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Parked in the 2500 block of West Colorado Avenue during the Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show Aug. 20 were these well-preserved cars, circa pre-World War II.
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Like it never left: Car Show revs up crowds in Old Colorado City

An attention-getter at the Car Show was this customized "steam punk" car, owned and built from a 1958 foreign chassis by Chad Mininger. He said it doesn't actually run on steam (it's gas-powered), but his "full radical rebuild" does feature exposed brass, copper and aluminum in keeping with the steam-punk style.
       More than 400 cars of various ages adorned the streets on a mostly sunny day in Old Colorado City Aug. 20. To many of the several thousand who strolled past the shiny vehicles during the six-hour display, it looked much the same as the Good Times Car Show in past years.
       And in fact, it was organized by many of the same individuals, working through car clubs that have helped put together the annual charity event over the years.
       But for the record, it was the first-time Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show. "Overall, it went very well," said lead organizer Ace Cosley afterward. "There was a sea of people out there. We got a lot of positive feedback."
       In keeping with past tradition, cars were angle-parked along the avenue - and a block up its sidestreets - from 23rd to 27th Streets, along Colorado Avenue, which was closed off for the mid-day event.
       A unique addition to this year's show was a fully restored 1943 Willys Jeep. The model was used in World War II, and owner Jay Bennett said he took on the restoration effort in honor of his grandfather, Rich Bennett, who had driven such a vehicle in that war.
      
Jay Bennett stands next to the 1943 Willys he restored in honor of his grandfather, who had driven such a vehicle in World War II. It was called the "Damn Yankee" then, and Jay matched that name on his. Items from the Willys' war-time tool kit are set out in front. See close-up below of his presentation board.
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"The body was shot" when he found a Jeep just like it some years ago outside a gas station. Despite the work and cost to fix it up, "it was worth saving. I wouldn't take a million dollars for it," said Jay, who served in the Army himself. He added that he sought to make his restored model identical "down to the nuts and bolts" to the one his granddad drove.
       Cosley is a member of the Southern Colorado Mopar Club, one of five car clubs that worked together to put the event on. The others are the Rocky Mountain Mustangers, Southern Colorado Jaguar Club, Southern Colorado Chevelle Club and the Hotrod Association.
       The event is mainly funded by entry fees from classic car owners who enjoy displaying their rigs - many of which are the product of hundreds of hours of individual work and thousands of dollars of private investment.
       Contacted the day after, Cosley said that the paperwork was still being finalized, but he did have some basic numbers. A total of 356 cars had preregistered, and those, along with late signups, put the actual number of vehicles to be judged at more than 400. More than 100 trophies were handed out in 11 different judging classifications.
      
The presentation board for Jay Bennett's "Damn Yankee" 1943 Willys Jeep (see photo/caption above). His World War II-vet grandfather is in three of the board's photos. Note the similarity between his granddad's "Damn Yankee" (lower left) and the restored version (lower right).
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In addition, about 100 other non-judged cars were displayed through sponsorship agreements, he said.
       The Good Times Car Show, which had run for 25 years, was discontinued after last year's event because of increasing city-required costs to close the street and rent Bancroft Park. Cosley said he managed to round up 16 sponsors, which helped overcome those cost issues.
       Sharing about $2,000 in event earnings from the Customs & Classics show were two charities, according to Cosley: the Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that trains dogs to help disabled individuals; and the Alzheimers Association (with an office on the Westside), which provides support and referrals for affected families and care-givers. He said another $500 or so will likely go to the Rocky Mountain Veterans Village Foundation, which helps military people find housing.
       Cosley said he is looking forward to bringing back the Car Show in August 2018.

Westside Pioneer article and photos
(Posted 8/21/17, updated 8/24/17; Community: Groups/Clubs)

Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show organizer Ace Cosley stands in Bancroft Park, where the event had its registration, live band and deejay. In the background are some of the parked cars on Colorado Avenue.
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An impressive vehicle at the Car Show was this restored (and souped-up) 1934 Plymouth, owned by Marty and Irene Valdez.
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