By CATHERINE ELLERTON
Moapa Valley Progress
The 18th Annual Moapa Valley Car and Motorcycle Show was held on Saturday in Overton Park. The park was ablaze in brilliant colors, music, the deep roar of engines and the laughter of friends.
I refuse to say “old cars restored” as these cars were the cars that I grew up with. I remember well our fascination and laughter at the 1950 Studebaker. This car that was all pointy and lower to the ground. Just like the one that Robert Gallegos and his brother Sammy of Mesquite brought to the show. He advised that they had kept all the original features. This car was designed after WWII, with bomber windows and looked like it was going both ways – it was designed to be different.
This is where auto buffs bring in their restored autos and auto enthusiastists come to see some of the latest creations. Dan Bailey of Logandale said he had a passion since he was a little kid to “old” cars and loved to restore them. Just like the one he brought to the show that he had found in a field all rusty and sad looking he recreated with an engine 327 Chevy 671 blower. Now no laughter from you auto buffs that know your cars……this is speaking a foreign language for some who come to view the neat paint jobs and the cool names. You know like: “Vehikular Misfit,” or “Bad Pony,” or “orgcrsh,” or “7OLCMNO” or “Sweet Vanilla.”
This passion is often a family affair. Randy Erickson of Overton stated it was a family hobby and they all have an “old” car. He brought a ’58 Apache with an S10 frame, a big window and is an ‘air ride’ that raises and lowers the car. “Why?” I asked. Randy replied “just because.” OK…..
I spotted an interesting car off to the side which was a curiosity – a 1923 Roadster. Coming from Hurricane, Utah, Tony Thayer explained that it was a T Bucket Kit Car which he had built in California. It had a 283 Stroker motor, and the paint was done in 1999.
Moved on to another interesting car – a 1935 Ford Woody (a car with wood sides). Eric Goodman from Las Vegas very willingly explained the features of this car. It is known as a Station Wagon – and do you know why? Well in the 1930s the folks back east would come west for a holiday and would tell the dude ranch personnel they were coming to the station and to please have the wagon ready……thus the name, station wagon. This low slung car also had a ‘suicide’ door. This is a door that opens backward IF you can find the door handle. In this case it was a custom handle, hidden in the wood side design.
There was even a participant who came from Alaska. A snowbird to be exact. He brought his augmented 1966 Buick Riviera with the front headlights that turn in under the hood when not in operation.
Then there was the 2012 Roush Mustang brought in from St. George by Randy and Darlene Hoggan. This is a car that was designed by Jack Roush, a NASCAR racer. Robert Yates built the engine a Ford Mustang GT 675 hp. They had installed a jack suspension system so the car carried even weight therefore it rides and turns well.
Car Show DJs Dr. Bret Staley and Rick Houston kept the program and music rolling right along throughout the day. There were 83 entrants who were provided breakfast by the local Rotary Club members.
There were so many awesome cars and the owners were eager to tell a novice the history of each and every one. There were 20 classes that were presented awards.
Judges were from the Logandale Auto Shop: Mike Hemingway, Jerry Bowles and Russ Draper. The overall awards went to: Best of Paint – Yancy Taylor; Best of Engine –Trent Leavitt; Best of Interior – Rick Sosa and Best of Show – Gary Bunker.
Bunker had brought a 1956 Chevy Bellaire. An interesting side note is that his Dad was born in St. Thomas. Therefore, in essence, this award brought home a son who plans to visit his family home soon. Welcome home!