AMC Homecoming parade cruises through Kenosha after five-year hiatus | Local News

American Motors cars of all makes, models and colors cruised Downtown to the Kenosha History Museum Friday in the 2022 AMC Homecoming parade.

AMC Homecoming events, which take place every three years, were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last homecoming was in 2017.

Drivers from all across North American displayed their cars in the parade.

This year was the first time Craig and Michelle Oliver, of Grand Rapids, Mich., attended the AMC Homecoming in Kenosha.

“We took the ferry across with our car,” Craig said. “We are enjoying it so far.”

Matthias Wiltzius brought his 1979 AMC Pacer limited hatchback, which he drives around town, to drive in the parade.

“I’m very excited,” Wiltzius said. “I’m very happy to be here with all of us, and to share these beautiful moments in time together.”

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Wiltzius, who has previously owned other AMC vehicles, said he was drawn to the Pacer he drives now because of the brown color of the car, which he described as, “A very mellow earth tone, which I find very comforting to my soul. “

After saving up portions of his paychecks, Wiltzius was able to purchase the Pacer from AMCpacer.com in 2011.

“I bought it out of Topeka, Kansas,” Wiltzius said. “So I found it online, bought it and then basically got it to the point where it’s running and driving and more presentable than when I found it with a clear title.”

Kiki and Mike Lane of Minneapolis, Minn., came to the parade for the first time sporting the bright lime green Gremlin they’ve owned for the past nine years.

“Oh, we love it (the AMC Homecoming),” Kiki said. “This is amazing.”

Mike shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s great,” Mike said. “It’s very well organised, planned and executed. All these cars here … It’s wonderful.”

Mike said he was interested in the Gremlin in particular because he used to see one on his walk to school as a kid.

“I walked by one on my way to school daily for a year or two and I was just fascinated by the look of it,” Mike said. “I didn’t know anyone that had one. I never rode in one, but when the midlife crisis hit I was like, ‘I got to have one.'”

As it became time for the parade to commence from its starting point at Southport Park, onlookers began to gather along 78th Street. Jim Zuhlke, Marianne Brickley, Linda and Rick Berger were stationed at the intersection of 78th Street and Seventh Avenue to watch the parade outside of Linda and Rick’s house.

“It (the parade) evoked a lot of memories,” Brickley said. “I took my driver’s test in a Rambler.”

For Zuhlke, this was his first time attending the parade, but he had visited the car show in Kennedy Park in the past.

“I’ve gone to the car show that they have on Kennedy Park,” Zuhlke said. “I always liked it because, ever since I was a kid, I could identify the year (and) the model for AMCs, so that’s sort of a game I like to play.”

Although the AMC plans in Kenosha it is gone now, its impact remains even with people who did not grow up in locally, such as Wiltzius, who is from Pewaukee.

“I appreciate all of the cars are made here in Kenosha through the course of time going back to what looks like the early 1900s.” Wiltzius said. “And through that evolution, many people… they woke up every morning and created these cars, painted them and put them together. And each car has a story.”

UPDATED IN PHOTOS: 2022 AMC Homecoming Week events and shows in Kenosha

Nash Ice Cream Social

Colton Howell, 4, enjoys his ice cream during an ice cream social on Friday at Nash Elementary School as part of the AMC Homecoming Car Show events.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

Bill Cressman, of Kitchener, Canada, holds a large, stuffed “Gizmo” from the movice “Gremlins” as he exits the passenger seat of his wife’s Gremlin during an AMC Gremlin car show at Jeffrey Elementary School on Thursday.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

Bill Cressman, of Kitchener, Canada, places a small “Gizmo” in his wire’s Gremlin during an AMC Gremlin event at Jeffrey Elementary School on Thursday, July 28, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

The Gremlin event at Jeffrey Elementary drew dozens of Gremlins from around the country and beyond its borders Thursday afternoon. Gremlins with license plates from all over North America were part of the event, which is part of the 2022 AMC Homecoming Car Show.


SEAN KRAJACIC photos, Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

Jeff McKee, of Marion County, Ind., right, looks at the engine of Don Rayburn’s racing Gremlin during the AMC Gremlin event at Jeffrey Elementary School on Thursday, July 28, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

Gremlins are parked in Jeffrey Elementary School’s parking lot for an AMC Gremlin show at Jeffrey Elementary School on Thursday, July 28, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

GREMLINS AT JEFFREY

A large, stuffed “Gizmo,” sits in a driver seat of a Gremlin during an AMC Gremlin event at Jeffrey Elementary School on Thursday, July 28, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

Visitors check out classic AMC cars during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

Lee and Nick Mele, of Kenosha, check out classic AMC cars during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

Visitors check out classic AMC cars during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

Classic AMC cars pull into the parking lot during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

T-shirts were for sale during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC AT RUFFOLO’S

AMC AT RUFFOLO'S

Classic AMC cars pull into the parking lot during the opening event for the AMC Kenosha Homecoming Car Show at Ruffolo’s Special Pizza 2 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC SWAP MEET

AMC SWAP MEET

Bob Wunrow, center, of the American Motors Club, places antennas for sale during the AMC swap meet at Kennedy Park on Friday.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC SWAP MEET

AMC SWAP MEET

Vince Heck, center, and Wayne Alanzio, right, both of Big Bend, carry body parts during the AMC swap meet at Kennedy Park on Friday.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

AMC SWAP MEET

AMC SWAP MEET

Visitors and vendors check out the wares during the AMC swap meet at Kennedy Park on Friday.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC SWAP MEET

AMC SWAP MEET

Phil Hemken, of Pleasant Prairie, left, looks over his display of AMC service manuals during the AMC swap meet at Kennedy Park on Friday. Hemken kept the service manuals from the private collection of his father’s now-closed AMC museum which was located in Williams, Iowa.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

Nash Ice Cream Social

Nash Ice Cream Social

There were a number of AMC cars lined up at the ice cream social on Friday at Nash Elementary School as part of the AMC Homecoming Car Show events.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

Nash Ice Cream Social

Nash Ice Cream Social

Garrett Aiello, 3, looks at a Nash vehicle during an ice cream social on Friday at Nash Elementary School in Kenosha.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

Nash Ice Cream Social

Nash Ice Cream Social

AMC cars are lined up in car show fashion during an ice cream social on Friday at Nash Elementary School as part of the AMC Homecoming Car Show events.


SEAN KRAJACIC Kenosha News

AMC PARADE

AMC PARADE

A classic AMC car makes its through Downtown during Friday’s AMC Homecoming parade.


SEAN KRAJACIC, KENOSHA NEWS

AMC PARADE

AMC PARADE

There were plenty of photos taken by those watching Friday’s AMC Homecoming parade in Downtown Kenosha.


SEAN KRAJACIC, KENOSHA NEWS

AMC PARADE

AMC PARADE

The line of classic AMC vehicles stretched down the streets in Downtown Kenosha Friday during the 2022 AMC Homecoming parade.


SEAN KRAJACIC, KENOSHA NEWS

AMC PARADE

AMC PARADE

Classic AMC cars paraded Friday through Downtown and along the harbor area before ending at the Kenosha History Center.


SEAN KRAJACIC, KENOSHA NEWS

AMC PARADE

AMC PARADE

Classic AMC cars make their way through Downtown and harborside during the parade on Friday.


SEAN KRAJACIC, KENOSHA NEWS

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