TIPP CITY- Over 300 classic Firebirds and Trans Ams will be on display in downtown Tipp City on Saturday, Aug. 27, as the annual Tipp City Trans Am Cruise-In returns for its 25th year.
“It’s grown every year,” show chairperson Jerry Minor said. “Last year we were at 350; we just fill up the entire town and all the streets with cars.”
The cruise-in will be held from 5-9 p.m., at the corner of Second Street and Main Street downtown. Registration will run from 5-7 p.m.; awards and prizes will be distributed at 8:30 p.m. The cruise-in is open to all Firebirds, Formulas, Firehawks, Trans Ams and GTAs.
In addition to classic cars, the cruise-in will also feature food trucks and entertainment, including a live DJ. The free event is sponsored by the Trans Am Club of America, Dayton Chapter.
“This is our 25th year for the Tipp City Cruise,” Minor said. “Actually, it’s probably 27 years but we skipped 2020 because of COVID, and there was a year in there that they were doing street modifications.”
The Tipp City Cruise-In is just one part of a larger event, the Trans Am Nationals, which is held every year at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn. Now in its 37th year, the national event draws hundreds of Firebird and Trans Am owners from across the country for a weekend-long car show featuring seminars, auto parts vendors and other entertainment. A small group of Firebird owners from the Trans Am Nationals originally started the Tipp City cruise-in, and it has grown since then.
“It goes so far back,” Minor said. “We just decided to have a little cruise, and it’s blossomed into what it is now.”
The Trans Am Nationals in Fairborn will be held on Friday, Aug. 26, Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28. More information can be found online at www.tanationals.org.
“Everything is really based there at the Holiday Inn,” Minor said. “We have seminars on Saturday with retired GM people, so we get a lot of insight from people who actually worked for GM and Pontiac.”
The national event also features almost 500 classic muscle cars, which will be on display throughout the weekend. “It’s the entire Firebird line that we promote, so all models of the Firebird starting in ’67 and going to 2002; that’s when they ended production on the Firebird,” Minor said. “It ranges from just stock cars to heavily modified cars.”
“It’s free to spectators, completely free of charge,” he said. “They’re welcome to come into the seminars at the hotel and things like that. We have vendors as well; we’ve got new and used parts, t-shirts and other items like that. We’ve got a couple of jewelry vendors, and just a combination of things people can walk around and see.”
Proceeds from the event will go to charity. “Our big charity is A Special Wish Foundation in Dayton,” Minor said. “Over the years, we’ve donated $125,000 to that organization. We have a silent auction and a live auction, and all of the proceeds from those go to A Special Wish Foundation.”
Both the Trans Am Nationals and the Tipp City Cruise-In are sponsored by the Trans Am Club of America, Dayton Chapter. The club currently has 91 members, with many members located in different states.
“They’re stretched out all across the country,” Minor said. “We actually have a member in Australia; he’s actually not going to be able to make it, but he typically does fly in for the show.”
Minor is chairperson for the Trans Am Nationals event, and also serves as president of the Trans Am Club of America Dayton Chapter.
“My wife Cheryl, she’s in charge of registration so she gets involved in all of this,” he said. “I am chairperson of the show, and president of the club.”
“It’s something that way back to high school I was interested in,” Minor said. “It’s just that era of the muscle car; I own a ’73 Trans Am myself and I don’t know. It’s just kind of got to be in you, I think.”