Tracy Ledford, John Machado, Jim Matthew and Joe Santo live and breathe old cars, hanging out with friends in the park and raising money for their favorite charities.
As members of the Valve Burners car club of Merced, Ledford, Machado, Matthew and Santo are helping the group promote its 22nd annual show, Super Sunday at the River, on Sunday at Henderson Park off Highway 59 in Snelling.
They expect about 200 street rods, customs, classics and muscle cars made before 1972 to be displayed at the park flanking the Merced River. Last year's event featured 182 old cars and trucks.
Machado, the club's president and event chairman, said 80 vehicles already are pre-registered, some coming from Gardnerville, Nev., Bakersfield, Watsonville, San Jose and other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the San Joaquin Valley.
Matthew, an Atwater resident, past club president and the owner of a 1933 Plymouth five-window coupe, said the camaraderie of like-minded auto enthusiasts is what compels him.
Matthew said the trend of vivid, bright-colored paint jobs remains strong. His old Plymouth has a bright red paint job and Santo's 1941 Chevrolet two-door sedan has bright orange paint with purple flames.
Spectator admission is $4 with children under 12 years of age admitted free. It will cost $25 for old car owners to enter their vehicle. The show begins at 8 a.m. and lasts until midafternoon.
Ledford, a Winton resident and former club president who owns a custom 1958 Edsel four-door convertible, a 1931 Ford Model A coupe, a 1957 Dodge drag car, a vintage club dragster and other cars, said he enjoys looking at the beauty of the cars and checking out the different building styles.
Hinds Hospice is the group's major charity, and the 25-member club has raised more than $150,000 for the group over the years. A former club president, Santo is hoping this year's event yields more than $2,500 for Hinds Hospice. The group also supports Toys for Tots.
"It's fun building something out of nothing and being able to show it off," Santo said. "I like to see old friends and make new ones. The day after the event we start planning for the following year."
The Golden Valley High School FFA will be providing tri-tip and linguiça for Super Sunday guests. Thirty awards will be given out, including memorial awards honoring the late Johnny Wood and Jim Scott, along with raffle prizes.
Eight vendors will be selling performance car parts, automotive paint products, hot rod clothing, jewelry and ice cream.
Machado, who owns a jet-black 1967 Chevy pickup, said he uses his vintage vehicles to do things such as off-roading, camping and boating. He is building a 1956 camp trailer to complete the nostalgic image.
A free "pre-show" will be held Saturday night in the Lowes parking lot on West Olive Avenue.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.