Arts and Entertainment

Car show’s Saturday in Oak Harbor

Steve Lombardo leans against the highly polished fiberglass of his 2003 ZO6 Corvette manufactured for the classic sports car’s 50th anniversary. Get a close-up look at it by attending the North Whidbey Car Show Saturday, Aug. 14.  - Jim Larsen/Whidbey News-Times
Steve Lombardo leans against the highly polished fiberglass of his 2003 ZO6 Corvette manufactured for the classic sports car’s 50th anniversary. Get a close-up look at it by attending the North Whidbey Car Show Saturday, Aug. 14.
— image credit: Jim Larsen/Whidbey News-Times

There will be a lot of love affairs going on in Windjammer Park Saturday.

Make that love between man and machine, rather than the opposite gender-type love so common in a waterfront park on a sunny August weekend.

Scores of classic cars, trucks and motorcyles, along with their doting owners, will be on display during the annual Rotary Club of Oak Harbor North Whidbey Car Show Aug. 14. Islanders and other car lovers will have all day to walk the grassy fields beneath the giant windmill and admire the amazing array of metallic love interests.

Steve Lombardo of Oak Harbor will proudly be displaying his 2003 50th Anniversary edition of the ZO6 Corvette, polished so thoroughly that it serves as a jet-black mirror from any angle. Earlier this summer in Issaquah his car placed first among 13 Corvettes in its category. He’s hoping to receive another first place trophy in Oak Harbor when awards are handed out at 4 p.m.

“Everything’s black. It looks like a Batmobile for sure,” said Lombardo. He had wanted a ZO6 for years, and last year he found what the object of his desire. He and his wife, Brittany, flew to San Jose to pick it up and drive it home.

“I always wanted a ZO6 when its body type came out in 2001,” Lombardo said. “We had a regular Corvette before and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less ... it’s made for going fast and cornering fast.”

Corvettes are a family affair for the Lombardos. Steve has his own shop and works on cars just for fun. His father-in-law, Dave Keller, will also have a Corvette in the show. His dad, “Big Steve,” had Corvettes when little Steve was young, but has since switched to Harleys. He may bring his new bike to this year’s show.

Another speedy vehicle in the car show will be a 1933 Ford owned by Stan Wingate of Oak Harbor. It’s anything but original. A prior owner converted it to a hotrod in 1959. Wingate got it in June of last year after he found it in Parumph, Nev. He’s made a few changes, but he’ll really dive into the project this winter. “I’ll completely re-do the car,” he said. “I found the original paint they put on in the ‘50s, like a bright red with gold pearl in it.”

Even though it’s not what it will be, Wingate will happily display his three-window Ford at this year’s car show. Its 324 cubic inch Oldsmobile engine with three carburetors makes it one of the speediest old Fords around. Henry Ford, no doubt, wouldn’t recognize it.

While Wingate likes his cars heavily customized, Barry Tesch likes to see cars the way they were on the showroom floor. He boasts that his 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Pace Car is exactly as it was manufactured in the year the car led the 1980 Indianapolis 500.

Tesch explained that manufacturers who win the Indy pace car honors are required to produce a limited number of identical cars for the public. In 1980, only 5,200 were made. “That’s not even one for every dealership in the U.S.,” he said. “How Don Boyer got one I don’t know.” He was referring to former Oak Harbor car dealer Don Boyer who sold the pace car to an older couple. Tesch bought it from them, entirely stock, after they’d had it for a quarter century.

“I go to four or five car shows a year and have never seen another one,” Tesch said. “It’s really unique.” Even the paint is original. “It looks perfect, it’s always been in a garage,” he said. He’s spent untold hours “detailing” the car since he bought it five years ago, but he hasn’t tampered with its originality.

Whether you like your vehicles original or customized, you’ll find lots to your liking at the 2010 Rotary Club Car Show. Chances are pretty good that you’ll fall in love with something made of metal.

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