By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Six-year-old Jaiden Lee, holding his father’s hand as he looked under the hood of a vintage car, smiled and said, “I like the hot rods.”
There were plenty of those to view Saturday at the seventh-annual Stillwater Car and Bike Show. Three downtown city blocks were cordoned off and lined with approximately 160 vintage automobiles, trucks and motorcycles.
“This is the biggest year we’ve ever had,” said Business Improvement District Coordinator Amy Jo Frazier.
Hundreds of people viewed the vintage cars and bikes over the two-day event. Frazier said she was pleased with the positive feedback from those who entered vehicles and spectators who viewed them.
Part of the success of the event can be attributed to the monthly bike nights held in Stillwater from April through September, Frazier said. The gatherings helped promote the car and bike show, as well as the Friday night “Cruise In” in the city.
Bob Smith, a large animal veterinarian in Stillwater, was showing his 1930 Model A Ford for the first time.
The southeast Kansas native farmed and ranched with his family growing up, but always worked on cars to supplement his income between harvest times.
“I’ve always had an interest in these older cars,” Smith said.
Smith moved to Stillwater in 1976 and bought his show car in 1982. Six years ago, he teamed up with a friend in Amarillo, Texas, to work on the car.
“We got it finished and now we haul the grandkids around in it from time to time,” Smith said.
He plans to drive the classic in the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade in downtown Stillwater this fall.
“As long as the weather is good,” Smith said. “We don’t take it out in the rain.”
Gene Kilpatrick entered his 1925 Model T Ford in the show.
“It’s a lot of fun for us,” said Kilpatrick, who traveled from Skiatook to enter the touring antique. “This is the first show this one has been in. We usually just do parades in the fall. Wherever there is a parade, that’s where you’ll find me.”
Frazier said the event attracted about 15 cash sponsors and about 25 in-kind sponsors, a record-high number of supporters of the event.
“We worked hard to get more sponsors involved this year,” she said.
Frazier said the committee will convene in the next couple of weeks to review the strengths and weaknesses of the 2013 event and begin planning for next year’s show.