AUTOMOTIVE ART THROUGH THE 20th CENTURY

Since the early 1900s, when people began buying cars as a reliable alternative to horse-drawn wagons, the automobile has become celebrated in art, literature, film and music. Classic automotive design can be found in car museums and car shows the world over. At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, pristine Duesenbergs, Bugatti Royales and Ferraris vie for attention with Hispano-Suizas, Alfa Romeos and Mercedes-Benz. At the Smithsonian Museum of American History, a shiny 1913 Model T Ford sits on display, as if it had just rolled off the assembly line. At the Corvette Museum in Cooperstown, New York, visitors can view vintage Corvettes as the top 10 pop hits from each model year play in the background.  

Continuing the tradition of showcasing automotive art, the Port Costa Car Show and BBQ will be held on Sunday, July 17, 2005. The public event is a fund-raiser sponsored by the Port Costa Conservation Society for the restoration of the 1911 Port Costa School building. The show, which takes place on the school ground, is open to all makes, models and years. The first show two years ago featured a range of cars representing every decade from 1910 to 2000.

Delicious barbecue tri-tip sandwiches, hot dogs, home made chili, and ice cold beverages will be for sale. A shade tent will be set up on Blueberry Hill, adjacent to the baseball field. Best of Show trophies will be awarded by participant and spectator vote. As a special treat, talented young dancers from Steps Studio in Rodeo will demonstrate the art of twirling the Hula Hoop. A raffle will be held at $1 a ticket for a variety of fine prizes. Winners need not be present to win. Limited vendor spaces are available, retro-style merchandise preferred.

Seventy-two cars have signed up for the Port Costa show, our maximum capacity.  A large section of the ball field is set aside for public parking. Among the entrants this year will be a 1965 230SL Mercedes-Benz from Martinez, a primer-red 1940 Ford Coupe "traditional 50's" hot rod from Napa, a 1956 Chevy "Nostalgia Custom" Bel Air from Walnut Creek, and a mirror-finish black 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 nicknamed "Bodacious" from Rodeo. 

FOR A SAMPLE OF THE 2005 SHOW CARS SEE BELOW

CLICK HERE FOR RAFFLE PRIZES

1948 REVISITED

Stuart Ryce of Martinez rolled up his sleeves and got to work when he bought this 1948 Chrysler Traveler back in March, 2000. "It had layers and layers of dirt, the paint was scratched and shabby, and the rear bumper was all rusty," he says. Stuart made all the mechanical repairs himself, and a new paint job of Catalina Tan and Rossini Brown made the car shine once again,. "It has a few technical flaws, but our focus is to use it and display it. We show it for the enjoyment of it."

 

ART OF COMPROMISE

Jeff Gruhn of Concord said he needed a pickup for his antiques business in Napa, but his wife, Pam, said she preferred a roadster convertible because she liked to feel the wind blowing through her hair. Jeff compromised by sawing the top off this1940 Ford Roadster Pickup. He did most of the work himself, including the turqoise paint job. "It took me about eight years to finish it," he says. "It was just like in the Johnny Cash song, one piece at a time."

 

ARTISTIC LICENSE

Dave and Sandy Silveira of Napa found this 1934 Ford Pickup for sale in Morgan Hill. "We were looking for a street rod for a long time," said Dave. "Before the garage door was even all the way up, my wife said ‘We’ll take it!’" The bright yellow pickup has a 350 Chevy engine, ‘69 Corvette rear end, new upholstery, refinished truck bed, large yellow fuzzy dice and a license plate inspired by the Tweety Bird art on the tailgate: TWY IT 2.

 

THE CAR THAT MADE RALPH NADER FAMOUS

In 1965 Ralph Nader made headlines across the nation with his book, "Unsafe at Any Speed" which stated that General Motors’ Corvair model was unstable and prone to rollover accidents. "Nader made his tests on really early models," says Rick Norton of Clyde, shown here with his eighth Corvair, a 1966 Chevy Corvair Corsa. Rick found his car on the Internet. The engine is a 164 cubic-inch "Suitcase Six," originally designed as an aircraft engine. The car has a Jaguar XKE rear end and a high-performance fully independent four-wheel suspension system. "It’s unbelievably fast," says Rick. "My grandfather had one just like it. It’s the same car I learned to drive in." Rick and his wife, Mora, are the proprietors of the Bull Valley Restaurant in Port Costa.

