Cochise County Car Show: Cars in the Park at Sierra Vista

Cochise County: October 8, 2016, Sierra Vista, Arizona. I’d have missed the Cars in the Park show entirely if our 2002 GMC pickup truck hadn’t suddenly required a new fuel pump two days ago. With the 1996 GMC already in the shop (think new rear axles) for the day, I was heading into town with the backup pickup when the engine just nastily…died. Twenty or so phone calls, an interesting tow truck ride, and a couple of rides from a friend later, I had working wheels again–and a copy of the flyer for the Cars in the Park Show, snagged from the front desk at Petit’s Auto Care.

The flyer for Cars in the Park.

The flyer for Cars in the Park.

Hmm…wife out of town, a need to mail a package at the Post Office that same day so I’d be in the area one way or the other. Major photo op, obviously. The only downside? I didn’t get there in time to take notes on all of the 350 entries, so most of the vehicles shown in the photos below are not identified in any way, just thrown out there for your viewing pleasure. I did manage to take 158 pictures and also stopped to chat briefly with a few car owners–and plunk down ten bucks for a raffle ticket, the prize being a 1951 Chevrolet pickup with a 350 cubic inch V-8 engine.

Trust me; that truck did not come with that engine. In fact, a huge percentage of the classic vehicles on display sported upgrades of one sort or another. And no, I did not win the truck; that went to somebody named Joe from Tucson. Yay, Joe!

The 1951 Chevy pickup with after market 350 cubic inch V-8 engine, raffled off by Tucson's Fraternal Order of Police and won by Joe, also of Tucson.

The 1951 Chevy pickup with after market 350 cubic inch V-8 engine, raffled off by Tucson’s Fraternal Order of Police and won by Joe, also of Tucson.

The sheer number of vehicles entered was impressive, especially considering that nearly all of them came from Tucson (in Pima County) and various towns in Cochise County. We apparently have a whole bunch of car buffs in southeastern Arizona.

With that, let’s get to the pictures…lots of pictures.

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1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air (above) reminded me: My first wife had one of those–a four door hardtop in two tone green. She’d purchased it when she graduated from high school. I was in the U.S. Army at the time, no working wheels to my name, so it became our sole transportation for some time after we got married in June of 1965.

Eventually, we traded it in on a new 1966 Chevy pickup…for a whopping total of $65 (sixty-five dollars). Which was about all it was worth at the time.

Below is a picture of the Chevy’s dashboard. Our ’56 (back in the day) was a screamin’ demon of a road machine, though it was pretty well worn to a frazzle the time we traded it in. We pushed it pretty hard en route to rodeos that wouldn’t wait for late cowboys.

Interior, 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

Interior, 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

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I would have snagged the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon (below) in a heartbeat, but the owner didn’t show any sign of wanting to part with it. Can’t blame him.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon.

A later model Chevy Corvair.

A later model Chevy Corvair.

A year or two out of high school, a friend of mine once owned an earlier version model of the Chevrolet Corvair. Believe his was a 1962. Quite a machine, the biggest problem being the fan belt which ran in rather serpentine, convoluted fashion and was ever and always flinging itself loose.

PT Cruiser.

PT Cruiser.

Chevy panel van, "under construction."

Chevy panel van, “under construction.”

This Chevy panel van (above) had a dash placard indicating it was entered in the “under construction” class. I’d say that got that right.

1057 Chevy Bel Air two door hardtop.

1957 Chevy Bel Air two door hardtop.

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1956 Ford.  I've always thought those lines were some of the most beautiful ever designed.

1956 Ford. I’ve always thought those lines were some of the most beautiful ever designed.

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Hm…the photos thus far posted on this page are likely enough to make it slow loading in some browsers, yet I’ve combed through less than a third of the pictures I took at Cars in the Park. Might be a good idea to stop here, then…for a while. If this page gets enough looks and a few comments over time, maybe the remainder could be worked into Cars in the Park, Parts II and III.

One last image: Another view of the outstanding 1950 Mercury shown in the header photo. There was certainly no other car in the show with lines like that, and wow, what a paint job.

1950 Mercury, extremely (and beautifully, in my opinion) customized.

1950 Mercury, extremely (and beautifully, in my opinion) customized.