Westside Pioneer Home Page

An attention-grabber during the Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show Aug. 19 was when Kevin Long revved up the diesel engine on his 1971 Chevy Longhorn three-quarter-ton pickup in the 2500 block of Colorado Avenue. He said he bought the rig last year from Dan Jenks, who had renovated it in 1980 to accommodate a Detroit diesel. Now 82, Jenks has begun rebuilding a garbage truck.
Westside Pioneer photo
Landscaping on the south side of Colorado Avenue's 2600 block provides a scenic setting for the Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show.
Westside Pioneer photo

535 vehicles on display shatters record for annual Old Colorado City Car Show

Aug. 19, 2018
       The Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show Aug. 19 obliterated the former participation record with the announcement that 535 vehicles were on display.
       “Not too shabby,” grinned lead organizer Ace Cosley, talking over a loudspeaker during the Bancroft Park trophy-awards ceremony (judging of cars in
Jim Day stands by the 1955 Ford Thunderbird that his father gave him in 1956 for his senior year in high school. He in turn plans to give the car to his grandson Matt, who will become a senior in two years.
Westside Pioneer photo
various categories) that concluded the six-hour event.
       The total was close to his announced pre-show goal for 600 cars this year.
       Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., a wide spectrum of mostly shiny cars and trucks were angle-parked on both sides of closed-off Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets. They could also be found along its side streets and in the parking lots for the Colorado Square and Old Town Plaza strip centers.
       Despite occasional drops of rain, no serious shower ever materialized, and the unbroken crowds of admiring spectators - though uncounted - easily numbered in the thousands.
       In the 25 years of a car show in Old Town, the documented high had been 436 vehicles in 2009, when it was still called the Good Times Car Show. The event was being run then on a relatively low-key basis by several local car clubs with limited budgets; but the '09 popularity stretched their resources so much that they limited sign-ups to 400 after that. In 2016, they decided to end the show altogether, saying that ever-increasing fees to the city for street barricades, park rental and police protection were negating its goal of fundraising for charity.
       Cosley, a car collector who heads up a promotional company (Ace Entertainment), picked up the event, changed the name and brought it back in 2017 on its traditional third Sunday of August. Most attendees never realized how close the show had come to being gone for good.
A grouping of classic cars attracts attention in the 2500 block of Colorado Avenue.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Cosley said before this year's event that he's surmounted the monetary issues by lining up sponsors (16 in all) and the size issues by bringing in volunteers (including from the military) to help car-club volunteers; plus, he's continuing the charity aspect with a focus on the Alzheimers Association.
       Interesting back-stories are easy to find at the car show. One was told by Manitou resident Jim Day, who was on hand with an almost-like-new 1955 Thunderbird, which his late father Roy
Curtis Mitchell (in the driver's seat) answers questions about his 1965 Ford AC Cobra in the 2400 block, by Bancroft Park.
Westside Pioneer photo
had given him when he started his senior year of high school in 1956.
       "My dad told me I'd probably wreck it in six months,” Day chuckled. “I'm 80 years old now.”
       He's kept it stock, saving it in more recent years for parades and shows, so it has only 62,000 miles on it.
       As it happens, Day's grandson Matt is a sophomore in high school. So when he becomes a senior, guess what? The T-bird will be passed on once more, Day said.
       Another father-son connection was evident in side-by-side, restored/customized Chevrolets. One was a sedan built in 1932, the other a pickup from 1936. Each had a framed informational sheet leaning against its front bumper.
       The '32, which has been upgraded to include a V-6 engine and turbo mufflers, was identified as “Dad's” (Gary Don Richter). His info sheet explained, “I am the third
A spectator on the south side of Colorado Avenue just west of 26th Street checks out the 1970 Ford Torino Cobra that's been given greater horsepower by owners Darin and Maureen Santi.
Westside Pioneer photo
owner for the last 38 years and counting, and it was my grandfather's car (Harry Richter). The vehicle was bought new at Daniels Chevrolet.”
       Andy Richter has the “Son's” '36 pickup. Nicknamed “Sweet Treats,” the owner describes it as a “retired rum runner in witness protection.” It has also been given some modern improvements, the info sheet continues, including a straight-6 from a '73 Chevy Nova that had “commitment issues and emotional scars.”
       Elsewhere on the avenue, a 1947 Diamond T heavy truck was on display. It had been restored/customized by Chad Lewis. He was joined at the car show by his 12-year-old son Gavin, who stood by the driver's-side door to answer questions about the 1½-year project. And he proudly replied that yes, he's helped his dad with the work.

Westside Pioneer article
(Community: Groups/Clubs/Classes)
A mostly restored (and souped-up) 1947 Diamond T 404H 1.5 ton truck was parked in the 2600 block of Colorado Avenue. The owner is Chad Lewis, owner of MonaCo Street Machines.
Westside Pioneer photo
LEFT: Dad (left) and son Richter's Chevies, with info sheets in front. RIGHT: Manuel Padilla's 1934 Ford Coupe.
Westside Pioneer photos

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)