 

RARE ‘BIRD INDEED

For Jim and Yvonne Nierhake of Martinez, this handsome 1962 Thunderbird has been part of the family since shortly after it rolled off the Ford assembly line. Yvonne’s dad bought it brand new, one of only 1,427 made that year ($6,100 at Cortese Ford in Richmond). Still in original condition, the classic ‘Bird will be on display at the Port Costa Car Show & BBQ on July 17

 

THE WAY IT WAS

It’s on its third engine and the clutch has been replaced a couple of times, but this classy 1928 Ford two-door sedan looks exactly as it did when Richard Payne drove it home to Concord from a swap meet in Pleasanton 35 years ago. Richard keeps his car as original as possible, right down to the Arabian Sand-and-black Ford color scheme and chrome quail ornament on the radiator cap. "A lot of my friends in high school had Model A’s, but most of them turned theirs cars into street rods. I wanted to keep mine the way it was," said Richard. He is shown here in front of Port Costa’s Warehouse Cafe with his neighbor’s dog, Mitzi, who occasionally goes along for the ride.

 

TRIUMPH OVER ADVERSITY

Port Costa architect Bob Garbarino bought this British 1949 Triumph 1800 Roadster at an L.A. auction in the late 70's. "It was just off the boat, and it was a wreck," he says. "Somebody had rammed a forklift into the trunk." Bob spent about three years restoring the car and went on to win a string of awards, including the Honorary Judges’ Award at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance. Bob’s work is not done, though – in his garage, four Simcas and a Lotus Elite await his attention.

 

READY TO ROLL

"I saw it on the Internet," said Roy Chiurco of Napa of his 1928 Ford 2-door sedan. "I bought it in Clearfield, Nevada. The gentleman had done a ground-up restoration on it. I just added chrome." The seafoam-green color mix replicates a popular shade on 1950's-era Chevy trucks. The car sports a Chevy V-6 engine and two 15-gallon gas tanks. Roy says he plans to install a chrome radiator shell, "and my wife, Roxy, wants an Oogah horn."

 

ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’

Mike DeCamp of Vallejo bought this 1951 Mercury ten years ago at a Good Guys car show. Sporting a lustrous black cherry and pearl paint job, the car still has the original automatic transmission and Ford Flathead motor (later rebuilt). "I put the twin spots on it and had all new upholstery installed, including the trunk," says Mike. When he takes it on the road, a CD player spins numbers from Mike’s collection of 50's classics, from Chuck Berry to Buddy Holly. Photos of Mike’ car have appeared in Hot Rod magazine twice.

 

COVER MODEL

Ron and Nancy Delucchi of Rodeo bought their 1915 Model T Ford Roadster pickup at a swap meet in Pleasanton. Upgrades include a rebuild of the original engine, new upholstery, new top, a Warford transmission with three lower gears ("so you can climb the mightiest of hills") and Rocky Mountain brakes. The truck bed is polished oak. Ron and Nancy’s gleaming Model T has been featured twice on the cover of Vintage Ford magazine.

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Steve Zucker of El Sobrante acquired this 1951 GMC pickup about 10 years ago. "My son saw it sitting in a field up in Redding," he said. "He did most of the work over three and a half years. It’s a complete off-frame restoration – at one time it was in a million pieces. About the only thing still 1951 is the body, everything else has been updated." The pickup now has four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, and a 350 Chevy engine built up to a 406.

 

BACK TO LIFE

Dennis Irish of Vallejo bought this 1957 Chevy 4-door hardtop in 1992 and turned it into a 5-year restoration project. "It was stored in a garage for 20 years and was in pretty bad shape, so I wanted to do what I could to bring her back to life," he said. "I bought it because it’s just like my Dad’s ‘57 four-door hardtop that I learned to drive in." Dennis says the color, cyclamen, is a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am color. "My wife picked the color and the upholstery scheme. We drive it all over. The car would be a daily driver if I had time to drive it."

 

CUSTOM WAGON

When Bill and Barbara Nunn of Oakley bought this 1955 Chevy Nomad in 1982, it was far from the head-turning beauty it is today. "We bought it in a whole bunch of pieces," said Bill. "We restored it in 1996, a total reconstruction. When we finished it the car was basically new." Chevrolet produced the ‘55 Nomad in limited edition as a "custom station wagon," the most expensive car Chevrolet made at the time. It features power steering, power windows, power seats, a tilt-steering column, digital instrumentation and new air conditioning.

