Surrounded by classic cars of all shapes and sizes at the George Geer Memorial Car Show on Aug. 12, Mike and Kaitlyn Youell’s 2013 Ford Mustang stood out.
Gray with an American flag adorning the top and stars and stripes decorating its side, the modern-day muscle car perfectly portrayed the overarching theme of the longtime Cortez car show that is held annually in honor of fallen soldiers.
Kicking off with a burn-off contest at Angel’s End Zone on Aug. 11 and concluding with an awards ceremony on Aug. 12, this year’s show attracted 85 entrants, which made it the largest show of all time.
Attendees hailed from states throughout the Four Corners, and according to show organizers, participants had a great time.
Kent Vanover wins burn-offWith a light haze covering the sky and roughly 200 onlookers in attendance, several vehicles, including 1960s and 1970s muscle cars that have traditionally dominated the burn-off sat outside Angel’s End Zone.
Among the contestants was burn-off veteran Jay Stroud, whose green 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle equipped with an 496 Big Block gleamed in the sun and let off a low rumble. As Stroud’s tires began spinning, smoke filled the air and members of the audience roared their approval.
When all was said and done in the burn-off contest however, a surprise champion was crowned as Kent Vanover and his 1938 Diamond T Truck managed to raise more smoke than any other entry.
Unique awards handed outChief among the awards presented at this year’s car show was the coveted Best of Show Award, which went to Gary Tollefson’s 1948 Willy’s Overland Jeepster.
Other notable awards included Mayor’s Choice Award, which went to Craig and Ellie Daniel’s 2003 Ford Thunderbird. Betsy Doolen’s 1972 Chevy Blazer won the Josh Everin Memorial 4x4 Award, while Craig O’Kelly’s 1968 Chevrolet Camaro won the Brent McClain Most Likely to Get a Ticket Award.
Jona Navarro captured the Lois Geer People’s Choice Award with his 1979 Cadillac Coup Deville. Roger Maddox’s 1970 Chevrolet El Camino was named the show’s best muscle car.
Asked about the show’s many unique awards, show organizer Sandi Valencia said that she wanted to keep things fresh and fun.
“We wanted to involve the community more,” Valencia said. “We wanted to have some fun awards so, for instance, with the Most Likely to Get a Ticket Award, I walked around with a local police officer and let him pick the winner.”
Fallen soldiers honoredThis year’s show featured several tributes to fallen soldiers, including contest namesake George Geer, who lost his life in Iraq in 2005.
Red, white, and blue colors were scattered around the show’s venues, patriotic music consistently played, and proceeds from the three day event were given to the Blue Star Moms Southwest Chapter, which honors fallen soldiers.
“The purpose of the car show is to remember George and honor him,” Valencia said. “We also want to give George’s family a weekend to remember him in a good way and honor all of our fallen soldiers.”