1963 Ford Fairlane, Best of Show.

Who can deny that electric vehicles, with two and four wheels, are the future? Quiet, no exhaust fumes, simplicity itself. Just the engine, no transmission, no oil or coolant check, nothing really to “tune”, just plug it in overnight and it’s all ready to go in the morning. So we listen.

But here’s the deal. Some of us like a vehicle that makes some noise and generates the smell of fuel turning into horsepower. Some of us like to check the oil and make sure the coolant level is sufficient. And then there’s the tuning ritual for the internal combustion engine devotee.

Unplugging, removing the spark plugs, yes, there will be a bumped joint or two, opening the plugs, installing them, one or two of which will be a real bear and, for really old horseless carriages , replacement and placement of points and capacitor. Then comes the big moment.

Key in the ignition, gas pedal to the floor to set the throttle, key in the ignition, gently turn the key … and the engine jumps to life. Fixed! Take it for a short spin, and oh yeah, this baby is running better, much better.

Now, if you’re not a biker, most of the above is probably meaningless to you, but still, even non-bikers can appreciate a good old car. Both types have a prime opportunity this Friday and next Saturday to “ooh” and “ahh” at some of Detroit’s finest at the annual Gunnison Car Show.

“For 34 years the Gunnison Car Club has had many leaders, members, events and successes,” said Gunnison Car Club President Zak Trafton. “The sustaining factor has been an incredibly supportive community that consistently calls out for the annual Gunnison Car Show, a passion project each year for the club members who put it on.”

A passion project touching on passionate engines for “three deuces (two-barrel carburetors) and a four-speed and a 389,” for example. But the show plays a higher role for our community as well.

“Over the years I’ve been a member of the club, we’ve raised more than $100,000 for various Gunnison Valley nonprofits,” said club member Gary Shondeck.

This year’s list of funding recipients includes the American Legion, which will use its portion to install an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathroom at the Legion Park meeting hall to complement the Legion’s entrance ramp. recently completed ADA compliant.

Another nonprofit on the grant list includes the Wonderland Nature School located at 1498 W. Tomichi Ave., near the Gunnison River and Lazy K Nature Path. Wonderland’s mission is to provide “bilingual learning environments that serve the diverse needs of children from 3 months to 13 years of age” and “to provide age-appropriate early learning opportunities that cultivate meaningful inquiry, curiosity eagerness and lifelong learning”.

Other recipients include Gunnison Country Food Pantry, Coldharbour Institute, Pioneer Museum and Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League.

“The whole purpose of the Gunnison Car Club and the Gunnison Car Show is to give back to the community,” Trafton said. “Each year the show proceeds donations go to local and very deserving nonprofits that make Gunnison a better place to live. Love for our community is our main motivation and what keeps us going to the monthly meetings and social gatherings where we plan for next year’s show.”

Club members expect to see 250 or more participants for Saturday’s show. About 70% of participants will travel to Gunnison to share their love of their vehicles with valley residents and tourists. This year’s show is open to cars of any vintage, from new to 100 years old. If you love your car, you’re welcome to come in, Shondeck said.

Prior to Friday’s show from 5-9 p.m., the City of Gunnison will close the first three blocks of Main Street to traffic. More than 100 vehicles will be on display and a disc jockey will spin tunes from the 50s and 60s. Road jumps anyone?

There’s more. On Saturday, car show attendees can drive across the highway to the high-octane art show at Legion Park.

(Paul Wayne Foreman can be reached at [email protected].)

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