TORRINGTON – Traffic was heavy on Main Street last weekend – but this time, the cars were the attraction.
Scottsbluff Valley Street Rods and the city of Torrington hosted 81 classic rods, muscle cars, pickups, low riders, motorcycles, and other tire-based vehicles on Sept. 7 for the 19th Annual Classic Cars in the Park. Just after 9 a.m., car owners proudly polished their prized possessions in front of downtown shops.
“I always had cars,” said Sam Paiz of Cheyenne beside his red 1975 Corvette Coupe. “I’ve had old cars and new cars. I’m into it and my brother is as well.”
Paiz is a retired schoolteacher and he listed off his favorite aspects of the car.
“Four-speed. Got curves. It’s sexy. And it’s red. Little red Corvette.”
He said he has owned the vehicle for 31 years and drives to car shows in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Down the street, Nadine Schledewitz was another frequent show-goer. She said she has 103 plaques and trophies “so far.
“I’ve got three sons. They say, ‘Mom, why’d you pick that color?’” she said of her purple 1965 Ford pickup. “I said, ‘It was that color and it’s gonna stay that color.’”
Schledewitz has done most of the work on the truck herself. She loves car shows and, at 84 years old, vowed to keep taking her pickup to them until she can’t anymore.
“I have two motors for it. In case something happens, I’ve got another one ready to go,” she said, adding, “have you seen the inside?”
She opened the cab door and pointed to the ceiling-to-seats black and white upholstery, framed by purple fuzzy dice on each end of the windshield.
Not all of the exhibitors came with personal vehicles. Bill Law, a Torrington city council member, guarded a 1934 fire truck that Torrington bought originally, then sold to the Yoder Fire Department in 1947. The truck came back to Torrington in 1987, he said, and members of the fire department restored it.
“The painting, the lettering, was all done by members,” he said.
Law, a member of the department since 1962 and currently a reserve member, said that driving the truck was his favorite part.
“You can see the power steering doesn’t work and the air conditioning doesn’t work,” he said, indicating the open-air driver’s seat. “And the turn signals don’t work.
“I had fun with one of the young guys one time. I had him stand behind the truck and I said, ‘Is the left turn signal on?’”
While the other man was staring at the back of the truck, Law had extended his upwardly bent arm out of the cab to indicate a left turn.
“He said ‘No.’ I said, ‘It’s not? Well, look up here.’”
Law said the other man got the joke and called him a profanity.
Last year, event organizer Dennis Grubbs told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald the show usually has 60 to 65 cars on average, although the highest number was 106.
The winners in each category were as follows:
Builder: Melissa McKean of Scottsbluff for a 1968 Ford Falcon
Competition: Annie Pardus of Torrington for a 1970 Chevrolet Nova
Hard Luck: Jack Gibson of Torrington for a 1963 Chevrolet
Long Distance: Tamie Hollenbach of Sheridan for a 2005 Honda
Low Rider: Kevin Miller of Gering for a 1991 S-10
Motorcycle: Randy Giles of Torrington for a 1998 Harley Dyna Springer
Novelty: Chris Blansom of Torrington for a 1969 VW Bug
Turner: Dustin Donness of Mitchell for a 1987 Mazda RXT
Under 21: Drew Blunsom of Torrington for a 1972 Buick GSX
4x4: Ed Schreiner of Torrington for a 1973 Ford Bronco
Stock (42E) 1st Place: Joe Diedrich of Mitchell for a 1930 Ford Model A
Stock (42E) 2nd Place: Annie Pardus of Torrington for a 1929 Ford Model A
Stock (42L): 1st Place: Jack Gibson of Torrington for a 1963 Chevrolet Impala
Stock (42L): 2nd Place: Lesy Janneloos of Glenrock for a 1971 Dodge Demon
Muscle Car 1971E 1st Place: Reggie Blumsom of Torrington for a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle
Muscle Car 1971E 2nd Place: Gary Stull of Torrington for a 1965 Mustang
Muscle Car 1972L 1st Place: Troy and Kathy Ayres of Torrington for a 2002 Dodge Viper
Muscle Car 1972L 2nd Place: Larisse Miller of Douglas for a 2014 Dodge Charger
Pickup 1st Place: Jim Gable of Mitchell for a 1946 Chevrolet pickup
Pickup 2nd Place: Cody Rinehart of Torrington for a 1972 Ford Pickup
Street Machine (49L) 1st Place: Dan Gibson of Lyman for a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Aire 210
Street Machine (49L) 2nd Place: Dennis Mitchell of Minatare for a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Aire
Street Rod (48E) 1st Place: Annie Pardus of Torrington for a 1940 Chevrolet Master 85
Street Rod (48E) 2nd Place: Dan Price of Westminster for a 1932 Chevrolet five-window coupe
Mayor’s choice: Dan Price of Westminster for a 1932 Chevrolet five-window coupe
SVSR choice: Kelly Winchester of Loveland for a 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe