The talk centered on age, color, power, and uniqueness as hundreds of car enthusiasts gathered for the Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis Club’s 14th Annual Run for the Gold Classic Car Show.
In all, about 145 classic, custom, and restored vehicles decorated the grassy areas of the Oakhurst Community Park last Saturday.
Oakhurst resident and Mountain Road Rattlers member, Dale Webb, gently wiped down the 1932 Ford Model B pick-up his father purchased in 1935. The truck sat in a field for 25 years, before Webb began the restoration process in 2000, working five to six hours daily for 18 months. Eager to share a small photo album depicting before shots, Webb jokes that the truck and he are the same age.
Jeff Bergen, a 1982 Yosemite High graduate, and his brother, Bryan, helped their dad, “Wild Bill Burgie,” build an original 1939 Buick Sedan. Jeff said he shows the car in memory of his father, who died in 2011, and that with each win, he is overcome with emotion.
Kaleb Chenowith, who turned 14 the day after the event, wore his favorite color to match the “Go Green” hue of the 1971 Dodge Challenger his father, Kim, has worked on - a car he drives three or four days a week to Fresno. Along his commute, Kim receives regular approval from other drivers in the form of honks, waves or thumbs-up. Kim purchased his first challenger in 1978 and has been hooked ever since, saying he likes the body style, how the car handles, and “it’s just too much fun not to drive.”
Rick Vetter of Dinuba was busy cleaning the front windshield of his 1923 T-bucket Roadster, which pulled a 1955 Allstate Trailer. Vetter bought the parts in 1983 and built the car himself - a project he calls a work in progress because he always seems to find something else that needs to be done.
North Fork couple Thomas Burdette and Nancy McPherson have owned and maintained their 1970 BMW 2800 CS, one of only 800 made, since 1991. McPherson said she enjoys car shows, especially since they take her down memory lane. “I see the car I took my driver’s test in (1956 Buick), the 1956 Chevy my grandfather owned, the black Nomad that was my first boyfriend’s car.”
Even the couple’s dream vacation involves cars. Destination: Cuba.
“Cuba has no new cars,” Burdette explained. “After 1959, only cars from Eastern Europe and Russia were allowed into the country, so citizens had to make do with what they had. You’ll find unusual combinations there ... Chevys with Mercedes engines. One Mercedes 300 SL, worth $500,000 restored, was even found in a yard with a tree growing inside.”
“I want to thank the 142 participants for putting on a great car show,” Kiwanis President Bob Spinelli said. “We had participants from as far away as Palmdale and Truckee. I also want to thank the Mountain Road Rattlers, who brought in 25 cars, and the Paso Robles Golden State Car Club for their large representation. And thank you to the sponsors and business who supported us with ads and raffle prizes, to our Kiwanis members and volunteers who helped make this a very successful fundraiser.”
Major sponsors included Fresno Lexus, Sierra Tel, Donaghy Sales LLC, Redman’s Performance and Machine shop, Coarsegold Car Care, Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, and Yosemite Bank.
The Best of Show award went to Robert Imiola of Palmdale for his 1940 Cadillac Silver Torpedo, and the People’s Choice went to Patrick Coico of Tracy for his 1971 Red Chevelle.
