like about the festival? Is this your first time here?
MD: I’ve been coming here for 20 years. I think the club that puts this on does one of the best jobs in the United States.
MP: Are there any other vehicles you’ve been impressed by?
MD: My neighbor down here has that ’27 Dodge Roadster pickup.
(This story was originally published on August 23, 2019)