Part of our new focus on automobiles is on car owners and what they do with or to their rides. Usually automobile owners like to show off their pride and joy - and what better way to celebrate the relationship between people and their machines than a car show?
Every year for the last six years, Les Schwab has hosted a car show that's a doubly successful: Not only is it a place for local car enthusiasts to show off their chrome-clad creations, but it's also a place where the community can give back. That's because the show is a benefit for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Denis Wallingford, who has been with Les Schwab for 34 years, explains: "The show is all about raising money and food for the food bank. There's no entry fee for the car owners -- we just ask that they raise some food for the cause. We have well over 300 vehicles here today." Wallingford also shared that '60s cars are his favorites - "probably the GTOs, the Camaros, and the Chevelle Super Sports," he says with a smile. He also points out that Les Schwab is just there to get the word out about the show and get the community to support the food bank.
It was easy to see the enthusiasm on all the attendants' and participants' faces. The peak moment of this gathering about metal and muscle? Evidently it was the burnout competition. Granted, I am relatively new to the whole car show scene, so I think I may have missed the point of muscle cars spinning their tires and huge plumes of smoke rising in the air. Everyone else there, however, was whooping it up for these exuberant displays. (They went on for quite some time.)
One car that wasn't in the burnout contest but still caught my eye was Dave Grobe's 1949 Cadillac. "It's my baby," Grobe says. He has been a car enthusiast since high school, back during those days that lent themselves to hanging in the backyard with friends and beefing up their car engines. The Cadillac has been a labor of love for him. "It was a nine-year, from-the-ground-up restoration," Grobe says. "I did all my own body work and the paint, as well as any of the mechanical that I could do myself." As impressive as other vehicles were, for me this car was the showstopper.
But that's not the only Cadillac that drew a crowd. In the new car category there was a burnt orange 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood -- balanced up on three wheels in the classic hydraulics-induced car show pose. Owner Jason Wright of Lowcos Car Club gave me the lowdown on his low rider. "Its got TVs in the headrests, visors and one in the steering wheel," Wright says. But that's not all, folks -- this thing had a Playstation in it too. Wright says that there aren't a lot of shows like this in town, so it's nice to get out and show people what you've got. Lowcos Customs is hosting a car show for the mature vehicle enthusiast on Aug. 1 at Spokane Raceway Park. Wright admits he draws attention to himself from law enforcement by driving a car like this but then adds that "It's all part of the territory."