Visitors love friendly feel of Silver Dollar Car Classic |

Visitors love friendly feel of Silver Dollar Car Classic

Karl Horeis
A view from the inside of Dayton resident Chuck Martens' 1962 Ford Galaxie 500XL convertible, left, at the Silver Dollar Car Classic at Mills Park on Saturday afternoon. Above, Vanity license plates are sold at the entrance to Mills Park on Saturday during the annual show.

Chuck Martens showed his yellow 1962 Ford Galaxie 500XL at the Silver Dollar Car Classic for the second time this year. He restored the car in his home garage in Dayton.

“It took me about seven years to get it back on the road,” he said. “It was in a junkyard for 21 years.”

He and his wife Bambi love the annual show.

“It’s the best event in Nevada, I believe,” he said. “Just because it’s on the grass, and in the shade, and it’s a great crowd.”

The 10th annual, three-day Silver Dollar Car Classic is based at Mills Park under the towering cottonwoods. About 275 cars are being shown this year.

“We’re up from last year probably 10 percent to 25-30 vehicles,” said event coordinator Bob Davies.

Car owners came from Tennessee, British Columbia, New Hampshire and Utah, as well as all over California and Nevada.

About 40 vendors encircled the cars, selling everything from Hot Hues auto paint to miniature “chopper” motorcycles.

Brian Jaquish sat at the Concours Parts booth. The company sells classic ’50s and ’60s Ford parts. He said the hottest car in the park was probably Ken Cavallero’s black cherry ’39 Lincoln Zephyr.

“Just look at it,” he said. “It’s got a killer interior, it’s got airbags, you can lower it to the ground and I think it’s got a 460.”

One of the most popular vendors was Jerry and Linda Taylor’s little blue and white trailer, Island Ice. People were enjoying their heaping “Big Kahuna” snow cones all over the park.

“We give the public a real value for their money,” Jerry said. “Like the old days. Today people are so used to getting ripped off they get our Big Kahuna and they say, “Oh my Gosh!”

Phyllis Furlong proved his point.

“Wow!” she said as she picked up a blue raspberry and a Maui zawi – one for her, one for her grandson, Gavin.

People like the Silver Dollar Car Classic because of its friendly feel, said Candy Duncan of the Carson City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, one of the show’s major sponsors.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who say they love coming here because they feel like it’s a big family reunion.”

Jim Gracey of San Jose, Calif., agreed.

“People are so friendly here,” he said. “We came up here last year and were blown away. There are no attitudes and no issues. We don’t go up to Hot August Nights because it’s just too crazy.”

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.