2018-08-19 / Insight

Lapeer Days car show is truly a family event

John Monteleone Memorial Classic Car Show runs until 3 p.m. today
BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


The 31st Annual John Monteleone Memorial Classic Car Show will be held today (Aug. 19) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rotary Park on East Nepessing Street (east of Saginaw Street). 
Photo by Jeff Hogan The 31st Annual John Monteleone Memorial Classic Car Show will be held today (Aug. 19) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rotary Park on East Nepessing Street (east of Saginaw Street). Photo by Jeff Hogan LAPEER — The 31st Annual John Monteleone Memorial Classic Car Show is very much a family affair.

John and Deb Monteleone didn’t start the show, but they ran it for 13 years until John’s sudden death in 2010 and Deb has run it with the help of her daughter and stepson ever since.

“I told them,” said Deb, who now lives in Fenton, “I’d do it as long as I could.”

The Monteleones are classic car enthusiasts and John helped plan many car shows as president of the Lapeer Classic Cruisers Car Club. Deb recalled that Lapeer Days organizers asked them to take over running the festival’s car show in 1994 and on a whim they said yes. “It was right up our alley,” she said.


Automobile buffs can expect between 80 to 100 vehicles at Sunday’s car show at Rotary Park. 
Photo by Jeff Hogan Automobile buffs can expect between 80 to 100 vehicles at Sunday’s car show at Rotary Park. Photo by Jeff Hogan At its peak, Deb said, the Lapeer Days show drew more than 300 cars, but the rise in popularity of the Woodward Dream Cruise and rival Back to the Bricks in Flint bit into that. Still, she said, she expects between 80 and 100 cars at today’s show which will begin with registration at 9 a.m. and run through 3 p.m. at Rotary Park on East Nepessing Street.

Although she sold John’s beloved two-tone blue 1959 Olds 98 following his death, Deb said she still loves old cars. “In 37 years of marriage, we camped, had boats, had old cars, but we really enjoyed cars and the friendships that came from them.”

The Oldsmobile, she said, was special because it was a car they both enjoyed. “His taste in cars and mine were so different,” she said. “It was the first car we agreed on.” She said that’s why when she sold it, she sold it to someone out of state so she wouldn’t have to see it again.

Deb said running the show isn’t too difficult. She said Lapeer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Neda Payne orders the show’s 14 trophies and dash plaques for her. “I tell her what I want,” she said.

Deb drops off flyers at a lot of local car shows, including Back to the Bricks, which wraps up the day before the 31st Annual John Monteleone Memorial Classic Car Show.

“I don’t need a lot of help,” she said.

Deb, who turns 65 later this year, said “I’ll be down at the pavilion taking registrations.”

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