Talk about an "embarrassment of riches" -- that certainly was the case last Saturday.
Two car shows in one day is unheard of but that improbable scenario unfolded at Big Creek Lumber Co. at Castle in the late morning and early afternooon, followed by an even bigger car show in the afternoon and evening in downtown Merced.
There were about 40 vintage vehicles in the lumber yard parking lot and it was a cozy, fun event and lots of great "early iron" to check out. There were two 1932 Ford street rods, four 1956 Chevrolets, a 1971 Mustang convertible, 1947 Ford convertible, 1951 Ford Victoria, 1947 Chevy pickup truck, late 1960s Dodge muscle car, 1940 Ford coupe and a bunch more.
There was no rush to check out the cars and the people were friendly. The small shows are the gems and well worth attending.
The downtown gig was considerably bigger and covered three city blocks. This show featured a large number of lowriders, lifted and slammed pickup trucks with lavish paint jobs, along with late 1960s pickup trucks, 1967-69 Camaros, a "rat rod" pickup and more.
My personal favorites were a 1951 Cadillac four-door sedan, a bright red 1963 Chevy Nova convertible, a 1959 Chevy station wagon in purple with flames and a lowered stance and a pristine 1951 Pontiac coupe.
Lowriders were well-represented downtown and several lowrider clubs were participating. Their entries are gorgeous, simply breathtaking. Don't underestimate the interest in "sport trucks" from the younger car enthusiasts. These are the "hot" segments in the old car hobby here and a force to be reckoned with to be sure. Music systems figure prominently in these rides. The "tunes" didn't seem to be as important many years ago.
The weather more or less cooperated for both shows, although it got cold and chilly just as the downtown show was winding up about 7 p.m. Once awards are given out, that seems to be the signal for people to clear out even if there's more time remaining for the event.
A sizable crowd of young and old was on hand for the Main Street event, largely a family affair for young and old to enjoy.
I can't remember a time when there were two car shows on the same day. The two noncompeting events made for a terrific Saturday with more than enough to feast your eyes on.
If you are aware of an upcoming car show in this area, please let me know at least several weeks in advance, so other enthusiasts can be alerted. That way we can "share the wealth" of what is a terrific hobby that's robust and healthy.
Doane Yawger is a retired Merced Sun-Star reporter and editor who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.