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April 20, 2014

Gawkers and gearheads gather for car show on Main Street

DUNCAN — A fairly accurate timeline of the internal combustion engine was represented at the 7th Annual Cruisin’ the Chisolm Trail car show this weekend in dowtown Duncan.

 Naturally, every car has a story behind it, which is what makes car show what they are.

 Deral Knight, a former Duncan resident now living in Rockport, Texas,  brought the 1959 Chevy Corvette he bought for his wife Carolyn 41 years ago. The vehicle, sleep black, has been completely refurbished and drew lingering attention from the gawkers and gearheads who strolled Main Street on Saturday and during the Friday night cruise.

 The ‘vette caught the eye of show coordinator Melvin Jones, too. He said it was his favorite of the 240 vehicles entered into the show, which raises money for the nonprofit Main Street Duncan organization.

 The vehicles owners spent thousands on the cars -- sometimes just for the paint jobs -- so the rule of the day was look but don’t touch.

  Rocky White wasn’t worried about it. He brought his 1960s era VW bug to the show, where it was entered into the “rat rod” category.

  The body sat in a junkyard 20 years before he rescued it and got it running again. Its finish could be described as post modern rust, but there was no doubt that it had soul.

  “It’s always a work in progress,” said White, a member of the Asphalt Junkies car club in Lawton. “If somebody comes up and scratches it -- no big deal.”

  Beth and Larry Howard of Velma brought two 1956 DeSotos to the show.

  Todd Day, a volunteer judge from Oklahoma City, marveled at the cars.

 “You don’t see many of these. That’s somebody who’s taken care of them and loved them a long time.”

   The story behind the DeSotos dates back many years, when Beth said she told her dad she wanted a “ ‘56 something” because that was the year she was born.

  He bought her a 1956 DeSoto shortly before he passed away.

 Judges, walking around with clipboards,  examined everything.

  Duncan Mayor Gene Brown, who knows a thing or two about cars himself, was trying to come up with a winner for the Mayor’s Trophy and found that it was no easy task.    

  The car show, he said, is good for Duncan.

  “It brings people out.”

The conviviality of the day is a big draw for the car owners.

   Randy and Janet Shirley brough their turquoise and white VW bus to show off. They bought the bus five years ago when it had a “For Sale” on it while parked in the weeds in front of restaurant in Blanchard.

   It took years to restore.

  “People like to see it. It’s different,” he said.

He didn’t expect to win a trophy, but it  wasn’t that important to him.

  “We’re here for talking to the people,” he said.

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