Collectors’ Corner: Help Wanted: (Yours) by the G&G Car Show
With Chris Wood and Tom Murphy
With The 3rd Annual Green and Golden Car Show just a month and a half away, we thought we’d give you an inside look into the background and history of the event and let you know how it began.
But first and foremost, we’re asking for your assistance in locating any and all vehicles that would qualify to participate in the event on Sat. Sept. 19. In doing so, they will be eligible to win a pair of tickets to the home opener against The Seattle Seahawks the following day (Sept. 20), which promises to be the “re-match for redemption,” with the bitter taste of last year’s season-ending, textbook-perfect case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory wound, still too painful to think about!
Any cars, trucks, ambulances, golf carts, trailers, motor homes or vehicles of any sort that are decked out in green and gold are eligible to participate, and we’ve seen a few out there in the last year that we haven’t been able to track down. These include a golf cart, a trailer, a Model T and several other cars that we hope to be able to find with some help from all of you! There’s even a horse-and-buggy rig from elsewhere in the state, which I just saw the other day (but more on that later).
So dear readers, we’re appealing to you to get the word out to anyone you know who has any sort of green and golden set of wheels, or who may know of someone in another state who does! We’re aware of people from other states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and even Pennsylvania who own Packer cars. There was a couple from Pennsylvania who showed up last year to enter the show, having driven all the way from “the keystone state” in their Packeresque-to-the-max motor home!
There were a number of Packermobiles from several states featured in Meghan Parkansky’s “eXtreme, Loyal, Victorious” movie released in 2011. We want to reach out to them with a personal invitation to be a part of this year’s show! So be on the lookout and spread the word, please—we want to make this the biggest and best show ever and we believe that with your help, we can! The record for largest number of vehicles participating is 20, and we’re shooting for 27 this year.
We know they’re out there, so it’s simply a matter of finding and then convincing them to come to the premier event for showing off their Packer rides—and their Packer pride–for the most appreciative crowd anywhere. On the day before the home debut of this year’s team, that will certainly be “The Green and Golden Car Show” happening right here in Titletown!
The last time I googled “Packer cars,” more than 50 vehicles from all over came up but locating them is another thing entirely. Assuming that we’re able to hit the magic number of 27 this year, we’ll throw a huge, thank you tailgate party the following day at Lambeau Field before kickoff to celebrate—how about that?!!
The idea for this event came from Cliff Christl, who has come up with a number of fine ideas in recent years, most notably The Packers Heritage Trail. Having noticed several green and gold Packers-themed vehicles around town, Cliff thought it would be a nice idea to have someone organize an event to bring them all together and show them off for Packers fans. And what better time could there be to launch something of this nature than when the Packers Heritage Trail Plaza downtown was being dedicated two years ago? He asked us how many vehicles we thought we could garner for an event like this, to which we answered “twenty.” He said that would work and so we started putting it together. I use the editorial “we” here in referring to myself and Sean Schultz, who has been involved as my associate (or co-conspirator) from the get-go and at every step of the way. We managed to come up with a pair of tickets to the home opener the next day as a prize for “Best of Show” honors, to incentivize participation in the event.
That first year we got the word out with advertising in The Auto Gazette and Auto Plus magazine, as well as generating publicity on area websites and in regional newspapers. We also went to both preseason home games and slogged around the Lambeau Field parking lot to recruit people with Packer vehicles right there on the spot.
We had 19 entries in the show with a twentieth from Illinois showing up on the day of the event. The next year saw some improvements with Porta-Potties available on-site and the attendees now determining the winner of the “Best of Show” honors with their votes. Once again, the winner took home a pair of tickets to the game the following day.
We now had a budget, courtesy of The Packers and the City of Green Bay, which gave us more opportunities than were available the first year, which had been self-funded. At the top of the want list had been the Porta-Potties. Next were green and gold placards that were displayed with each of the vehicles, describing them in all of their glory, which the owners took home with them as an artifact/souvenir of the event.
The prospects for this year’s show are getting exciting! As mentioned here earlier, the most original green and golden vehicle we’ve ever seen, is a horse and buggy rig owned by a Tomah couple, Bob Retzlaff and his wife, Maren. Sean was able to track them down and they’ve accepted our invitation along with their horse Rich, to be our special guests at this year’s event!
Since Tomah is about 150 miles away, it will mean them setting out from there on Monday, Sept. 14 in order to arrive in Green Bay in time for the show Saturday, the 19th. Sean will have a piece on them in next month’s issue, so you can count on that for “the rest of the story!” We’re greatly looking forward to seeing them when they arrive here for the show and in the meantime, happy collecting and GO PACK!