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Published: Friday, 8/15/2008

Tiffin car enthusiasts to put 'excellence' on parade

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Casey Putsch, a local race-car driver and history enthusiast, has organized a car show where
exotic vehicles will be rolled out in Tiffi n. He is with, clockwise from left, a 1965 McKee Lola T70 Can-Am, a 1929 Auburn Indy Car, a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV, and a 1961 Morgan 4/4.
Casey Putsch, a local race-car driver and history enthusiast, has organized a car show where exotic vehicles will be rolled out in Tiffi n. He is with, clockwise from left, a 1965 McKee Lola T70 Can-Am, a 1929 Auburn Indy Car, a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV, and a 1961 Morgan 4/4.
JEREMY WADSWORTH / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

TIFFIN - Don't go to Hedges-Boyer Park tomorrow expecting to see street rods and 1960s muscle cars.

Instead, visitors will be treated to up-close looks at Ferraris, Mercedes, Jaguars, and historic automobiles like a Rolls Royce Ghost and an Auburn race car.

"The Horsepower for History Concours d'Elegance" will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. tomorrow thanks to the efforts of local race-car driver and history enthusiast Casey Putsch.

In French, concours d'elegance means "parade of excellence." Mr. Putsch said that is exactly what spectators will see.

"It's far more than a car show," he said. "Basically a car show connotates a simple gathering of general cars where people vote for each other. Ours is a show of a different caliber."

The classic and vintage cars at the show, which are expected to include a rarely seen DeLorean and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, will be judged with the win-ners receiving pieces of historic Tiffin Glass stemware.

The Tiffin Glass Museum will be displaying part of its collection, while the Seneca County Museum will be bringing in a 1917 Tiffin Economy Car and its 1865 Adriatic steam-powered, horse-drawn brass fire engine.

Mr. Putsch, 27, said he wanted to involve as many local history components as possible and donate proceeds to the Tiffin Historic Trust, which promotes historic preservation.

"This is a real nice way to benefit Tiffin, which is my home community, and since this is all about history I wanted it to benefit historical preservation every way I can," Mr. Putsch said.

The event ties in with the current debate over whether to save or demolish Seneca County's 1884 courthouse, although Mr. Putsch, who is not a member of the Tiffin Historic Trust, said he wasn't looking to get in on that debate.

"I won't get terribly political, but I want people in the future to really think about our heritage and preserving these things," he said.

Theresa Sullivan, president of the Tiffin Historic Trust, said the organization was thrilled when Mr. Putsch approached it about assisting with the show and benefiting from the money raised. Working to save the courthouse has been one of the group's most ambitious - and most expensive - endeavors.

"We were really excited when he approached us with this idea," Ms. Sullivan said. "He has such notoriety in the racing circle with the historical cars. He is doing a first-class show."

The event, which costs $5 and is free for kids 12 and under, will include food, live classic rock by the Denny Gruss Band, a World War II biplane flyover at 5 p.m., and a police-escorted cruise through downtown Tiffin led by the award winners.

Ken Wise of Holland, Ohio, said he will be driving to Tiffin in his 2007 Aston Martin. He and other Toledo-area car enthusiasts plan to leave about 1 p.m. tomorrow from the Tea Tree Asian Bistro at Levis Commons in Perrysburg and caravan to Tiffin.

"I just think it's great that he's put this whole thing together. I'd like to see it become an annual event," Mr. Wise said. "I think it's something that could take on a life of its own because everyone likes to get together and look at a bunch of cool cars."

For more information about tomorrow's event, go to http://www.putschracing.com/horsepower_for_history.php.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-353-5972.



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