Rainstorms once again missed Saturday’s Challis Classy Chassis car show although clouds threatened as they often do this time of year.
What would happen if it ever hailed? Some car owners said they’d try to outrun the storm. Others said they might bring a large tarp or find a local garage or carport to protect their autos.
The big crowd of spectators — maybe the biggest crowed ever — strolled around the grassy park for the annual event. There were plenty of local vendors, car club Secretary-Treasurer Connie Sugden said. Vendors included North Custer volunteer firefighters, who sold ice cream cones and floats to raise money for the new Challis fire station; Legionnaires from the Philip Kirk Post No. 109 in Challis who offered breakfast and sold burgers and dogs for lunch; and Challis Lodge, which sold dollar beers.
Jukebox Charlie, also known as Chuck Felton, kept the crowd jazzed up with classic American tunes, mostly from the 20th century. By Sugden’s count, this was Jukebox Charlie’s 12th or 13th year as disc jockey at the event.
“He’s almost a member of the club,” she said. This marked the 15th year for the show, Sugden said.
Two Chucks — Chuck Thompson Sr., a nonagenarian from Twin Falls, and his son, Chuck Thompson Jr. — won best of show with the orange 1949 Plymouth coupe they co-own. The Thompsons have won in the past and this year they displayed two of their fleet of vintage cars. It’s a fun event they hate to miss, Chuck Jr. said.
Kids can vote for their favorite for the kid’s choice award. This year it went to a 1963 Dodge bus converted into a camper, owned by Adrian Stevens of Challis.
A new award was given to a car picked by members of the Challis Classy Chassis car club. Leta Hanson of Carey won with her orange and white 1969 Dodge Daytona that sported a large spoiler on the back.
Another new award was a spur-of-the moment, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime, kind of thing, Sugden said. Car club members gave a belt buckle to Monte Hutchinson of Salmon for the most unique vehicle at the show, a hulking 1957 GMC crew cab 4x6 truck.
Registered car show participants can vote for their top 10 favorite cars. This year’s winners were: Challis resident Nyle Thornock’s turquoise 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible, which has carried generations of Challis High School homecoming royalty and Independence Day parade marshals down Main Street; Buhl resident Curt Belveal’s 1968 Pontiac Firebird; Arco resident Jamie Hjelm’s 1929 Ford Model A Woody; Bellevue resident John Kreczkowski’s 2017 Chevy Corvette. Other winners, all owned by Challis-area residents include Kent Watson’s 1967 Chevy Chevelle, Judi Leuzinger’s 1937 Ford coupe, Mike McGowan’s 1932 Ford five-window coupe, Charlie Harvie’s 1959 Chevy, and Jack Anderson’s 1957 Ford F-100 pickup, nicknamed Cobra.
Finally, Loren and Kay Gillespie of Kimberly were recognized for driving the farthest to the Challis show, in their 1967 Chevelle.
The event is not a competitive car show, but is fun, fit for the relatively slow lane of Custer County, Sugden said. The sponsoring group has 17 members who organize the show as a labor of love, she said. It has the added benefit of boosting the local economy.