 

BODACIOUS BEAUTY

Ken and Lisa Alvarado are the proud owners of "Bodacious," their award-winning 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400. "It’s a head-turner," says Lisa, who commutes to work with Ken from Sacramento to Rodeo, where they are the proprietors of K&L Automotive on Parker Avenue. They will be showing their pristine black-on-black Firebird at the Port Costa Car Show & BBQ on Sunday, July 17 at the Port Costa School (background).

 

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Armand Annereau, proprietor of Annereau Auto Upholstery Inc. in Walnut Creek, restored this immaculate 1956 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop "Nostalgia Custom" back in 1989 for his 30-year Pleasant Hill High School class reunion. "I did everything but the paint," said Armand. "I replaced the whole interior and a whole bunch of chrome. I added two spotlights for extra ornamentation. It was something we did back then."

 

FINISHING TOUCH

Aaron Greene of Port Costa applies a final sanding to the hood of his 1970 MG Midget. When he got it from his dad’s uncle Gary in Reno a couple of years ago, it didn’t run, but it came with five or six boxes of parts. Since then, every system in the car has been repaired or replaced. The car has a Datsun 1400cc engine with dual Webber carburetors and is due for an MG Engine Red paint job soon. Aaron says it will be ready for the Port Costa Car Show & BBQ.

 

JUST LIKE NEW

Tim Bulfer, here with his wife Judy in front of their home in Rodeo, bought this 1960 Chevy Impala Bubbletop in 1988 from a woman who had bought it brand new in Bakersfield. "She had to move to Oregon and didn’t want it to rust," he said. The car, with a 4-barrel carburetor and 2-speed Power-Glide transmission, is unrestored, its original Sunburst Orange paint job, upholstery and spare tire looking like new. "I try to keep it as authentic as possible," he says.

 

PRIMED AND READY TO GO

"It’s just like the one I had in high school," says Dick Haynes of his 1940 Ford Coupe, shown here in red primer at his home in Napa. "My wife gave it to me as a special gift three and a half years ago.  My son did 95 percent of the work.  He spent over a year on it working nights and weekends.  He is totally skilled in mechanical and body work."  The car has a ‘48 Merc engine 3/4 race, louvered hood, new tuck and roll upholstery, moon disc hubcaps, new grill and headlight rims. Dick says the final paint job will be black with red pinstriping.

 

NUMEROUS SWELL RAFFLE PRIZES

(as seen below)

$1.00 DONATION PER TICKET

NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN

Using hammers, welding equipment and skills he learned working five years as an ironworker, Brian Staggs of Port Costa put together this sunflower made of sheet metal and ball bearings. Brian has donated the giant sunflower garden sculpture as a raffle prize.

Black shirt with flames and logo (detail shown) donated by Crockett Carquinez Fire Department.

$100 gift certificate for exciting Whitewater Voyages rafting trip. Donated by Monica Greene.

Small pot with lid, by Robert Osif, El Sobrante. Donated by Epperson Gallery, Crockett.

Two nights and dinner at Dunsmuir’s Railroad Park Resort, located just north of Redding, a leisurely 4-hour drive. Dine in a boxcar, sleep in a caboose. A destination point for the adventure-minded. Donated by Dee and Lewis Stewart.

Signed copy of "Happenings in the Circus of Life" by Clayton Bailey. Documented picture shows proof of signing. Photo by Clayton Bailey.

Handmade Folk Art quilt (detail shown), donated by Theresa Jurik

Scale Model Ford Woody with Matching Surfboard and Woody Pen. Donated by Dee Stewart.

Free 1-year family membership and map guides to East Bay Regional Park District’s scenic trails and recreation sites. Donated by EBRPD.

No wardrobe is complete without this stylish retro design Carhop T-Shirt. Modeled by Phoebe List of Port Costa. Donated by the Port Costa Conservation Society.

Two matching sets (to be raffled separately) Crafsman brand cordless drill/driver and trim saw. Donated by Nick Arnold.

Pair of tickets to Oakland A’s - Anaheim Angels game on Wednesday, August 10. Donated by RGM and Associates, Concord.

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