376 vehicles, 5,000 people at annual Car Show
The tag for Frankie Vallejo's car at the Aug. 15 show said “1928 Ford,” but its manufacturers would never have recognized it as such. Actually, Vallejo explained, only a “rounded part in back” has that origin.
The south Colorado Springs welding hobbyist gave the name “Rat Rod” to his rig, which also includes body parts from an RV and a 1936 Ford (the grill only).
His machine was one of 376 on display along closed-off Colorado Avenue and side streets between 23rd and 27th streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The overall number of entrants was down from last year, when 436 came to the event (which is sponsored by several local car clubs). Car Show spokesperson Kathy Quatkemeyer blamed the drop-off on the weather. Cloudy skies and even rain were evident throughout the region earlier that morning, during the time when last- minute classic-car owners often decide whether they want to enter such an event.
As it turned out, no rain fell on Old Colorado City. “We were pleased with that,” Quatkemeyer said.
Because entrants pay a fee, larger numbers mean better results for the fundraising part of the event. There were enough who signed up that Canine Companions, the fundraising beneficiary, will probably receive $3,000, she said.
The weather did not seem to deter attendance. She said police estimated more than 5,000 people showed up - a typical number for the event.
Nearly all of the vehicles, their ages ranging across almost a century, showed signs of restorative hard work, though few were quite as unusual as Vallejo's. Other conversation pieces on his Rat Rod were a prominent Jack Daniels bottle housing the radiator fluid, movie theater seats, and a goth belt holding the battery in place. “I built it in my garage over the past year and two months,” Vallejo said proudly. “There were a lot of times that went past midnight.”
A rare car on display was Russell Spalding's 1954 Kaiser Darrin, one of just 435 made that year and one of the earlier cars that had a fiberglass body. A Kaiser employee at the time (a photographer), he bought the vehicle new from the factory. It still has only 61,000 miles on it, and in recent years has not gotten out much. A friend, Roger Cortez, helped Spalding restore it to look the way it did originally. “It was a lot of work,” Cortez said. Then there was the problem of matching the paint color. “We had to hunt that down.”
Danny Sanchez and Jerry Vorhees treated visitors to side-by-side Dodge Challengers, one from 1970, the other from 2009.
The newer one belongs to Sanchez, while the older one belongs to his employer, Perkins Motor Company. Owner Tom Perkins had bought the car at an auction, and he and Vorhees have been restoring it after hours in the Perkins facility at 2025 Sheldon Ave. “I'm a car person,” Sanchez grinned.
He added that Dodge stopped making the Challenger in the late '70s before bringing the muscle car back in '09. Looking at the older and newer models, he said, “You could consider them like father and son. That's why we wanted to show them together. They [Dodge] made them pretty much the same.”
Westside Pioneer article