An owner wipes down his Camaro and the rain starts to sprinkle on a row of black cars at the Voss Hoss Cruise-in. © 2018 Photograph by Skip Peterson

Voss Hoss Cruise-in defies Mother Nature, brings great cars

Mother Nature wasn’t very nice to the cruisers at the third annual Voss Hoss Cruise-in on June 8 at Voss Used Cars, 99 Loop Road, Centerville. Frankly, she teased them with dark skies and rumbles of thunder, but waited until about 175 cars were in the parking lot before unloading a deluge.

Wheels got there in time to shoot some photos and visit with a few cruisers.

“We had about 175 cars show up for the cruise-in on Friday night,” explained Stephanie Griffin of Voss Chevrolet. “We ended the judging at 6:30 instead of 7:15 because of the rain but still had our winners,” she added. “The best thing about the event by far was the PitStop Challenge. We love being able to help and promote all the hard work the upcoming high school seniors are doing with learning a trade,” Griffin said.

The competition was sponsored by Voss Auto Network, Sinclair College and Doug Pennington from MAC tools. Four local high schools – Kettering Fairmont Career Technology Center, Miami Valley CTC, Ponitz CTC and Warren County Career Center – competed with the fastest student in the PitStop Challenge winning a $1,000 scholarship to Sinclair College.

There was plenty of variety at the show: antiques, hot rods, muscle cars, sports cars, trucks and maybe a rat rod or two, but one car caught our eye. A pure stock, just-off-the-showroom-floor-looking, 1961 Chevrolet Impala “Bubble Top.”

“This is my retirement project,” owner Gerry Hasen explained as others admired the Twilight Turquoise two-door hardtop. Hasen is also seen about town in a red and black 1954 Packard that has won its fair share of awards.

“I’m a Chevy guy, always have been, and I had a ’61 Bubble Top in college,” he said. “It was pretty cool: black with Cragar mags on the front, deep dish chrome wheels on the back, a 283 (cubic inch V8) with a 4-barrel carb (carburetor), three-speed (floor-mounted manual transmission) on the floor; it was really nice. So nice, that while I was taking a final exam in college in Tucson, someone stole it!

“I vowed that someday I’d have another one, so in 2008 I started looking,” Hasen continued. “I like ‘stock’ cars, preserved or restored as original, so finding an unmolested ’61 Impala is not easy. In 2010 I finally found one in New England: no rust, recent repaint, but all original, and we went back and forth and I bought it. “

Hasen said he just clay-barred and buffed the paint but then got serious underneath the one-owner car that has fewer than 87,000 miles on it.

“I replated the bumpers, then I put in a new wiring harness, and finally pulled the engine and Powerglide transmission and rebuilt those. That led to a new interior and now, it’s pretty much just like new,” he said. “I love driving the Powerglide. This car has a 283 and a two-barrel carb so it’s no hot rod but it will cruise down the highway all day.”

While Hasen didn’t take an award at the show, he enjoys the Voss cruise-ins.

“I have to admit, I’m a Voss customer. I’ve bought like six or seven cars and SUVs from them, but this event is really well done. I go to shows and cruise-ins every weekend and they have this covered: plenty of help, plenty of food, lots of room for tons of cars. It’s just one of the best organized shows around,” he said.

Logan Sizemore won “Best Car” with his 1955 Chevrolet; Herr Penny won “Best Truck” with a ’55 Chevrolet truck; and Tim Howard’s Miata was the “People’s Choice.”

The next Voss Hoss Cruise-in will be July 13. Some proceeds from this event went to AIM for the Handicapped.