Grand River Classic Car Show celebrates 10th year |

Grand River Classic Car Show celebrates 10th year

Dennis Bader poses with his 1929 Ford Model A, it will be one of many cars on display at the 10th annual Grand River Classic Car Show, which will be held at Cooper Avenue and Seventh Street this Saturday.
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent |

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Grand River Classic Car Show will return to downtown Glenwood Springs this Saturday, incorporating everything from retro travel trailers and motorcycles to early-1900s automobiles and a 2013 Corvette.

“We think we’ve got as good a show as there is in western Colorado,” said Dennis Bader, one of the car show’s directors. “The first year we had 16 cars, but we’ve had about 100 cars the last couple years. It’s really taken off, and people come from all over.”

The festivities begin Friday evening with a free barbecue and street dance beginning at 6 p.m. at Vicco’s Charcoalburger Drive-In in West Glenwood. Bart Victor, the restaurant’s owner, is co-director of the Grand River Classic Car Show, and the Valley Cruisers Car Club co-sponsors the event.

Saturday, registration and parking will begin around 7:30 a.m., with the show opening to the public at 9 a.m. The car show will be centered around the intersection of Seventh Street and Cooper Avenue, extending towards the Grand Avenue Bridge and up Cooper Avenue towards Eighth Street.

“We draw about 1,000 people in one day,” Bader said. “It’s a business boon for Glenwood Springs. You bring 1,000 people in that need to eat, get gas and stay somewhere. It’s also a good event for locals. It’s a boon for all of us.”

The car show features a number of divisions, ranging from Ladies’ Choice, in which only females can vote, to Participants’ Choice, in which the entrants themselves select a winner.

The overall winner is selected as the Judges’ Choice, where Bader and Victor chose their personal favorite. This division is sponsored by Gear Exchange in Glenwood Springs, and the winner will receive a brand new bicycle.

“We judge by what we like,” Bader said. “We don’t care how original it is or how much money you spent on it. It we like it, then that’s the bottom line.”

The idea for the Grand River Classic Car Show, which began as the Downtown Car Show 10 years ago, was hatched when the Downtown Business Association asked for suggestions to increase traffic to the downtown area.

Bader, who had recently purchased a 1929 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster, raised his hand and suggested the car show, at which point he was promptly put in charge of organizing the event.

“Everyone kind of pointed at me and told me to do it,” Bader said with a laugh. “So I started making phone calls.”

Now a well-established tradition, the show attracts car lovers from all over, with last year’s grand-prize winner traveling from Texas to enter his 1932 hot rod.

Bader said he intentionally leaves the definition of “classic” vague to encourage as many people as possible to enter and attend.

“My definition is, if you think it’s classic, bring the car,” Bader said. “We have a 2013 Corvette registered this year, and one year we had a car from 1911. It’s quite the range.”

The award ceremony for the Grand River Classic Car Show will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to the prizes awarded to the winners of each division, Bader said there will be door prizes given away throughout the day.

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