Roadsters rumble through Mundelein
The Roadster Shop co-owner Jeremy Gerber of Hawthorn Woods checks out vehicles with his 16-month-old son, Wyatt Gerber, during The Rodfather/ Goodguys Road Tour 2012 stop at his business Sept. 19 in Mundelein. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 27, 2012 8:06AM
MUNDELEIN — Dick Navarre of Mundelein was at work when his wife called him Wednesday morning, saying a convoy of Roadsters was heading toward the Roadster Shop in Mundelein.
“Hey, it’s guys, cars, cool,” said Navarre in between taking photos of the cars at the shop. “What’s not to like?”
About 100 older model cars – mostly 1932 Ford Roadsters – stopped in Mundelein for about 30 minutes on their eastward trek from California to Indiana. The Rodfather/Goodguys Road Tour left Pleasanton on Sept. 14 for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, about a 2,000-mile trip.
At any point along the trip, there were between 82 and 108 cars in the convoy, said Ed Capen, who is part of the tour. Many of the drivers joined the group as it moved toward its final destination. They expect to arrive there by the end of the week.
“(Drivers) would just jump in — sometimes 20 at a time,” Capen said.
Jeff Budzban, of Wildwood, watched as the cars came rolling into the Mundelein lot about noon. He’d heard about the road trip from a friend and decided he didn’t want to miss the old model cars coming into town, he said.
In particular, he liked a 1932 purple Ford Roadster with orange and yellow flames painted on the sides.
“Guys can’t miss an opportunity to see all these cars,” Budzban said. “It’s a real treat for us.”
That particular Roadster happened to belong to Andy Brizio, known as “The Rodfather,” because he’s made the annual old model car trek since 1969. The 80-year-old, who lives near Lake Tahoe, Calif., said that particular car was built in 1982 to mirror the 1932 Ford model.
Jane and Bill Balogh traveled all the way from Itasca to watch the old model cars come into town. Bill Balogh said he admired a 1941 Studebaker that had double chrome strips down the sides, which Balogh, an old model car enthusiast who owns a 1949 green Cadillac, said was usually a single strip.
“We came here to look,” Bill Balogh said. “I can’t believe all these cars in one place.”
The Roadsters Shop owner, Jeremy Gerber, said he was expecting about 120 cars to stop by his business for lunch for about 30 minutes. The drivers needed a place to stop — and having dozens of old model cars in great condition is good for him, too.
“It creates more awareness about these cars,” said Gerber, who has operated his business there for about nine years. “And it certainly doesn’t hurt business, either.”