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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blue Ribbon Beer Run Revs Up for First Show

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“The first cars will be nosed out here,” Cary Maleu says, gesturing at the street in front of Best Place, located in the historic Pabst Brewery building on Ninth and Juneau. “We’ll do that continuously all the way to the stop sign there on 11th Street. We’re going to have over 200 cars from all over the Midwest.”

Maleu, with his wife Andrea, have conceived a classic car show that will feature rockabilly music, a pin-up contest, food and a steady flow of PBR. It’s called the Blue Ribbon Beer Run and the Maleus hope it will be an annual event.

A self-described “greaser,” Cary Maleu is a third generation custom car builder. His dad owns a 1950 Mercury 2-Door Coupe which he’s nicknamed “Mooch,” because “he was always putting money into it—it was mooching his wallet.” Maleu will be showing up with one of his own rides for the Beer Run—a 1950 Ford Club Coupe. His love of cars led the Maleus to start their own custom car club, Wisco Maniacs Productions.

The Maleus were further inspired to organize the event after they attended a car show called Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. After Andrea did hair and makeup for a photo shoot in the Pabst buildings, she suggested that they check out the location. They knew they had found the right backdrop for the event.

“The guys who own these buildings, they do the same thing we’re doing with our cars,” Maleu says, waving his hand at Best Place and the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub at the end of the block. “I’d rather see an old car being driven or at a car show instead of being scrapped. We go to old barns, pull out cars and save history, right? These guys are doing the same things with the Pabst buildings.”

The Blue Ribbon Beer Run has a specific rule on cars: the cut-off date is 1964. “We feel that was the year round headlights changed to square, cars got really square in general and you lost the classic style,” Maleu explains. “It’s a customizer’s dream because if you chop a car, you want round versions where you can redo the welding and form—that’s the whole trick to it. We felt ’64 and earlier was the best hot-rodding scene for Americana.”

Along with the hot rods, the show will feature Pabst tours and food stands from Wicked Urban Grill and Times Square Pizzeria. The music matches the classic cars with a lineup of western and rockabilly music. The Carpetbaggers, Rust Belt Demons and The Rebuilds play a pre-party Friday, July 12, at Best Place. The next day at the show will feature performances by The Western Starlanders, The Rust Belt Boys, Lil’ Red and the “Howlin’ Wolves” and DJ Howlin’ Jay.

There will also be a pin-up contest with 25 contestants strutting their stuff with The Revomatics providing a soundtrack. A panel of judges will crown a “Miss Blue Ribbon.”

In addition to the fun, the Maleus are showing a charitable side by raising money at the event to donate to the Wisconsin chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Wounded Warrior Project.

The pre-party for the Blue Ribbon Beer Run takes place 6 p.m., July 12, at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). The car show starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, between Ninth and 11th streets on Juneau Avenue. Visit blueribbonbeerrun.com for more information.

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