Engines roared and paint jobs gleamed Saturday at the Durango Motor Expo.
The annual event allowed members of Durango’s Old Car Club to showcase their vehicles, which ranged from wildly luxurious to flat-out wacky, along Main Avenue.
“We’ve got everything from motorcycles to diesel trucks, Cobras, Model A’s, even rat rods,” said Steve Wylie, DOCC president.
The Durango Motor Expo was first sponsored by Starvin Arvin’s restaurant in 1992, Wylie said.
The show originally featured 24 cars but has grown to this year’s 193 entries, he said.
Jerry and Zelma Haga have been showing two of the entries, a pair of matching 1966 Ford Mustangs, since about 2003.
“The blue one’s his, and the red one’s mine,” Zelma Haga said.
The Bayfield couple have owned the vehicles for 10 years, and Zelma Haga has driven hers in several Fourth of July parades, she said.
Like many of the cars in the show, the Hagas his-and-hers Mustangs hint at their owners’ personalities; Jerry Haga’s is lined with Denver Broncos hats, and Zelma Haga’s is full of teddy bears.
A stroll down the three blocks of vehicles highlighted a variety of other colorful characters.
Frankenstein, an orange and black 1970 Chevy Camaro, glared across the street at a pretty white 1950 convertible Dodge Wayfarer, which featured retro black and white interior and a singing flower pot.
Kids seemed to gather around a 1981 DeLorean that replicated the classic “Back to the Future” ride and a hula-themed rat rod featuring a surfboard and tiki torches.
The hula-mobile was one member of a trio of rat rods called “the Henchmen,” with a sign inviting onlookers to touch and admire the cars freely.
The same policy was not the standard for other entries in the show, with many owners cautiously eyeing their pricey toys.
Possibly one of the priciest and certainly one of the largest was El Capitan, a colossal gray 2002 A9500 truck belonging to former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and his wife, Linda Campbell.
“Plumb crazy, that’s what my wife says it is,” said Campbell when asked what makes a person invest in such an astounding item.
Each time there’s a rainstorm, it takes three to four days just to repolish the truck, Campbell said.
A lot goes into maintaining and building the cars and motorcycles featured in the show, he said.
Spectators and fellow owners seemed to appreciate such effort, eyeing the rainbow of automobiles and chatting about engine types, custom leather interiors and hood ornaments.
Participants in the show voted for winners, while attendees voted for the people’s choice award by making $1 donations to the Mercy Health Foundation and Hospice of Mercy.
“We joined the Old Car Club years ago. There’s so many really nice cars now,” Zelma Haga said. “In a smaller group, there might be some competition, but with all of these, it’s just too hard to pick a favorite.”