ISSCA Nationals 2020
A National Event During a Global Pandemic
Over the last few months, we’ve seen lots of our favorite events get cancelled. Since the introduction of Cornavirus aka Covid19 aka The Wuhan Flu aka The China Flu AND The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020; we have consistently seen our most favorite and beloved live events get delayed and then cancelled. These cancellations have not only decimated the events and tourism industry they have dampened the spirits of my workers, organizers, artists, musicians and talented hardworking people across the globe. There was one group that wasn’t going to let this pandemic get in their way.
Just a few of the guys having some fun at the track
Drag Racing During Nationals
One group that had the “Drive” and desire to push the envelope and show it could still be done. One group intelligent enough to take the extra planning steps and take the right precautions to make sure fun can be had while everyone was safe.
Drumroll Please……… This group is the Impala SS Club of America (ISSCA) and they were not prepared to let the virus, the media or our minds get in the way of their plans! Let it be known that in 2020; the ISSCA Nationals took place in Bowling Green, KY. It really happened!
And it went like this
On the morning of Monday July 20th my friend Chad Christiansen and I, set out for Bowling Green, KY. It was pretty dark that morning at 6am as we left Dallas, TX. It was a beautiful day for driving. During the course of our trip we traveled through 4 states including Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. All of these states required face masks when entering any store from something as basic as a gas station or as large as a Wal-Mart. We felt totally safe the entire time we were traveling. The only downside was that a lot of local places were closed due to CoronaVirus.
Many members hauled their cars to Nationals.
Great angle of the show floor
Considering the situation, I felt the event was very well attended. There were roughly 35 cars entered in the racing events (drag racing, auto cross and road course) and likely 60 or so cars and close to 100 people attending the Saturday car show and awards banquet. If you plan to attend an event in the future plan on racing your car. It's fun and better than sitting on the sideline watching everyone else having fun! ISSCA has quite a few members that were either original owners or early second owners back in the mid 90’s. It was nothing short of impressive to see some of the older members come out to participate in the festivities. Many of whom haven’t ever missed this event. Some virus wasn’t going to stop them; and…. It didn’t!
Family Event and 2 Clean B-Bodies
Mike Fetcko on the road course in his Impala
The event was held at a Holiday Inn in Bowling Green, KY. We understood that the hotel had been closed for multiple weeks and many team members had just come back online 4 days prior to our arrival to get things ready. The hotel staff was outstanding. Heather from the events team made sure we got everything we needed and in the safest manner possible. Whenever we needed something, she somehow happened to be there ready to serve.
Actually; the entire hotel staff was amazing. What worked out awesome for us is the hotel’s conference center was under construction and we were able to have an indoor car show which meant one thing to all of us…. “AIR CONDITIONING”. After baking in the hot Kentucky sun all week, and drenched during most of the race events, we were all excited to spend all day Saturday in some nice conditioned air! Somehow it would be mediocre weather all day until the time of the event. When the events happened, the weather seemed to magically clear up; and when it didn't, Bill DeBlasio would have a talk with the gods and a track owners and make things happen!
Dan "Impalo" Gersch, his daughter and the Solo CupCar!
John Haynes and crew working on his Wagon!
What we saw at the show was nothing short of awesome. People got together, supported each other, inspired each other and rekindled relationships lost during the yearly craziness of life. In typical car show fashion, everyone gathered in the parking lot in the evening to share drinks, stories and many laughs. We can’t however forget the group of mobile mechanic enthusiasts willing to run around and help club members with issues that occurred during the day. This year we spent a bit of time on the Gershaw family dixie solo cup Impala and John Haynes 65 Biscayne Wagon that came in from Michigan. These weren’t the only ones, just those that stand out in my mind.
The wait for Drag Racing
Cooler air with no hood
Car Show Floor
ETCHUS Shop Wagon in Action at the Road Course
But in the end
For us at ETCHUS, the show was really good and a welcomed departure from the everyday grind. ETCHUS was given the nod to create this year’s awards and event posters. Not only were we happy to create them, we also decided to attend the show and bring some of our products for ISSCA members and attendees to check out. AAD was out in full effect. We got to meet many of our existing clients and begin building relationships with many new clients. I can’t express how grateful we are to be apart of the ISSCA community. Many people look at our business and always ask why are you making and selling items for Impala and Caprice; that’s so weird. The reason is that without Impala and Caprice; we would be nothing. Our business came into existence by supporting this community. It allowed us to start and to grow. What was once a side hustle has now become a steady business. We are big believers in practicing what we preach. All we can say is NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM! How you do this is up to you. Staying engaged with this community is how we choose to never forget! And for that we THANK YOU!
If you are in Bowling Green, KY
Don't forget to visit the Corvette Museum. There is a ton of history there and they always have some amazing exhibits. They have many of the sinkhole cars on display and have the whole place all fixed up beautifully. It's worth a little bit of time to learn the history of this fine automobile!
Corvette Museum Damage
50th Anniversary Damage
The 1984 Corvette - the only one!
A word about ISSCA and their National Event
If you have never attended a national event or perhaps it has been some time since the last one you attended, consider attending this coming year! If you own an Impala or Caprice, owned one or are looking to buy you; you should consider joining ISSCA. I believe it costs all of $30 to join, and you get access to an amazing community. You can learn more at https://issca.org/. That's What's Up!
Scott Zimmerman is the CEO and Co-Founder of ETCHUS. ETCHUS is your #1 Source for Cerakote, Laser Engraving, Branding, Strategy and Design. Scott is a contributing author to Our Blog called "That's What's Up". The Blog is focused on everything from super cool projects, interesting collaborations and tips & tricks on all kinds of different topics. Now That's What's Up!