Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Classic cars compete for zoo charity event

August 6, 2001
Eaton Rapids resident Shawn Patton shines the hubcaps of Erica Patton’s 1999 Oldsmobile. It was just one of the many entries in the benefit car show Sunday at Potter Park Zoo, 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing. —

LANSING - Children could ride the ponies while car fanatics could check out the Mustangs.

On Sunday, the Capital City Corvette Club hosted a benefit car show at the Potter Park Zoo, 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave.

Car fans and exhibitors strolled through the shade, examining the tail fins on a 1957 Chevy or admiring the engine of a ’69 Chevy Nova.

The club was trying to raise funds for improvement of the zoo’s animal clinic, while owners of classic cars were competing in a people’s choice contest.

“Right now when one of our animals are sick or hurt, our animals go to MSU,” said Judy Kiss, office manager for Potter Park Zoo.

But it hasn’t been easy to have sick or hurt zoo animals taken care of at MSU’s veterinary clinics, she said.

“If it is a tiger or a rhino, obviously we can’t transport them and you don’t want them there,” she said.

More than 50 freshly washed and waxed cars with shining chrome rims were all lined up in a roped-off section of the parking lot.

“People get to vote for their top 10 choices, and then we will be giving awards for the top 20 and then one award for the best in show,” said Loretta Spinrad, president of the Capital City Corvette Club.

The entrants all had to pay $10, which, along with money collected from T-shirt sales, donations and raffle tickets, will go to the zoo.

“Our goal is to raise a minimum of $1,000,” Spinrad said.

The zoo, she said, was a great chance for the club to do a local charity.

“I think the zoo is something that everyone can appreciate, young and old alike,” she said.

Oldsmobile Cutlasses from the 1960s sat next to a line of Ford Mustangs and Chevy Corvettes from the ’70s and ’80s. Some of them were painted in bright cherry reds or midnight black with fuzzy dice hanging from a few rear windows.

Leslie resident Bryon Kibbey entered his 1932 Ford Five Window Coupe.

“I thought it was a good cause,” he said. “I like to go to all the shows that help out people.”

While Kibbey said he was unsure of his car winning, he said he goes to a show almost every weekend.

“For most people, that is the epitome of hot rod right there,” he said, pointing to his car. “If you got a hot rod, that one is it.”

Greg Kapp, group leader of the MSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s radiology department and a club member, entered his black 1984 Corvette.

“The setting is ideal,” he said. “Here there is shade, with all the picnic areas and there is the zoo to go to and the toys for kids to play on.”

Kapp said the zoo has a facility for the clinic, but it needs new equipment. In the past, he said, the zoo had the MSU clinic perform surgery on a bear, and the bear broke one of the confinement cages there.

“They like to do as many of the treatments here as they can as opposed to bringing them to the clinic because that is pretty traumatic for (the animals),” he said.

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