Thousands Ramble into Kenosha for Car's 100th Birthday
By JEANETTE HURT
of the Journal Sentinel staff
Last Updated: Aug. 1, 2002
Kenosha - Enthusiasts from around the world filled Kenosha
and the surrounding area for the Rambler automobile Centennial celebration,
which was expected to draw as many as 10,000 people to events on Saturday.
The lure of the little cars, out of production since 1969, could bring
$700,000 to $1 million for the Kenosha-area economy, Mary Galligan, president
of the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said last week.
All 1,000 hotel rooms in Kenosha and almost 1,200 in Racine were booked
for the event, Galligan said .
People were being sent to the Milwaukee and Gurnee, Ill. to find places
to stay, Galligan said.
The free celebration opened Tuesday with a cruise-in night at Wendy's
restaurant, 3811 75th St., followed by a cruise-in Wednesday at Andy's
Drive-In, 2929 Roosevelt Road and on Thursday at the Spot Drive-In, 2918
A swap meet was held Friday at Kennedy Park.
Saturday's festivities at Kennedy park are the centerpiece of the celebration.
More than 1,000 Ramblers are expected to fill the park and Dennis Gage
plans to tape an episode of his "My Classic Car" television show which
highlights the classic automotive hobbyist and is shown on the Speedvision
Nash enthusiasts are expected to bring their Nashs from many parts of
the US. One pair were contacted via the cell phone in their 1951 Nash Rambler
as they made their way from Albany, NY. "Ned Foss is the owner/driver and
I'm navigator/documentairan," said Jan Galligan. "I'm from Kenosha, so
this is a homecoming for me and the car."
Ramblers, marketed in their heyday as economical family autos, were
first built in Kenosha 100 years ago.
Yet more than 30 years since production ended, they continue to fascinate
car collectors around the world. Their global appeal pulled visitors from
Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany and
other countries to Kenosha to reminisce about their favorite car.
In 1954, American Motors was formed by the merger of Nash Motors Co.
and Hudson Motor Car Co. In 1987, American Motors merged with Chrysler
and in 1988 Chrysler ceased production of all American Motors products.
Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Aug. 1,