The magic of Artomobilia Weekend is in the celebration. Held annually in August, it centers around A Celebration of Automotive Art & Design that takes place in Carmel, Indiana’s Arts and Design District. Before the spectacular Carmel Artomobilia car show, guests attend A Celebration of Heart Health & Horsepower at Carmel’s Lucas Estate in support of the important work of Bolt From the Heart. Between the car show and the Fuelicious fundraiser, there’s A Road Rally of Wheels & Warriors – otherwise known as SHIFT – where enthusiasts celebrate by driving the best backroads that Southern Indiana has to offer.
Truly a box of chocolates for candy lovers, a garage gathering for like-minded gearheads, the best of so many worlds that has something for everyone – Artomobilia is the brainchild of John Leonard and John Pitz. They’ve assembled a fantabulous staff and team of volunteers that work throughout the year to make the Artomobilia experience even better. Our very own Drew Yagodnik interviews them at Carmel Artomobilia 2019.
Drew Yagodnik, Classic Auto Insurance: All right. This is Drew with Carmel Artomobilia 2019 and I’m actually here with really two of the key guys to this whole thing, John Pitz and John Leonard, and we’ve really never had this opportunity to do an interview on the street with you guys and kind of learn more about the show. So – 12 years running, amazing weather today. But really, how did it get its start?
John Leonard: So it’s pretty obvious in terms of back in 2008, the Arts and Design District did not look anything like this. There wasn’t a lot of people, there was a lot of barricades and cones and gravel. And so the mayor said, ‘We’d like to have events that bring people into the Arts and Design District so they come back,’ et cetera. Originally, Carmel had like 10 or 12 events. I don’t remember what they all were, but they kind of came and went and Artomobilia stuck around. And as a result, we started with 35 cars and it was kind of disorganized. And over the years it was like, well, there’s something here. It seems pretty good. And so this year we’ll have almost 500 cars and probably 20,000 people show up. So it’s really the original charter was around getting people into the Arts and Design District. And as you see, there’s plenty of people.
Unbelievable Hardworking Team
Drew: Right. (Talking to John Pitz) And from your perspective, I mean how many years have you been involved? Were you involved from the beginning?
John Pitz: I’ve been here eight years working with John and the team. And it’s interesting, you said this is the first time you’ve ever had a chance to interview us. It’s because we have a great team of people. It’s the entire team. And then we have probably 50 volunteers the day of and without them this wouldn’t happen. And the reason that we’re actually a little bit chill rather than our normal frenetic state is the fact that we have a great group of people backing us up. And that’s what it’s taken. It’s taken a great partnership with volunteers, the board, the city, the public department works, the CPD, everybody has helped us make this a possibility.
Always Excited to Sponsor Artomobilia
John Leonard: And the sponsors. And we have fantastic sponsors
John Pitz: In fact, do you know that Classic Auto Insurance is actually a sponsor of ours?
Drew: Yeah. I think I know one of those sponsors and it’s certainly a pleasure to be involved in this. And we’ve been doing it for about six years and then the last couple of years I’ve been volunteering and it’s really been a great experience, but kind of something really cool.
Porsche Palooza A Great Addition
Drew: We just kind of walked the show but tell me a little bit about Porsche Palooza. I mean that’s super fantastic.
John Leonard: Yeah, absolutely. We have the most eclectic car show that I’ve been to. And so one of the things is we like the old cars, new cars, all this, so there’s something here for everybody. But one of the things I wanted to do was I wanted to expand it so that in future years we might extend south into the City Center area and make it, continue to grow it. And that comes with involving clubs. And so the Porsche Club had an event where the organizer moved to Florida and they said, ‘Would you like to run it?’ And I said, ‘No. But what we could do is we could relocate it and leverage the Arts and Design District.’ And so that’s where Porsche Palooza came to be. And so they’ve had a great experience. North Range Line road. Everyone thinks, ‘Ooh, too far north.’ It’s not. It’s beautiful. It’s wide, it’s tree-lined. You can’t beat it. And so it’s a great addition to the event that really focuses on a specific mark. And then I think in future years, you’ll see some more of that with some of the different marks that have a good club support.
The Car Community Thanks You
Drew: Hey guys, I appreciate your friendship, appreciate what you’re doing for the community and especially the car community. It’s super important to have people like you doing what you’re doing. So thanks again.
John Pitz: Thank you.
John Leonard: Thank you Drew.
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