Other winners were:
☆ Special Awards: Father Memorial Award - Bryan Bergen of Coarsegold, ‘37 Ford Coupe
☆ La Sierra Guild, Valley Children Hospital - Al and Kristine Manning of Paso Robles, ‘41 Ford Convertible
☆ NSRA (Nation Street Rod Association) Award - Howel Wiggins of Fresno, ‘34 Ford Tudor Sedan
☆ Stock car/truck 1959 or earlier (Class A) - first place, Dale Webb of Oakhurst, ‘32 Ford Model B; second place, Bill Vanderburg of North Fork, ‘30 Ford pick-up
☆ Stock car/truck 1960 or later (Class B) - first place, Paul and Carol Garcia of Coarsegold, ‘69 Chevy Malibu; second place, Tim Nelson of Coarsegold, ‘55 Ford
☆ Truck modified 1959 or earlier (Class C) - Karl Williams of Paso Robles, ‘55 Chevy pick up
☆ Truck modified 1960 or later (Class D) - first place, Frankie Vasques of Fresno, ‘69 El Camino; second place, Joe Renna of Fresno, ‘65 Chevy C10 pick up
☆ Model A/T/other up to 1932, non hot rod (Class E) - first place, David Nemeth of Coarsegold, 1913 model T; second place, Hector and Ruth Bermea of Mariposa, ‘31 Ford A two-door
☆ Best Corvette C-1 C-4 (Class F1) - Steve Galindo of Lemoore, ‘74 Corvette Stingray.
☆ Best Mustang 1964-93 (Class G1) - first place, Glen Hale of Clovis, ‘65 Mustang; second place, Lynell and Holly Edmisten of Ahwahnee, ‘68 Mustang
☆ Best Muscle Car 1960-79 (Class H) - first place, Kim Chenowith of Oakhurst, ‘71 Dodge Challenger; second place, Thomas Kerber of Mariposa, ‘72 Dodge Challenger
☆ Best Muscle Car 2000 and newer (Class I) - Pam Luz of Coarsegold, 2010 Dodge Challenger
☆ Best Street Rod/ Roadster thru 1940 (Class J) - first place, Howel Wiggins of Fresno, ‘34 Black Tudor Sedan; second place, Ray and Fern Barba of Paso Robles, ‘37 Ford Coupe
☆ Best 1941-49 (Class K) - first place, Kent Terry of San Miguel, ‘47 Cadillac Convertible; second place, Mitch Townsend of Bakersfield, ‘41 Willy’s Delivery
☆ Best 1950s cars (Class L) - first place, Mike and Diane Mannina of Coarsegold, ‘56 Olds Holiday Coupe; second place, Ed Carlson of Oakhurst, ‘50 Chevy Convertible
☆ Best 1960s cars ( Class M) - first place, Mark Luz of Coarsegold, ‘69 Dodge Challenger; second place, Steve Wright of Mariposa, Buick Special
☆ Best 1970s Cars (Class N) - Neil Ordway of Coarsegold, ‘70 Dodge Charger
☆ Best 1955-57 Chevy (Class O) - first place, Joe and Pam Delgado of Oakhurst, ‘56 Nomad; second place, Patty and Jerrie Privett of Oakhurst, ‘55 Chevy Bel Air
☆ Best Chevelle, Camero and Firebird (Class P) - first place, Mark Bernhardt of Clovis, ‘66 Chevy Chevelle s/s; second place, Brian Cyester of Atascadero, ‘67 Camaro
☆ Best Import Car (Class Q) - first place, Don Cirillo of Oakhurst, ‘71 MGB-GT; second place, Bryce Cole of Oakhurst, ‘66 MG-MGB
☆ Special Interest (Class S) - first place, Mike and Candice Basinger of Brentwood, ‘37 Ford Convertible; second place, Bryce Cole, ‘57 Harley Pan Head
☆ Best open or project car (Class T) - first place, Jeff Bergen of Fresno, ‘39 Buick Sedan; second place, D. Miller (no other information available)
☆ Daily Driver (Class X) - first place, Laurie Morgenthal of Fresno, ‘97 Lincoln Mark VIII; second place, Richard Barnette of Oakhurst, ‘57 Buick
☆ Best Club Participation - Mountain Road Rattlers with 25 cars
☆ Ladies Choice Award - Kent Terry of San Miguel, ‘47 Cadillac Convertible
☆ Best Engine - Tom Carlson, ‘55 Chevy Bel Air
☆ Best Hot Rod: Greg Paboojian of Sanger, ‘32 Ford five-window coupe