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Classic Car Show Is Auto Enthusiasts Paradise
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Sixty-five-year-old Modesto resident Bob Head understands his fellow man.

The co-chair of the Classic Car Show at the 21st Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival knows what a treat the gleaming rows of 90 dazzling automobiles can be on the eager eyes of any bloke.

It’s a sight that has altered the expression of countless men over the years.

“The Car Show gives the males more to do at the Chocolate Festival, it really does,” Head said. “You will see the guys with this kind of familiar look on their face until they see the cars, and then they kind of brighten up.

“It’s just something that holds some of the guy’s interest.”

It’s an understandable reaction, and it’s slated to go down from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 as onlookers get a chance to browse a veritable stockyard or classic wonders.

Among the variety of exciting spectacles for festival-goers, the Classic Car Show is truly a man’s paradise. But the show is open to all, and organizers said the rows of classics draw everyone, men, women and children. Car owners often set up shop near their vehicle, with lawn chairs and snacks, ready to visit and share any and all information about their classic.

“We find that predominately the main audience is the males,” Head admitted of the show, but added that the chrome and shine does attract a lot of attention in the midst of all that chocolate.

The eye-catching lineup will host an expected 90 vehicles in 27 different classes on each day of the weekend festival, with some owners likely to display their classic on both days. The stunning lot will receive close scrutiny from event judges before all 27 classes receive an award for their top show on each day. The top exhibitions from both Saturday and Sunday (typically decided by a local dignitary) will receive trophies as selections for the John Sacket Memorial Award.

“What we usually do is get some notable person from the area to tell us which one he or she would most want to put in their garage,” Head said. “They pick one they like the best, and then that becomes the winner of the John Sacket Memorial Award.”

Head and his co-chair Walt Ogden of Oakdale are responsible for coordinating the hoard of vehicles to occupy space in between G and H streets on Yosemite Avenue. The event takes a considerable amount of synchronization between the city, the Chamber of Commerce and vehicle owners/drivers. The event is eventually categorized onto an extensive spreadsheet designed to best display the vehicles with their classes.

It’s no easy task.

The cars and trucks range from specifics in their manufacturer (Chevy, Ford, etc.) to categories like ‘Muscle Car,’ foreign vehicles and special interest rides.

“It takes a lot of coordination,” Head said. “It’s a great program; it is a passion that me and my co-chair Walt share.

“We have loved classic cars our whole lives and we enjoy doing it because it is something we love.”

Participants pay $30 a day to display their car. The proceeds from the event go toward reimbursing the Chamber of Commerce and also toward a donation for the American Cancer Society.