Students flock to MSU Car Show to display cars, talent
Dimondale, Mich., resident George Hicks looks inside a 1946 Chevy at the MSU Car Show held at Lot 40 on Saturday. The event was hosted by the MSU Racing Club.
For economics junior Ahmed Almansouri, showing off his yellow and black 2008 Corvette at the MSU Car Show on Saturday had more significance than just his love of cars.
“People say Corvettes are the American dream — that’s my dream,” Almansouri said.
The international student was one of about 115 individuals who participated in the show presented by the MSU Racing Club.
Eighty people registered their cars for the event, but more than 100 attended, factoring in unregistered participants, Racing Club president James Hewson Jr. said.
Despite the cold weather last weekend, cars including imports, American classics and modified cars packed Lot 40 near Erickson Hall. Several attendees also showed off their motorcycles, and a children’s powered vehicle was entered as well.
Self-described “car guys,” women and children from as far away as Ohio and Wisconsin looked under the hoods of cars at the show.
The attendance was encouraging to Hewson, who said about 60 cars were registered in the event last year. His 1993 Mazda RX-7 won Best Student Car and Best Import at the show.
“There are a lot of people who are into cars but don’t have an outlet for it,” Hewson said, adding he hoped all kinds of car enthusiasts enjoyed the opportunity.
Alumna Dana Kollewehr, who drove all the way from Grand Haven, Mich., with her husband to see the car show, said the event was an opportunity to see many different types of vehicles she wouldn’t otherwise see. Kollewehr was one of very few women at the show.
“There could be a lot more women on campus who could be interested (in cars),” she said. “If they knew more or learned more about it, they’d probably be more interested.”
Hewson said the group hopes to reach out to as many people as possible, no matter who they are or what their level of interest in cars is.
“If they’re at all interested in being a part of it, we’d love to have them here,” he said.
While Racing Club members said the crowd lacked diversity, several attendees said the selection of cars did not, despite Michigan’s tendency for local and domestically made cars.
“There’s a lot of friendly competition between the imports and domestics,” political science senior Steve Bowers said. “(As for) people in our club, … as long as it’s a true driver’s car, we’ll respect it.”
Bowers said people often stereotype “car guys” as “meatheads,” but being a true car enthusiast means a lot of work and thinking skills.
Racing Club members said most of the students in the group already have owned up to six cars each.
Several members said they are able to keep up with their hobby by rebuilding cars and selling them at their new value.
The event had a fairly even mixture of unmodified, new cars and self-built, altered vehicles.
Kalamazoo resident Dedrick Jones, who showed his Michael Jordan-themed 1985 Chevy S-10, said there is a certain amount of pride that comes with working on a car.
“I’m going to show off my talent, and hopefully, other people will like it too,” Jones said, adding other car enthusiasts most likely feel the same way about their creations. “If it’s here, they’re proud of it.”
Although Almansouri has not completely built or modified his car, he has made several alterations and has pride for the Corvette, which was a present from his father for receiving good grades and a scholarship.
“(The show) is a chance for making friends,” he said. “(It’s) a chance to check out a