Nearly 100 cars and trucks from more than 80 vehicle classes will take over the Oro Valley Marketplace Saturday for the Oro Valley Classics Car & Truck Show. There will also be live rock and blues music from Rhythm Incorporated, Vintage Sugar and Thick As Thieves, as well as kids’ activities.
In addition to the vehicular eye candy, there will be vittles for sale such as kettle corn, barbecue, quesadillas, lemonade and shave ice.
The event is a fundraiser for arts education in schools and therapeutic arts programs for veterans, and goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The primped vehicles will compete for awards including best of show, best interior, best paint, best engine and people’s choice. Local artist John Benedict created the trophies by fusing metal pieces together to create industrial sculptures.
Nick Nichols, 68, plans to show his purple 1923 Ford roadster pickup. His wife, Connie, derisively nicknamed the car “the purple coffin,” but to Nichols, it pulses with life. He said the Oro Valley show is one of his favorites.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “They have good blues music and rock ’n’ rolll, good barbecue, and a lot of people show up with really nice cars. It’s a really impressive and beautiful location.”
Bob Bradshaw, who lives in northwest Tucson, has put 15 years worth of work into his red 1936 Ford coupe. A lifelong hot rod enthusiast, he said he had to put the hobby on hold in order “to raise a family and get ’em all married off.”
“What it provides for me is a hobby and the opportunity to get out and meet people,” he said.
Bradhsaw, 65, moved here from the Chicago area last year. He attended last year’s show as a spectator because he had yet to ship his car here, and is excited to show it off.
“I like to watch the reaction of people who come up to the car and look at it,” he said. “There are two categories. Older people who come up and say, ‘I learned to drive in a car like that,’ or ‘I used to have a car exactly like that.’ The younger group doesn’t remember anything like that, but it has unique features. Things they don’t have now, like a rear window that rolls down or a windshield that opens up.”
Avondale resident Edward Gonzales, who owns a yellow and silver 1932 Ford highboy coupe, is making the trek to Oro Valley with two other Phoenix-area friends.
“I kind of like the setting,” said Gonzales, 63. “It’s a nice background, being close to mountains rather than a blacktop parking lot. It’s some place a little different.”
Older cars boast a special charm for those willing to appreciate their intricacies, Gonzales said.
“They’re just a lot of fun,” he said. “I don’t listen to the radio. I listen to the engine and the exhaust of the car. I watch other cars travel, and it’s a lot of fun to see the scenery and mountains in Arizona through the windows of a hot rod. I just take it all in.”