More than 250 restored classics, street rods and every other form of rolling artwork will be heading to Bishop the first weekend in October for the Owens Valley Cruisers’ annual Fall Colors Car Show.
For these out-of-town auto enthusiasts, the show is more than a chance to pick up a trophy acknowledging the work put into the cars. It’s a chance to log miles through some impressive scenery, to check out the mountain views of aspen groves ablaze in colors nearly as bright and varied as the cars themselves.
Locals will get their first glance at the cars at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at the Kmart/Vons parking lot, the first gathering of this year’s American muscle, modified coupes and well-oiled Woodies. By Saturday morning, the cars will be on display at the Tri-County Fairgrounds, prepped for the Show and Shine judging.
At 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the cars cruise Main Street. Sunday morning, they head up to South Lake on the Poker Run. The $5 entry can be purchased Sunday from 8-10 a.m. at the fairgrounds parking lot.
By 11 a.m., the metal-flake beauties will head back to the fairgrounds for the awards ceremony.
Last year’s People’s Choice winner, a 1949 Dodge Woodie Power Wagon fire/rescue vehicle owned by Mark Inarik of Las Vegas, Nev., will be on hand again this year.
The Cruisers’ first Fall Colors show in 1993 had roughly 90 restored classics and modified rods. Over the last 19 years, the show has grown exponentially. “People love coming to Bishop,” said Cruiser Tina Cocherell. “They come from all over the western states.” The club teamed up with Choo-Choo Swap Meet in 1996 and the Saturday event grew to include the Altrusa Art Show in 2000.
From stock purist to those gear heads who never saw a vehicle they couldn’t modify, the one thing they have in common is talking about their cars. Even if you can’t tell a Hemi from a hoodie, the stories are worth a trip to the fairgrounds on Saturday.
Jim Browning found his ‘35 Buick in Barstow in 1974; it was being used as a chicken coop. Browning towed it back home in a cloud of feathers. It was Browning’s first restoration project. The Buick isn’t a concourse car, it’s “a friendly car that makes people smile.”
Kent and Cindy Schlick’s ‘72 Mustang was part of the 2004 celebration of the Mustang’s 40th anniversary held at the Petersen Museum. The glove compartment door bears the signatures of Lee Iacocca, the “father of the Mustang,” and uber car buff Jay Leno.
Paul Kenney’s ‘37 Chevy Coupe was sitting in an olive grove in Ivanhoe in the San Joaquin Valley. “I like to keep close to the intent of the car,” Kenney said. His coupe is loyal to the original styling, but the drive train is total street rod. Kenney replaced the stock equipment with a 350 V-8, 300 horsepower Chevy egine, a turbo Hydromatic transmission, an ‘82 Buick Regal differential and a Mustang suspension. “The coupe is a rocket,” he said.
Those are just a few of the car stories available next Saturday. There are approximately 245 more available at the Vons parking light Friday afternoon and at the fairgrounds Saturday.