Hoods are up during the 19th Palos Heights Classic Car Event. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)
Best in the nation? Starczyk thrilled with turnout for Classic Car Event
By Jeff Vorva
Call them the Kings of Harlem Avenue.
John Schiavone and Dennis Heywood each had their cars showcased and located in the prime spot in front of Franklin’s Public House restaurant as a part of Thursday’s Palos Heights Classic Car Event.
Schiavone, a Beecher resident and graduate of Argo High School, showed off his purple 1969 Camaro. It’s ranked as the top street machine in the country by the O’Reilly Auto Parts’ World of Wheels competition.
Sharing the Harlem Avenue center stage was Heywood. In 2021, his 1920 Packard 3-35 Twin Six Runabout claimed the Class B Vintage Division of the Pebble Beach Concours of Elegance competition. Heywood is a Monee resident with businesses in Palos Heights and Frankfort and said he graduated from Marist when it was a brand-new high school.
The 19th running of the show drew a record 500-plus cars and thousands of people roaming around and admiring the cars, which were parked in various lots in the downtown area of the city.
Organizer Bob Starzyk, who sometimes gets lost in all of the action because he’s always pulled in different directions, stood in front of the two champion cars and took a few minutes to soak the atmosphere in.
“This is the premier show for any parking lot show in the country,” he said. “We have a $2.5 million Duesenberg, the No. 1 World of Wheels car and the Pebble Beach winner in the parking lot.
“We have Packards and Lincolns and any type of car you can think of. For the city and [Mayor Bob Straz] to put up with this and support it, is one of the best things ever. I’ve never seen it this big. Everybody is really happy about this, and I hope we can keep it going.”
Schiavone was more than happy to take photos with his car, which he bought five years ago in New York.
“It was a roller when I got it and I redid the whole car,” he said referring to buying a car with many missing elements. “We did the interior, the tires, the wheels. We redid the paint. New engine. If you look under the car, it’s all purple.”
He said it has won more than 150 events.
He said he has lived in Beecher since 1984 and chances are good some of the residents in that village have seen him driving it. He doesn’t just keep it in the garage.
“Not many cars that are qualified for the finals in the World of Wheels that come out here and drive on the street,” he said. “I’ll drive on the street. I’ll have my fun and I’ll do my thing.”
He does pick up attention when he hits the road with it.
“If you don’t like attention, don’t get a car like this,” he said.
Heywood picked up with Packard nine years ago and said it had been sitting in a garage in Michigan since 1952.
“It was in pretty rough shape,” he said. “We trailered it home and restored it.
“When I first bought it, I just wanted to restore it and the twin six was what put Packard on the map. They made 35,000 of these. This was a 12-cylinder car, which was revolutionary at the time. I knew what it was and there weren’t many of them around.”
His son, Tim, also helped restore it to the point where it became an elite entry in an elite car show.
“It’s a special car,” he said. “At the time, it was a normal car but after we took it to the nth degree and finished the restoration, we got invited to Pebble Beach.”
It’s a pretty big deal,” he added about the Pebble Beach honor. “I never expected to go there in my life, quite honestly. It was never one of my dreams and it wasn’t on my bucket list. They get about 3,000 applicants a year and they have about 250 spaces approximately in the field. Just getting invited is a big deal.”
