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Cool cruisers in Carbondale

Jeremy Heiman
Carbondale Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The Valley Cruisers Classic Car Show moved to Main Street Carbondale last year after several years in Sopris Park. This year's event includes a poker run for participants, followed by a parade onto Main Street Friday evening in time for the First Fridays happenings, and live music Friday night and Saturday by the Strolling Scones. (Ron Robertson photo courtesy Valley Cruisers)
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CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a wave of nostalgia. When the Cruisin’ the Rockies Car Show hits downtown Carbondale this weekend, up to 100 or more classic cars and hot rods will be on hand to show their stuff.

Ron Madsen, president of the Valley Cruisers Car Club, will be there. Madsen digs Mustangs. His love for Ford’s pony car started when he was in high school, but really flowered after his kids were out of college, he said.

He has a 1970 Mustang that he’s currently restoring, and a Mach I Mustang fastback and a ’65 that are already restored. He has a ’71 that he bought recently that’s pretty well junked out and needs a lot of work. And more.



A visitor to this weekend’s car show is likely to see some old Mustangs, along with a wide variety of other vintage cars, Madsen said. Some will be restored to original condition and others wildly customized. Some are property of members of the Valley Cruisers club, which sponsors the show. Other owners will travel from all over the Western Slope to participate in the show.

“There’s a lot of ’30s-type hot rod cars and ’60s muscle cars,” Madsen said. Muscle cars, of course, are the Camaros, ‘Cudas, Firebirds, Mustangs and cars of that type that roamed the highways in the late 1960s.



“From our club alone,” Madsen continued, “we have quite a few ’50s-era pickups.” Some are restored, he said, and others are unique. There are also a few “woodies,” early station wagon-style cars with wood panels on their sides.

“They’re all hot rodded out,” he said. But other cars look as if they just drove off the showroom floor ” “bone stock,” Madsen called them.

“Last year, we had an absolutely perfect ’61 Chevy,” he said. “It was totally stock.” Viewers can expect to see some sports cars and racing cars, too, he said.

Car owners have an open invitation to enter the event if they have a cool ride they’d like people to see.

“We have a bunch of cars coming that we don’t even know about yet,” Madsen said.

The Cruisin’ the Rockies Car Show will get under way with registration of participants at 2 p.m. Friday, June 6, at Sopris Park. Registration is $30. A poker run for participants will start at 3:30, traveling upvalley through El Jebel and Basalt and ending at the Carbondale NAPA store at 1301 Dolores Way. After the poker run, a barbecue dinner will be served free of charge to all registered participants at NAPA.

At 6:30 p.m., participants will park all the cars on Main Street, spreading out for a block in each direction from Fourth Street. Cars will remain on display there for the rest of the evening.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the ’60s nostalgia band The Strolling Scones, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the public. Food and drinks will be available from vendors. In the interest of safety, bicycles, skateboards and similar conveyances will not be allowed in the area of the show.

Registration for participants who were not able to register Friday will take place throughout the morning. The show will begin at 9 a.m. The Strolling Scones will play from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., when the awards for the event will be distributed.

Plaques will be awarded for the top 30 cars. Best in show, People’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice, Valley Cruisers Ladies’ Choice and Downtown Preservation Association awards will be issued.

The last prize to be awarded to an event participant will be a big, honkin’ ZZ4 350 cubic inch V-8 engine producing 355 horsepower.

Both show participants and spectators are invited to join in silent auction to benefit local nonprofit organizations. One item on the block is a go-kart, donated by NAPA.

The Cruisin’ the Rockies Car Show in Carbondale is the main event of the year for the Valley Cruisers, Madsen said. But many of the club members have been working on their cars for years.


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