December 8, 2023

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The Cars Maniacs

‘Potsie’ brings happy days to Monticello Rod & Custom Car Show

‘Potsie’ brings happy days to Monticello Rod & Custom Car Show

Anson Williams special guest at event staged Feb. 25 and 26

‘Potsie’ brings happy days to Monticello Rod & Custom Car Show
‘Potsie’ brings happy days to Monticello Rod & Custom Car Show

MONTICELLO — The cool cars are back, and so is Anson Williams.

The KCRG-TV9 O’Reilly Auto Parts Rod & Custom Car Show is revving up for its 54th consecutive year. The annual showcase of unusual and classic cars and motorcycles will be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, at the Berndes Center in Monticello, 35 miles from Cedar Rapids and Dubuque via Highway 151.

If you go

What: 2023 KCRG TV9 O’Reilly Auto Parts Rod & Custom Car Show

Where: Berndes Center, 766 N. Maple St., Monticello

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023; awards presentation at 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $10 adults, $5 children; ages 12 and under free with a paid adult; $1 discount with canned food donation for Four Oaks family programs; free parking

Information: or phone (319) 465-5119; show weekend phone is (319) 465-6640

Williams, nominated for a Golden Globe for portraying Potsie Weber on “Happy Days” from 1974 to 1984, attended the 2007 show with cast member Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham). He’s flying solo this year, coming from California for three meet and greets, featuring autographs, photos and conversation. Those sessions are slated for noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Williams, now 73, has kept busy since those happy days, as a singer, author, and director of hit television shows, including “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Melrose Place,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Charmed” and “7th Heaven.”

The car show also features a new selection of street rods, custom cars, street machines, hot pickups, race cars and custom motorcycles from Midwest exhibitors. They will compete for trophies and cash prizes. Spectators can vote for three awards: People’s Choice car/pickup; People’s Choice Motorcycle; and People’s Choice Model car. Guests also are eligible for door prizes.

Other attractions include:

  • Music and commentary by 3D Sound Company DJ Dave Palmer, who also will emcee Sunday’s awards ceremony for the 24th year;
  • Free balloon creations from Mark “Papa Balloon” Garvey;
  • Free portraits by Wisconsin caricature artist David Fliss;
  • The 38th Annual Model Car Contest, with a new selection of scale model cars, competing for trophies and model kits in categories for ages 12 and under, 13 to 17, and 18 and over;
  • Souvenirs, including posters and T-shirts.

The popular Saturday “Date Night” also is returning, with all women admitted free — with a date or without — from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Monticello Eagles Club Ladies Auxiliary 4466 will serve food, including turkey dressing sandwiches, with profits going to community projects.

The event, which typically draws about 4,000 spectators, continues the legacy and vision of show founder Ralph G. Muller (1940-2020), now carried on by his younger brothers, Galen and Tom Muller, and the show’s many friends.

Comments: (319) 368-8508; [email protected]

“Happy Days” cast members Anson Williams (Potsie Weber, left) and Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham) sign autographs at the 2007 Rod & Custom Car Show in Monticello. Williams is returning as the special guest for this year’s show, Feb. 25 and 26, 2023. (The Gazette)

This panoramic view shows the variety of vehicles at the 2018 O’Reilly Auto Parts Rod & Custom Car Show in Monticello. This year’s event will be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, 2023, at the Monticello Berndes Center. The family friendly event features unusual and classic vehicles, food, music, souvenirs, kids’ activities and celebrity guest Anson Williams of “Happy Days” fame. (Courtesy of O’Reilly Auto Parts Rod & Custom Car Show)