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Canfield man trains the judges

July 18, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

After Mike Klem of Canfield went through open heart surgery, things changed in his life. He put together a bucket list of things he wanted to do, then he started pursuing those things.

One of the items on his bucket list was to get into car collecting. His first purchase was a Mercedes, which had him looking at the car hobby from another prospective.

"In 1999 I got into judging and went to Mercedes Benz Judging School," Klem said.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Mike Klem, member of the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club, will be among the judges in the upcoming Cars in the Park car show. He is pictured here with his 1971 VW Camper Bus that he will have at the show.

He learned how to judge a car and what to look for. Around that same time, Klem joined the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club (MVOCC) and he really got going in the past six years.

He traded a 1979 Corvette that was part of his collection, for a 1960 VW Beetle. That move began a deep interest in the air-cooled vehicles and in a short time he found himself owner of a 1971 VW Camper Bus, a 1968 Karmann Ghia convertible, and a 1970 VW-powered Dune Buggy.

Using his skills from the Mercedes School, Klem became a huge asset for the MVOCC and he began teaching what he had learned to club members who became judges for the annual Cars in the Park car show, which is the regions largest judged show.

"I put on judging schools for the club members," he said. "I also teach little kids so they can be future judges."

When Cars in the Park comes to Boardman Park, Klem heads up the field of judges for the show. With 25 classes of vehicles to be judged, that is a big undertaking and one that is not done quickly.

"It will take us over three hours to complete the judging," he said. "It is a long day for us."

This year's event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 5, rain or shine at Boardman Park. It will be the 40th annual Cars in the Park car show and a good number of classic, custom and altered vehicles are expected.



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