Sometime after midnight, they will finish moving them all back. In between, the dealership holds its Friday Night Cruisin’ event, a gathering that Maxton stages multiple times every summer. The meetup of car fans serves as a flagship in the dealership’s ongoing development and retention of its customer base.
Now entering its 28th summer, the event has a well-established reputation in the region.
The event has a local, exclusive flavor. Car enthusiasts are welcome to bring Chevrolets but not other brands. And while the event’s reputation may stretch beyond the borders of the store’s Worthington, Ohio, home base, it is targeted squarely at potential customers from the area.
Held on the third Friday of June, July, August and September, the event can attract as many as 400 vehicles. There’s no charge for participants, but there is a registration process that ensures the dealership can collect information from each attendee.
“We log everybody in and keep a database,” said Mauk, who estimates 20 percent of attendees for each Cruisin’ event are newcomers to the dealership. With four events every year and nearly three decades of experience, he’s built a formidable foundation.
Mauk doesn’t track specific financial targets for the events but said he sees the payoff “in sales, service and parts, even the body shop, all year long.” Maxton sells an average of 300 new and used vehicles each month, he said.
But selling stays in the background during the car shows. They’re strictly casual affairs. And the car enthusiasts accustomed to displaying their vehicles at shows where they await the scrutiny of discerning judges won’t encounter strict judging criteria at Maxton.
Awards are doled out by staff members purely on the basis of what strikes their interest. Seventy or more awards can be distributed on any given night. On certain nights, there’s a focus on a particular vehicle, such as Corvettes. Other nights will feature a smattering of everything. One recent show featured awards for favorite Chevelle, Nova, Monte Carlo, Camaro and wagon.
For every classic vehicle on his lot during the event, Mauk said he believes there’s usually a modern-day Chevy in the driveway at home. It’s a good reminder that for all the fun, the event is focused on his customer base.