Historic car show brings in crowds to Montesano

The Historic Montesano car show brought in crowds, admiring the vehicles and enjoying the day.

With 240 cars, the Historic Montesano Car Show, held July 15, attracted many people to downtown Montesano. In addition to the car show, families attended the Kids Summer Fest and the Saturday Market.

Dave Foss, one of the event’s volunteer organizers, said everyone who attended seemed to have a great time.

“We were able to make sizable donations to the Montesano Food Bank, Montesano Community Center, Chehalis Valley Museum and Montesano Police Association,” Foss wrote in an email.

The car show attracted young auto enthusiasts like Trevor Lash, 7, of Hoquiam. He liked all the cars and trucks, but his favorite was the fire-engine red Ford Mustang GT 350, parked in front of the courthouse. Lash was visiting the show with his mom and dad, Ericka and Cory Lash, and his little brother Talen, 5, who said, “I like the yellow car.”

A yellow car and cars in every color lined the streets of Montesano. Brilliant purples, teals and oranges. Black, white, red and blue. A peach 1964 Ford Thunderbird and a white 1990 Rabbit convertible. A 1969 Camaro Rally Sport in azure blue and a 1941 Ford Coupe in teal green.

People oohed and aahed at the vehicles and reminisced:

“My dad had an Impala. Not as nice as that one.”

“Oh, that’s just like the Mustang I had in high school.”

Some car show participants said the big draw was just driving to the show. The showing off of their exquisite automobiles and chatting up other aficionados was secondary. Rather, they enjoyed driving their extra-special cars — cars like a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger driven by Al Swedberg of Centralia. He and his wife Joanie sat by their Tiger, visiting with folks who asked about the rare car.

“I know a lot of the guys around here, like Larry Foss (of Foss Autobody Restoration in Montesano),” Swedberg said when asked why he participated in the Montesano car show. “But mainly, it’s getting the cars out and driving. I look forward to driving it out here — just driving it whenever I can.”

For others, though, car shows are an opportunity to show off a gem. Gary DeTray, of Olympia, brought his white 1978 AMC Gremlin to the show, a car he said makes him happy. He had owned two other Gremlins, which his daughter used for school. She may or may not have wrecked them on purpose said DeTray. When he found this Gremlin at a wrecking yard in Shelton, he laughed.

“It was a hippie car, painted with flames and flowers and peace signs,” DeTray said. He took the car home, ran a compression test and found the motor to be perfect. As an AMC guy, through and through, he fixed up the car and now he goes to shows to visit with people who share their AMC memories.

“People tell me their stories about how their mom owned one or when they rolled one in high school,” DeTray said. “I like to show off my rare, little car.”

Courthouse tours, live music and a swap meet were included as part of the car show activities.

Bruce Niemi, of Eccentric Peddlers in Aberdeen, had a booth at the swap meet for the third time this year.

As he sold a customer a Montesano centennial belt buckle, Niemi said the day had gone well for him.

“I have a lot of local memorabilia that people seem to like,” Niemi said.

Chuck Dalton, of Shelton, also said he had done well at the swap meet and said he sold a saddle to a car show participant who didn’t have an actual horse but a Ford Mustang.

At Kids Fest in Fleet Park, the Montesano cheer and drill teams were swamped with requests at their face painting booth at the Kids Fest. MHS senior Kyla MacMillan said there was a huge line as children waited up to 15 minutes for their turn.

“We had a kid ask for a unicorn, which we don’t do, but we tried our best,” MacMillan said. Along with face painting, the teams offered baked goods at Fleet Park and also at the swap meet. MacMillan said the teams were raising money for uniforms.

There were bounce houses, a monkey bridge, a fishing pond and balloon animals. The Montesano Fire Department set up a ladder truck and a scaled-down version of a firefighter agility course. Kids carried hoses, dragged victims, whacked wooden beams with a hammer and squirted water through a fire hose.

Michelle Pace, of Elma, said she brought her three-year-old daughter, Lilly, to Kids Fest. Lilly played on the bounce houses and got a flower painted on her cheek.

The two arrived late, Pace said, but she and her daughter were enjoying the day.

Winners from the 14th Annual Historic Montesano Car Show:

Participants’ Choice: Mikki Lawrence, Olympia, 67 Ford Econoline

People’s Choice: Chuck &Sue Erwin, Aberdeen, 56 Chevy Bel Air

Mayor’s Choice: Louis Richardson, Tenino, 53 Studebaker Commander

Police Chief’s Choice: Jerry &Carrie McColly, Salem OR, 63 Chevy II

Fire Chief’s Choice: Shawn &Mindi Madrid, Montesano, 68 Ford Mustang

Ranger’s Choice: Rich &Joye Easterly, Aberdeen, 51 Chevy 2door

Long Distance: Ron &Patti Moore, Salome AZ, 65 Nova

For additional results visit www.thevidette.com.

Historic car show brings in crowds to Montesano
Historic car show brings in crowds to Montesano
Historic car show brings in crowds to Montesano
Historic car show brings in crowds to Montesano