By Mary O’KEEFE
On Sunday hundreds of “gear heads” (car enthusiasts) shared their favorite hobby with thousands of people at the Montrose 18th Annual Car Show along Honolulu Avenue.
There were 264 classic cars that lined the 2200, 2300 and 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue providing a variety of automobiles to be admired. Each year fans walk the avenue in Montrose checking out the car of their dreams, some that were purchased in pristine condition while others needing the talents of a gear head to transform them from beaten-up relics to appearing in new, or nearly new, condition.
This year the car show saw some new entries from outside the state.
“We had two cars from Arizona and one from Nevada. We did have a new cackle car; it was a replica of ‘TV Tommy’ Ivo’s Buick dragster. It was built by Don [The Wavemaker] Prieto,” said Dave Maher, a Montrose Car Show organizer. “That was huge.”
Tommy Ivo was an actor for many years; after he retired he turned his attention to cars. He is one of the most innovative and pioneering racers in the early years of NHRA. He had a long career in drag racing, driving 36 different racecars in 12 different classes. Each year the Montrose Car Show honors the drag racing spirit by hosting a “cackle fest” when these very loud cars rev their engines to make a very loud sound that reverberates along the avenue.
The show was attended by many local car clubs including The Road Kings of Burbank, The Early Rodders of La Cañada, The Trompers of Eagle Rock and The Classic Chevys of Southern California, according to Maher. This year there were a couple of proud local Early Rodders who had their cars immortalized on the event’s poster, T-shirt and flyers.
Sandy Norris’ 1951 Ford convertible and Mark Davis’ 1972 Pontiac Trans Am were part of this year’s advertising. Maher tries each year to change what types of cars go on the posters to show the variety of vehicles that are part of the event.
“It was cool,” said Davis when he found out his car would be on the poster.
Like most who love classic cars, the purchase of their vehicle is usually inspired by a memory from their past.
“I got my [driver’s] license in 1973 and, if I had [had] the money, that is the car I would have gotten,” Davis said.
When he grew up and did have the money, that was still the car he wanted so he purchased the ’72 Trans Am and worked on it for five years to bring it back to its former glory.
For Davis and other “car guys” and gals like him, classic cars and hot rods remind people of times when things were less complicated. They also like how unique the cars are they work on and bring back to life.
“You won’t see a hundred like them out there,” he said.
If you missed the Montrose Car Show this year, there is always next year; however, there will be at least one change coming in 2020.
“I’ve been the lead person since 2011 and it’s time to turn it over to someone else,” Maher said.
Maher will be passing the baton for the organization to Tom King for the next year.
“I will always be involved with the show as an attendee with my 1941 Willys Coupe,” he promised.