A Salida favorite, the 30th Annual Angel of Shavano Car Show cruises into downtown at 8:00 a.m. this coming Saturday, August 6 at Riverside Park. It’s a scenic delight for a great cause; a fundraiser for Chaffee County Search and Rescue South (SARS).
Approximately 100 hot rods, street rods, muscle, and classic cars from across Colorado will be lined up in formation, both inside the park and on the adjoining streets.
Recall the thrills of your youth and the golden age of American manufacturing prowess with gleaming chrome, hand-waxed finishes, and the throaty roar of genuine muscle power.
While these cars are the envy of collectors, they are hardly museum pieces. Their owners will tell you — they are fun to drive and a treasured part of family lore and legacy.
Owners spend the winters restoring them, scouring junkyards and swap meets for parts that haven’t been made in decades, pouring hundreds of hours (and thousands of dollars) into the restorations.
Former Salidan Corky Maestas, now of Parker, Colorado has restored a large number of classics. He’s bringing a 1967 Ford Bronco back to his hometown this year. “I’ve spent over $40,000 just restoring this one car”, said Maestas. In case you think that investing that much into a 55-year old car that had a sticker price of $2,633 is crazy, consider this. Classic car insurance agent Hagerty say that a ’67 Bronco in excellent to “Concours” condition is valued from $80,000 to $105,000.
Yet, it’s not about the money (though many beleaguered partners and spouses might wince at this). It’s truly a “labor of love”. A famous watchmaker’s ad says “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” The same holds true for many favored family members when a classic car passes to them. These jewels will never be made the same way again, in either materials or workmanship; they’re a snapshot in time.
This annual community event helps supplement the all-volunteer Search and Rescue team with necessary vehicles, technical and swift water gear, ATV’s, medical equipment drones, and continuing education. The team not only provides support to Chaffee County but other surrounding counties as well.
Search and Rescue teams are all volunteer, 24/7, 365 days a year. Whether it’s winter or summer, these dedicated team members have varied backgrounds and skills. The team consists of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pilots, financial advisers, computer and marketing personnel, and more.
The Angel of Shavano car show is unique compared to other car shows. Every participant receives a trophy. Special awards are also presented for the “SHAVANO 7” in which the top 7 entrees receive an exclusive trophy, award and well-deserved bragging rights.
The show runs until 3:00 p.m., with the Awards Presentation at 2:00 p.m. Those in the know arrive early, while it’s cool and shady to make the rounds and narrow down their favorites. It’s also the best time to talk with the owners and learn the history of their cars. It’s the most rewarding part of the day – joining the classic car community, even for just awhile.
And while Salida is clearly a dog-and-bike-friendly town, please remember our good-neighbor guidelines for Riverside Park, especially during crowded events. Please park (or walk) your bikes and if you must bring Ruff(y), keep him/her leashed at all times. While the owners and their prized vehicles are approachable, a scratch or pet “accident” is not a trivial matter.
Editor note: AVV is grateful for the photos and contributions to this article from “Rema” of Chaffee County Search and Rescue South (SARS). Like many SARS volunteers, Rema (who wears many hats) is a member of the medical community as well as sharing a passion for classic cars.
Featured image: A stylish ensemble arriving for the 2021 Angel of Shavano Car Show on West Sackett. Merrell Bergin photo