Girls Bowling | Richards wins regional; Shepard’s Kahlen Ranson rolls to individual title
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Screaming and cheering parents and friends expressing their staunch support for their bowlers. Teammates fervently hoping for an opportunity to advance to sectional competition next weekend. For good measure, not one but two gender-reveal parties getting ready to begin a few lanes away. Quite a vibrant atmosphere for a…
Cheerleading State Finals: Sandburg takes fourth behind conference rivals
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer BLOOMINGTON — Sandburg’s competitive cheerleaders finished fourth in a state finals competition that looked a lot like a SouthWest Suburban Conference meet. At least it did for the Large Team division competition, in which the top five finishers hail from the SWSC. The 2023 state finals were held…
Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth girls clinch conference crown with win over Carmel
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth’s girls basketball team is eyeing a Class 3A state championship after finishing second to Carmel a season ago. The Roadrunners whipped the Corsairs, 48-24, Feb. 4 to win the East Suburban Catholic Conference for the second straight year. It marked coach Ed Stritzel’s 400th career victory. Nazareth…
Girls Bowling | Reavis wins second straight regional crown; Argo’s Sara Flynn take indie title
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Two years, two consecutive regional championships for Reavis’ girls bowling team. The Rams made it back-to-back titles in an impressive manner, topping the 13-team field at the Reavis Regional with a pinfall total of 4847, topping second-place Argo (4684) by 163 pins at Palos Lanes in Palos Hills Reavis…
Countryside plans summer concert series, bluegrass festival
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It might be winter, but it’s never too soon to talk about summertime music. Such was the case Jan. 11 when the Countryside City Council’s Special Events Committee heard from promoter Katie Goggin regarding the city’s annual Summer Concert Series. The committee also heard about the second annual Bluegrass and Brews Festival…
Porfirio resigns township post to take Senate seat
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Mike Porfirio is now a state senator and the Township of Lyons Board of Trustees has a vacancy. Porfirio submitted his resignation as a trustee, which was accepted by the board at its Jan. 10 meeting. Porfirio was elected to the Illinois Senate in November, and was sworn in as…
Drone takes McCook crime fighting to new level
Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The McCook Police Department has a new weapon to fight crime. A new drone equipped with an infrared camera and the ability to zoom in 200 times was at the village’s latest board meeting on Jan. 17. The village used part of a $50,000 grant from the Secretary of State’s…
Super Hero fun at Our Lady of the Snows
Spread the love Catholic Schools Week was plenty of fun this year at Our Lady of the Snows School, as students were encouraged to dress as a super hero. Parents interested in checking out the school, 4810 S. Leamington, for 2023-24 are encouraged to call (773) 735-4810. – Supplied photo
System is rigged against regular folks
Spread the love. By Ray Hanania Consumers are reeling over massive increases in Nicor Gas costs, and they can’t get answers because the system is rigged against them. Nicor Gas is owned by a massive conglomerate called Southern Gas, which has four gas subsidiaries serving 4.2 million customers. Nicor is the largest serving 2.2 million…
Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen
Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…
CAPITOL RECAP: Supreme Court ruling strengthens internet privacy law
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in a handful of…
Pritzker announces $40 million grant program to promote development-ready ‘megasites’
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced the creation of a $40 million grant program to incentivize the creation of large development-ready areas known as “megasites” across the state. Megasites are large swaths of land, developed to attract businesses such as manufacturing plants, warehouses and distribution centers.…
Illinois’ biometric privacy law strengthened by latest high court ruling
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in…
Pritzker seeks more info on AP African American Studies course
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker this week asked the College Board for more information about its reasoning for changing the final framework of a new Advanced Placement course in African American studies after it had been criticized by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Although we are pleased to…
Report pushes for greater focus on teacher recruitment and retention amid shortages
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools are still grappling with a teacher shortage that seems to only be getting worse, a recent survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools shows. This mirrors the state’s own data, which shows Illinois’ teacher shortage is at the highest level in…
Illinois’ COVID-19 disaster proclamation to end in May
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol news Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Exactly 38 months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, Illinois will no longer be under a disaster proclamation as of May 11, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday. That’s the same day President Joe Biden will end the national public health emergency, which…
CAPITOL RECAP: Gun lawsuit restraining order remains in place
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only to the 800…
Appellate court upholds restraining order on assault weapons ban
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only…
Tony Sanders to become state superintendent of education
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced Tuesday that Elgin-based School District U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders will become the next state superintendent of education. Sanders, 53, will succeed Carmen Ayala, who announced in November that she would retire effective Jan. 31. ISBE said Sanders will take…
Amid ‘unprecedented’ prolonged revenue boom, state finds budget breathing room
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Sustained higher-than-predicted state tax revenues have in recent months given lawmakers a level of budgeting flexibility that is, at least in modern times, without precedent in a state with a reputation for perilous finances. For the current fiscal year and the one before it, that’s led…