Silver Dollar Car Classic starts off hot-rod season

Cool cars, hot nights and high-octane fun will be riding shotgun as the sixth annual Silver Dollar Car Classic zooms into Carson City beginning Friday with events and activities designed to rev up your engine.

For their owners, classic cars are magnificent obsessions that will be lovingly and stylishly operated and displayed throughout the weekend at venues around Carson City.

Unlike some car shows, the Silver Dollar Car Classic welcomes all vehicle makes and models.

"In Northern Nevada, it's traditional at this time of year to start thinking of classic cars," said Candy Duncan of the Carson City Convention & Visitors' Bureau. "This will be a wonderful event, a family event, something great to do even if you don't know a lot about cars."

The Silver Dollar's highlight, the "Show & Shine" contest, purrs along Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pony Express Pavilion. Registered vehicles, polished and proud, will put their finest wheels forward for the public and judges as they're rated in such categories as best make out or muscle car, best paint or engine, and best of show. Winners receive trophies and, most important, Silver Dollar bragging rights.

The weekend gets rolling on Friday with a registrants-only tour of a private car museum from 2 to 5 p.m. at 3075 College Drive, near Western Nevada Community College. The public can view this exhibit on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $5 per person or $10 for a family with no one under 12 admitted.

Things heat up at 6 p.m. on Friday (and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday) with burnouts at the Silver State Raceway - contestants rotate their wet wheels at high speeds, trying to create the mightiest smoke clouds.

An informal show and shine and a free street dance featuring the sounds of Back in Time will put the weekend into high gear on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Carson Nugget parking lot.

Car lovers - like the objects of their affection - need fuel, so the Carson City Kiwanis will run a pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. at the Pony Express Pavilion, also the site of live music and a crafts fair.

Classic autos salute their cousins on the silver screen at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Silver State Raceway with a drive-in movie showing of "Thunder Road," the "epitome of car films, according to car buffs," Duncan noted.

And since fine cars and Lady Luck just seem to go together, the Silver Dollar Car Classic poker run will take place Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Hands are $5 each, and players must be dealt in at the Pony Express Pavilion by 10 a.m. Players receive maps that direct them to locations where they draw a card. Best hand wins the pot.

The weekend powers down from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the pavilion with a steak barbecue and the show and shine awards ceremony.

Duncan said she expects the Silver Dollar Car Classic to draw about 300 cars and 10,000 people from across the West, many of whom will pour money into Carson City coffers.

"The revenue is seen many places," she said. "Lodging, people eating in our restaurants, having fun in the casinos, buying gas, going shopping - all the wonderful things tourism does for Carson City."

Duncan explained that the Silver Dollar Car Classic is timed to motor up right before Reno's Hot August Nights classic car extravaganza.

She said many attendees consider the Silver Dollar a "cozy warmup" to Hot August Nights. Others, she explained, come to Carson City to enjoy classic automobiles without the traffic and large crowds of the Reno event.

Duncan said after-cost proceeds from the Silver Dollar Car Classic will be donated to the Carson Advocates for Cancer Victims.

For information or to register a vehicle, call the Carson City Convention & Visitors' Bureau at (775) 687-7410 or visit

If you go

What: Silver Dollar Car Classic

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Carson City


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