Families and friends visited East Main Street June 29 to view and admire the multitude of diverse cars at the Mountain Mania Car Show powered by the Buena Vista Event Cooperative.
While checking out Fords, Chevys, Chryslers and then some, visitors bought raffle tickets for door prizes, cooled down with some bottled water and bobbed their heads to the Blue Rooster beats.
Fifteen lucky participants in the show walked away with trophies for their vehicles.
Among the roughly 109 cars present was a red 1966 Ford Mustang convertible owned by resident Greg Fisher.
In the process of moving to Buena Vista from Lincoln, Neb., Fisher brought one of his Mustangs of 20 years to his first time at the Mountain Mania Car Show.
“When I was a kid in high school, I lived near a Ford dealership and I got a job cleaning these up when they were brand new,” Fisher said. “I always liked the cars. They’re simple, like a modern-day Model T, easy to work on.”
Silverthorne resident Robert Fredrickson returned for his fourth Mountain Mania Car Show with his custom Volkswagen camper van. The van had won Most Unique and People’s Choice awards in the past, and this year it earned another Most Unique award.
As an Eagle Scout with a love for camping, Fredrickson bought the vehicle when he was 16.
“After a while, I got tired of bending over to get dressed and stuff like that in the morning,” he said. “I actually was sitting on top of Half Dome in Yosemite (National Park) when I thought about putting that Bug on top.”
The Volkswagen Beetle roof was added 47 years ago. The car later fell into disrepair until 10 years ago when Fredrickson completely restored it. Now, he and his wife spend a lot of time traveling in it.
“In fact, we were just up at Rocky Mountain National Park at the visitor’s center when they opened Trail Ridge Road,” he added. “There were more people taking pictures of this (car) than they were of the scenery. People love it. They have a fun time, and I don’t mind them getting inside of it and stuff. We still take it camping all the time.”
The People’s Choice award went to Max Champie, who not only won a trophy but also will have his orange ’69 Chevy Camaro SS featured on next year’s Mountain Mania Car Show T-shirt.
The award for Grand Champion went to Pueblo residents Marty and Irene Valdez and their 1934 Plymouth Sedan.
“I’ve had it for over 50 years,” Marty said. “We started on it about 25 years ago and finished it 20 years ago.” The couple has driven it all across the country since then.
For the excited Valdezes, receiving the Grand Champion award was “amazing. We won two or three (awards) the last time we were here. I figured we’re not going to get picked again this year. That really came as a surprise to us,” Marty said.
Another award for Lifetime Achievement was also dedicated to Carl Sulkey who used to build hotrods, choppers and jeeps before retiring. As Carl was hospitalized at the time, the award was accepted by his son Dave.
“This is great. My dad’s going to be so stoked. He loves winning things. I was visiting with him in the hospital yesterday, and he goes, ‘Bring me home a trophy,’” Dave said.
After the car show concluded, BVEC member Tom Rollings commented that the event went wonderfully.
“We had some vehicles we’ve never seen before, a whole lot of friendly people with great stories and we got to dance to some great music. It’s awesome. What was really cool, though, was that we had families, moms, babies, teenagers, people older than me. We had all kinds of different folks with different lifestyles. It was really nice. I couldn’t be happier,” he stated.
This will be the BVEC’s last year hosting the Mountain Mania Car Show. The event will be passed along to a different organization to be announced later.