The Downtown Revival Car Show, sponsored by the Carson City Esther Chapter # 3 Order of the Eastern Star, brought many auto enthusiasts downtown on July 10th. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)
Saturday 24th July 2021
Summertime is when restored vintage cars of yesteryear, stored in garages for the winter, are exposed and lovingly polished from fender to fender to once again show why American teenagers who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s are one Had a passion for cars.
Many car enthusiasts in Northern Nevada collect, restore and show their precious classics at regional auto shows, which give us a glimpse into a bygone era and the days when the kids were cool and the cars were hot and the center of the universe were still for many teenagers to experience once. In contrast to today’s cookie cutter cars, each brand was unique and easy to identify at the time.
35 years ago, auto enthusiasts in northern Nevada decided to celebrate America’s love affair with cars by launching Hot August Nights in Reno to provide a glimpse into the “American Graffiti” era while raising funds for local charities and the community To stimulate tourism. This once local party now attracts over 800,000 enthusiasts to display, buy, and marvel at.
Carson City also jumped on the classic car show bandwagon by launching Silver Dollar Car Classic and drawing over 400 unique restored classic cars before ending in 2016. That year the tougher Rockabilly Riot Show also came downtown.
In 2017, Carson City’s Esther Chapter # 3 Order of the Eastern Star, led by Sharon Grecian-Hoff, gathered about 25 enthusiastic volunteers to bring back a sequel to the Silver Dollar Car Classic and rename it the Downtown Revival Car Show. A total of 89 cars were put on the show in the first year, and on July 10 that year, 352 cars of all types, years, and sizes were on display in downtown Carson City.
As with Hot August Nights, one of the primary purposes of the show is to support at least one nonprofit nonprofit in Carson City along with a veteran’s nonprofit. Club President Ruth Fitzgerald decided to donate $ 5,000 to Food for Thought and $ 5,000 to the Veterans Guest House in Reno.
The auto show is one of the many fundraisers run by the Carson City Chapter, founded in 1869 to raise money for various charities. The 100-member chapter raises over $ 30,000 annually, with $ 12,000 donated to the UNR Cancer Research Center last year and some to fund Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals in Northern California.
How has the relatively new Downtown Revival Car Show grown by 25 percent in four years? Grecian-Hoff, a car enthusiast, and her husband attend as many auto shows as possible and hand out flyers to encourage participation in the Carson City Show. They advertise in magazines, on the radio, post on Facebook, and provide word-of-mouth advertising, which has paid off as the show continues to grow, attracting over 60 posts from abroad this year. She explains that the show won’t grow beyond 450 cars.
As a juror, I could not only see the great cars, but also hear conversations between the owners and the spectators. One said, “This show is so much better than Hot August Nights – there are all kinds of cars!” Another said, “I love seeing all the cars our family once owned – I wish we had them to keep!”
Against the backdrop of the historic downtown with popular rock music that we still love today and that booms from strategically placed amplifiers along Carson Street to create the mood, proud dads and mums proudly celebrated the history of their cars. Grecian-Hoff stated that the city was very accommodating in closing the road between Robinson and Fifth to give each color and car style their own unique space. Another aim of the fair is to raise awareness of the busy city center and the shops.
Those of us who got into our teens in the 1950s and 1960s will remain teenagers at heart no matter how old we get, and we will fondly remember the more innocent times.
You are probably wondering which car I chose as Chamber’s Choice? A 1967 Mustang, of course, although the red and white 1956 Pontiac that my father once owned was also a favorite.