Classic cars rev up dollars for local youth group

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Classic cars in the colors of tropical birds filled the parking lot next to Mathers' Bar Saturday afternoon.

Souped-up hot rods and old-time beauties were the ticket for Moffat County Young Life's car show and fund-raiser.

While the event was touted as an opportunity for the Christian youth group to send youths to camp, the gathering simultaneously brought together Moffat County's car enthusiasts.

"There are some cars here that I have never seen before in Craig," said a surprised Floyd Zulian, who owns a 1956 Chevy Bel Air with his wife, Patti.

Fifty-nine classic cars owned by Moffat County residents, were entered into the contest that awarded prizes according to vehicles' condition, uniqueness and a vehicle's popularity among participants.

Having a unique ride was not difficult for Fredricksons. The family of four owns a 1927 Model-T Ford and a 1919 White truck that earns them constant attention on trips around town or along the county's roads.

"It makes you slow down and really see the beauty of the trees and people's yards," said Betty Fredrickson about traveling at the vehicles' top speed of about 23 mph. "Everybody waves at you. You can't help but smile."

Checking out cars at Saturday's show brought back a flood of memories for Craig resident, Bobby Orr who recalled his former blue 1963 Galaxy 500 Ford, purchased in the same year.

"It had a lot of muscle," he mused, referring to its 390 horsepower engine.

Joe Herod and his son Casey spent two years fixing up a 1950 Chevy pickup that earned Herod Young Life's choice award Saturday. As part of the award, the brilliant blue truck will be featured on the group's car show T-shirt next year.

The experience brought father and son closer and drained "every dime" of Casey's summer paychecks, Joe Herod said, but the pair met their goal in time for Casey to drive the truck to his high school prom.

"It took a lot of patience and dedication," Joe added.

Floyd and Patti's sparkling 1956 Chevy with the matador red and dune beige interior, looks light years away from the pictures of a rusty shell of a car the couple started with in 1995.

" I had no patience. I worked on it all the time," Floyd said, and Patti agreed.

"He would wake up at 6 a.m. and get finished after dark," she said.

Seven thousand dollars and 2 1/2 later, the car has been refurbished and reflects its original colors and personality.

A self-described "mechanical person," Floyd said he got his first car at age 13 and has enjoyed making vehicles run ever since.

"I live and breath cars," he said.

Driving to Grand Junction or an annual car show in Reno, Nev., called "Hot August Nights," is a thrilling experience for the couple, they said, especially when people wave excitedly on the highways and sometimes lean out of car windows to snap pictures.

"It brings back memories of a slower time, a more pleasant time," Patti explained about her love of the car.

The two were married in 1956 and graduated from high school the same year their car was made. Around that time, gas was 20 cents a gallon, Floyd added.

It's what under the hood that added a sparkle to Floyd's eye. As crowds peered into car windows and at car engines Saturday, Floyd couldn't resist.

"Listen to this," he said turning the car's starter.

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