Westlake Classic Car Show a Success
Organizers of the Westlake Classic Car Show were correct when predicting the fifth anniversary event would be a special one with a record-breaking turn out. From Tyler to Weatherford, and Sherman to Alvarado, participants from 49 towns and cities on Saturday brought 108 classic cars to the parking lot at Larry North Fitness at Solana. About 750 people came out to the show including members of 24 regional classic car clubs. Last year the show held 87 classic cars with about 500 in attendance.
The event, benefitting the Westlake Historical Preservation Society, showcases original (or restored to near original) classic automobiles, trucks and pickups from 1900 to 1959, “the Golden Era of the automobile,” when style and color was the dominant design feature. Automobiles at this show are not grouped per class, but rather in year order, allowing attendees to see the how car styles changed throughout history.
“Many would refer to the 1909 to 1959 automobiles as ‘works of art, kinetic art or rolling sculptures,’” said Bert Schultz, organizer of the event, who says newer model autos just don’t measure up. “Cars today are like a used bar of soap … they all look the same.”
Awards at the Westlake Classic Car Show are given in 18 classes plus Best of Show, People’s Choice, Sponsor’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice and new this year, an award for Student’s Choice, which Schultz said was designed to introduce the younger generation to the history and beauty of the classic car culture and hobby.
A group of Westlake Academy students, mentored by Jeffery Jagusch of Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, learned about the judging process and evaluated five cars chosen by the Hagerty group, who was one of the show’s sponsors.
Jagusch explained to the students the differences between newer cars and what makes older ones so rare, pointed out what is or isn’t original about the cars, and showed them how to look for other details, including flaws, so they can tally the scorecard.
“Even with their dings, they still look incredible,” said Keller resident Michael Grover, 11th grader at Westlake Academy. “It’s amazing to see how old some of these cars are and how they have lasted through the years.”
Michael is not new to fixing up older cars. He said was introduced to the car scene through his dad, who is helping him learn to restore a “beat up” Mustang.
Logan Douglass, a 22-year-old Fort Worth resident who does paint and body work on the classics, said the industry needs more young people involved.
“I feel appreciative that my grandpa exposed me to this as a young child,” Douglass said. “It’s a dying art.”
Lewisville resident T. Jay Richmond, 34, was also exposed at an early age and works with this father at the family-owned Richmond’s Classic Cars in Southlake.
“This hobby does not come cheap, not just financially, but a lot of emotion, labor, and effort go into maintaining and keeping the car,” Richmond said.
Richmond said it takes effort to get kids involved. “If their parents are not going to bring their kids (to car shows), they are not going to be impressed. It needs to be a family thing,” he said. “The hobby and art is still alive and out there. People just need to get involved.”
1) Jeffery Jagusch of Hagerty Classic Car Insurance explains to Westlake Academy students what to look for when judging a classic car. (L-R) Jeffery Jagusch, Michael Grover, Audrey McQuietor, Liana Escue
2) 1929 Packard Model 640 7 Passenger Touring wins both Best of Show and People’s Choice
3) Westlake Classic Car Show in the parking lot at Larry North Fitness at Solana