19 June 2005

Back off Man, I'm a Scientist.

Best in Show (if you ask me) - 1957 Olds Super 88 Convertible.

Over 10,000 cars, how do you choose just one? Or 81 for that matter, as that's how many 1600 x 1200 24-bit pictures I can hold on all my compact flash cards combined.

It's the 3rd or 4th day of impossibly perfect summer weather here on the Tundra, and there could be no better way to spend it than by throwing $10 at the MSRA to walk the fairgrounds and ogle other peoples vehicular treasures, so long as they were screwed together by 1964. It's quite the buffet of iron. It's my understanding that this is the second largest (by car count) street rod/classic car show in the world; second only to Pomona.

It's literally impossible to see everything. The cars park where they can, they're always coming and going, and you need a double major in math and logic to walk every street with minimum redundancy, which is key for such a large area. Ultimately, it's OK to not glance upon every single one, because after a while, you realize you got your fix, and it's time to retreat.

The annual car show is two-fold for me: There is the semi-systematic traipsing of the grounds with camera and plenty of water, and there is the cruise. On the Saturday night of the event, I'll mount up the trusty steed, and become part of the problem, which is borderline gridlock on University and Snelling Avenues. As far as crowd control, the St. Paul Police teetered between letting boys be boys, and clamping down a la Chinese governmental hardliners. About 11:30, they actually blocked off University both ways between Snelling and Prior, and most everyone went scattering. That's too bad, because your average 50-plus guy in his 1960 Desoto Adventurer is not causing any trouble. It's the dipshit in the Something-To-Prove Neon who's ruining it for all us adults. Ultimately, you had to disperse the traffic here and there. I'd sure hate to be in the proverbial ambulance trying to get to the ER in that mess.

Believe it or not, I have judged legitimate car shows, and I know a thing or two about the medically measurable excitement the right car can inflict on the right person. I know what I'm doing in flinging out my choice, and today, it came down to 4 cars: A black and white '55 Chevy warmed up with a Corvette LS1, a 2-tone '62 Coupe Deville Convertible with genuine art under the hood, a bone-stock red and white '55 Mercury Montclair Coupe, and the Olds 88 pictured above. For no other reasons than the Wow Factor, and the fact I could not stop looking at it, the cinnamon ragtop wins my dubious award for 2005. See ya next summer, boys.

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