ATASCADERO — The 29th Annual Atascadero Lake Car Show went off without a hitch on Saturday, Aug. 18.
No hitch, although one displayed vehicle got the aid of some creative coasting out the back gate as their reverse gear refused to operate.
In all, nothing the Mid-State Cruizers club, a reformed muscle car group hosting the event since 1989, couldn’t handle. With room for a little under 200 vehicles and about 175 registered, about a third of those participating got an award of some kind for the event.
Club president Larry Wilson, a member for the last 15 years and president for the last three, said there were 32 cities represented among the entries.
Those gathered, club members and visitors alike, also came to the center stage where awards were handed out to wish former Cruizers club president Duane Powell a Happy Birthday.
The visitors’ log at the Charles Paddock Zoo adjoining the park showed about as many zip codes and officials with the City said the event is usually a boon for attendance — doubtless one of the only places and times in the world where visitors can find a vintage Ford Thunderbird and a live Flamingo in the same park.
A warm day, a periodic breeze kept the crowd at tolerable temperatures in the shade, a perk, former club president Dave Evers said, of the unique location.
“It wouldn’t be very fun today if we were in the middle of a parking lot,” he added.
Coalinga resident George Lopez, introducing himself by saying, “not that George Lopez,” took home the President’s Choice Award for his blue and white 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which Wilson said he liked because it was the one in the series he hadn’t managed to own one of at some point.
Lopez agreed with the location being one of the annual events most worth the trip.
“It’s one of the more fun destinations,” he said. “I don’t really care about the prizes, it's just a great social event.”
Aside from the officer’s picks, all awards were voted on by attendees, with four autoshop students from Atascadero High helping collect votes for the “Kids Choice” award.