Looking at garnering a brief moment of bragging rights during the day, the contest brought a sense of pride and satisfaction for these drivers during an annual event in Mountain Home. A collection of classic cars, souped up stock racers and modified vehicles packed into Carl Miller Park during the 11th Annual Rumble and Roar car show on Sunday.
Hosted by the local Lions Club, the event serves as its main fund raiser that has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars over the years to benefit eye-related medical research and treatment as well as scholarships and other community projects.
Among them was Dale Spotten, who spent a few extra minutes cleaning up the water spots in the bed of his refurbished 1959 Chevy Apache. The college instructor from Mountain Home Air Force Base spent the past two years restoring the classic truck after he bought it from a widow in Baker City.
Like other collectors, he was proud to point of the fleet-side, full long box body that came complete with a full, wrap-around window that was a rare feature among other trucks of the same year.
"I was born in '59, and so was this truck," Spotten said as he explained his obsession to own this particular vehicle. While the body needed some minor touch up, everything forward of the firewall needed extensive work with the 235 block engine dropped back in just this spring. But he admits it was worth the effort.
"I really enjoy it because it really turns heads," said Spotten, who appreciates the attention his classic truck receives.
Meanwhile, Raymond DeMeyer brought two of his vehicles to the show, including his 1978 Ford pickup -- the same rig he drove during his years in high school. Next to it was a '69 Camaro, which he bought in 1989.
According to DeMeyer, owning a Camaro is something he really wanted -- a trend common among other muscle car owners. It also gave a chance to restore it to its original, stock condition.
When it comes to restoring a classic, money is often no object. Mike and Nancy Hollinshead "put all kinds of money" into their 1965 Pontiac GTO, which they bought after last year's Rumble and Roar car show.
"There were a lot of problems with the engine; a lot of the money went to buy mechanical parts for it," said Hollinshead as he described the work needed to put the fire back into the 360 horsepower muscle car.
However, the rest of the car was already in nearly pristine condition which helped, he added. In fact, the all-leather interior is still in its original, like-new condition. Meanwhile, the body has all matching stock numbers from bumper to fender, meaning it's never been in an accident, he said.
Looking back, he admits the money and effort was well worth it since this particular GTO is a fairly rare commodity. It was one of only a few built that year with a dashboard air conditioning system. Most of the muscle cars built that year had a floor-mounted version instead, he said.
Among the hundreds of people attending this year's show were Caden Gossett and his father, Wayne, who stopped to check out the engine block of a 1931 Ford, which was chopped down to a racing roadster. Like others at the show, Gossett has his own classic in the garage -- a 1935 Chryster that's still a "work in progress," he said.
Cars remain a family affair for the Gossetts, who make it a point to bring their son along -- something the toddler has done since he was nine months old.
"He's been to more car shows that most adults," Gossett said.
While classic cars filled up a considerable area of the local park, a collection of motorcycles were neatly lined up along the side facing American Legion Boulevard. Among them was a customized 2004 Harley Davidson owned by Anthony and Kelly Broeg of Caldwell.
The Broeg's motorcycle caught plenty of attention, especially among college football fans. Earlier this year, they had their chopper decked out in Boise State Football colors and emblems to highlight their love of the local team.
"No one else has one like it," Broeg said. "We wanted something that no one's seen before -- something that makes people smile."
And the chopper's done more than get people to smile. Since the paint job was finished in March, the motorcycle was already been in six shows and won seven trophies, including best of show, he said.
Not every entry at Sunday's show was a true classic or vintage vehicle. Members of the Treasure Valley PT's -- a group of people united by their love of the Chrysler PT Cruisers -- showed up in force again this year. Carrying on their own tradition or sorts, the Cruiser owners turned the trunk space of their five-door hatchbacks into small showcases displaying everything from M&M candies to cartoon characters like the Tasmanian Devil. Another became a scaled-down version of a Las Vegas casino, complete with a video slot machine.
In addition to showcasing their pride of their respective vehicles, each owner hoped to walk away with one of a dozen awards presented during the day. Judges rated each vehicle based on factors like best paint and engine work to interior and exterior restoration. Meanwhile, visitors were invited to vote for their personal favorites for this year's "people's choice" award.