This Day in Dayton, 13 August
“Subaru-Isuzu cars will highlight Dayton festival” read a headline in the Life&Times section of the Journal and Courier on August 13, 1987. The third annual Dayton Home Town Days was a four-day community festival that ran from August 13 to August 16 that year (1987). A car show with more than 100 vehicles was scheduled for Saturday, August 15, at the Dayton Elementary School from 8 AM to 4 PM. Two unique vehicles were unveiled at the car show: an Isuzu prototype of the Impulse and a 1958 vintage 2-cycle engine Subaru “360” were shipped from Japan for the event. The top car show award, the Governor’s Trophy, was to be presented by Indiana Gov. Robert Orr (with Lt. Gov. John Mutz as backup). The cars would also take part in the closing parade on Sunday, August 16, at 2 PM. The parade was headed by the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette, and proceeds from the car show were put into a trust fund for Tina Larson, a Dayton girl who suffered from Hodgkins disease. Other events included band performances, a ham and bean supper, and the crowning of festival royalty.
A second article on the 1987 Dayton Days festival (third annual event) appeared in the Sunday edition of the Journal and Courier. The Japanese executives from SIA who helped out with the event were much appreciated by town organizers and residents. Local Grace Gillespie was tending her garage sale when she was quoted as saying the event was nice “because you get to know your neighbors,” but she hoped the SIA plant won’t cause Dayton to lose its small town feel. David Grimes was quoted as saying there was no point in complaining, and SIA surely would “boost the local economy.” The car show was a great success. Organized by the Lafayette Kroozers and their president Roger Gregory, the show ended up registering more than 160 cars and trucks.