Hundreds of people flocked to Oak Harbor’s Windjammer Park Saturday to pick out the car of their dreams.
And there were plenty to choose from.
Rows of perfectly polished cars gleamed under partly sunny skies as the North Whidbey Lions hosted their 30th annual car show.
A total of 201 cars in a dizzying array of makes and models participated in this year’s show.
Many of the cars also had extra items to draw attention, from giant stuffed animals to information signs to a life-sized ghoul in one driver’s seat.
Jack Bittner drove his perfect 1959 Ford Galaxie/Skyliner from Bellingham to participate in the show along with Nellie, a doll who drives a Ford Galaxie of her own.
“That’s mini-me,” he said.
He explained that the Murray toy company’s pedal firetrucks from the 1950s were actually based on a Ford Galaxie, so he painted one to match his car. Nellie and her car road in the backseat from Bellingham and got a lot of funny looks from passersby, Bittner said.
He explained that his wife, Sandie (Weible) Bittner, is from Oak Harbor originally so it’s convenient to participate in the show, but he appreciates it on its own merits.
“This is such a good show,” he said. “I absolutely love the way the public interacts with the cars.”
In contrast to most of the cars, Chuck and Suzy King of Coupeville’s entry was more about fun than polish. In fact, Chuck said he uses transmission fluid to shine up their 1949 International truck, which has both peeling paint and rust spots.
The gas tank is actually a beer keg — decorated with a deer skull and antlers — attached to the flatbed. A pool cue is both an ornament and a gas gauge; Chuck said he simply sticks it in the keg to determine how much fuel is left.
“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s a kick. We don’t have to worry about spit-shining it.”
Suzy agreed, adding that the truck gets a lot of attention from neighbors.
“It’s a neat little toy,” she said.
The Kings’ International won the coveted Editor’s Choice award.
Chadd Davis, this year’s chairman of the show, said the event was a lot of work for all the Lions involved, but it was another big success. The car show is the group’s major fundraiser for the year. He said he is hoping to double the support of all the fundraisers this year and possibly add another fundraiser.
He said organizing the show was a lot of work and he’s grateful to all the fellow Lions who worked so hard to make it happen.
A 1932 Graham owned by Steve and Karla Howard of Mount Vernon won Best in Show for the second year in a row. Davis said they felt a little bit bad about winning for two years, but he said their beautiful car definitely deserved it.
The only real hitch to the event, he said, was that he lost a piece of paper that had the People’s Choice award on it, but it surfaced Monday night. The winner was a 1995 GMC Sierra, owned by Walter Jon Williams.
Other first-place winners are as follows:
Stock Cars 1953 and older: Roy Dumbar’s 1929 Pierce Arrow
Stock Cars 1954-1963: Larry Zappone’s 1956 DeSoto Pace Car Convertible
Stock Cars 1964-1975: Bill Hamburg’s 1966 Chevy Corvette
Stock Cars 1976-1990: Mike Brownrigg’s 1979 Chevy El-Camino
Stock Cars 1991-Present: Julie Loveng’s 1999 Pontiac Firehawk
Altered Cars 1959 and older: Fred and April Takashima’s 1954 Chevy Corvette
Altered Cars 1960-1975: Harry & Thomas Gipson’s 1968 AMC AMX
Altered Cars 1976-Present: Timothy Collett’s 2010 Chevy Camaro SS/RR Tribute
Custom all years: Steve & Karla Howard’s 1932 Graham
Street Rods all years: Mel Rogers’ 1941 Willys Coupe
Muscle all years: Dwight Tesch’s 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner
Import 1970 and older: Rudy Parhaniemi’s 1960 Jaguar XK 150 FHC
Import 1971-1990: Larry Duckert’s 1974 MG13 Convertible
Import 1991-Present: Derek Llewellyn’s 2009 Nissan 3702 (Z34)
Classic Import all years: Noel Brown’s 1948 Morris Series Z Van
Stock Trucks all years: Bob Johnson’s 1972 Chevy El Camino SS
Altered Trucks all years: Aaron Case’s 1954 Ford F-100
4×4 Trucks all years: Mark Caryl’s 1957 Dodge Town/Power Wagon
Low Riders: Alex Menacho’s 1950 Chevy Styline
Specialty all years: Bob & Jackie Burden’s 1920 Dodge Bros. Depot Hack
Motorcycles: Joel Ishler’s 2014 Custom Café Racer
Chairman’s Choice: Victor & Kerry Martinez’s 2008 Chevy Corvette 206 Coupe
Commander’s Choice: Larry Zappone’s 1956 DeSoto Pace Car Convertible
Mayor’s Choice: Roy Dumbar’s 1929 Pierce Arrow