Last Excursion of 2022: Model Car Show in Countryside

I’ve posted about it in the past, but twice a year in Chicagoland, there’s a great model car and promotional model show in Countryside at the IUOE Local 150 hall in Countryside, IL. My buddy and fellow Brougham aficionado Jim Smith always has a table of promos, and I help him out, so I get in for free. Always a great event and I always find something or several somethings to buy. Usually scale model Cadillacs and Lincolns. Naturally.

It runs from 10 to 2, so being approximately three hours away, I had to get an early start. It was still dark when I got in the car around 7:08. But it’s a straight shot from the Quad Cities to there: I80 for three quarters of the way, then I55 for the last quarter, then 3 miles on Joliet Road, and ta da! I’m there.

I usually don’t have any issues getting there since I leave early and arrive early. But this year, with about 20 miles to go, the 3-lanes narrowed to 1 and we stopped, near Romeoville. And stayed stopped. Yay. Well, I guess I can read my owners manual!

Eventually, we started moving. Slowly. Oh yes, it was fun. But after about 30 minutes of parking/moving 3 feet every 3 minutes, it cleared and I was on the move again.

Upon arrival it was almost 10. And the side door the vendors use was closed, so as to deter folks wanting to sneak in I guess. So I stood in line and eventually showed a picture of Jim’s form listing me as a helper and got in without being charged. I quickly found Jim (he’s always in the same spot) and we commenced chatting.

My other pal Bill Buckingham was there too and he brought a ’70 Toronado I’d bought off him. Love these. And Jo-Han had paint issues in the ’70s with many of their promos, but this one had fantastic paint. I need to get a display case for it.

I’d also procured a bunch of new Matchbox cars for Jim, as the Chicagoland Walmarts and Targets have had approximately nothing. I’m guessing it’s the Tater Jr. types who buy everything, mark it up 1000% and list them on eBay. We negotiated a trade, and I got this most excellent 1977 Corvette promo in exchange.

After several circuits of the show floor I came upon a vendor selling very detailed 1/43 scale cars. $35 a pop or two for $60. And there were Cadillacs! So. Many. Cadillacs. I bought three at first. Told Jim and he went down and bought three. Then I bought three more. I was buying Cadillacs like Elvis.

It was a good show and despite the traffic snarl getting there it was totally worth the trip. And as I was heading home I realized, wait a minute, I’m driving right past Geneseo on the way home! So I stopped at my favorite restaurant, The Cellar.

A terrific old school place. Not much has changed since it opened in 1960 in the former Geneseo House Hotel. The hotel has since been reconfigured into professional office suites but the restaurant remains.

You usually need a reservation-it’s very popular-but nothing dentured, nothing grained. So I went in and asked about a table for one. And they were kind enough to find me a spot! Where I had my usual surf and turf with a gin and tonic. So civilized!

All in all, a great day. But I was tired!

So until next time folks, go Brougham or go home. And always tip your bartender!

7 Replies to “Last Excursion of 2022: Model Car Show in Countryside”

  1. John C.

    The car model show you describe reminds me very much of the postage stamp shows I frequent. As with the stamps, it would be great if there were more children involved. Imagine how seeing these old Caddies that can be played with would inspire them to think of what kind of people their grandparents were and the lives they lead. It works with stamps too, as if there wasn’t a classy person around to collect, how could these little perforated squares of gummed paper have survived? Thanks Tom.

  2. Mark

    Brought back fond childhood memories of my Matchbox cars, especially the picture you posted of red fire chief sedan. Thanks for continuing to post your articles.

  3. Bill Buckingham

    Oh, you’re bitten by the 1:43rd scale bug now. I’ve been avoiding that, but they keep bringing out so many gorgeous cars I know I’ll get trapped eventually. One of the vendors there had a Stamp (I think) ’69 Coupe de Ville, my kryptonite!! So I was ready to dive down that rabbit hole….then he tells me “Display only as previews”. Temporarily saved!! Off to blow more cash on promos!!

    As always, it was good to see you. I wish I had more time to chat. Hopefully soon.

  4. Bailey Taylor

    I collect most every scale, concentrating on a few brands. I probably have over 800 cars, most of which are on display in my office as well a three rooms in my house.


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