The Wanderer, a custom 1956 Chevrolet BelAir Nomad, built by James Boltnott of Hamilton, has been shown at the KOI/Federated Auto Parts Cavalcade of Customs. Photo by ISCA

Cavalcade of Customs Preview 2019

The Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati covers 750,000 square feet, and during the weekend of Jan. 11-13, most of it will be filled with cars. It will host the 59th annual KOI/Federated Auto Parts Cavalcade of Customs, and if you plan on going, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and plan on spending a lot of time. This show is huge!

“When you enter the KOI/Federated Cavalcade of Customs, it is like walking

into an automotive art gallery,” explained Larry Way, public relations director for the show. “The excellence of the restored ’60s muscle cars, along with the top custom cars and hot rods on display, just make the public say ‘Wow’.”

The Cavalcade of Customs is one the oldest continuously operating custom car shows in the United States.

There will be more than 500 vehicles on display. Here’s just a few of the various groupings and displays: hot rods, customs, trucks and motorcycles; sprint car legends featuring generations of vintage sprint cars from the ’30s to today; ‘Survivors Alley’, featuring traditional rods, customs, bobbers; ‘Drag City USA’, featuring a selection of nostalgic drag racers; ‘Master Builder Award’ presented by Steele Rubber Products; the ‘Squire’s Cup’, awarded to the best entry shown for the first time in Cincinnati, which earns a huge trophy and a $2,500 cash prize; and the ‘KOI Award’, given to the best entry from Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana, which also comes with a $1,000 cash prize.

There will also be a variety of demonstrations from Mequiar’s Car Care and Summit Racing’s Chop Shop, a pin-up girl contest and a display of Euros, imports and tuners.

The show is part of the International Show Car Association circuit, which sanctions the shows and judging at 26 events in the U.S. The team of judges will be working all weekend to determine the class winners and special awards.

“The KOI/Federated Cavalcade of Customs is more than a world-class custom car and hot rod show,” Way said. “There are featured celebrities, commercial vendors and interesting displays. Our goal is to provide family entertainment.”

The first celebrity, WWE superstar Kevin Owens, will be on site Jan. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. Noon to 2 p.m. on Jan. 12 brings NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the afternoon of Jan. 13, Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider will be signing autographs from 1 to 4 p.m.

The show is open Jan. 11, 3-10 p.m.; Jan. 12, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Jan. 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. General admission is $19 for adults, $7 for children 6-12 and children younger than 6, free. Discounted tickets are available in advance at any KOI Auto Parts store. For more information and parking information, go online to

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