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Favorite Rides Winners Tapped
Winners of the Favorite Rides Car Show at Wednesday's (June 24) Farmers Market all got People's Choice Awards and were selected by the judges based on the six vehicles "that the judges would love to have in their garages."

The winning vehicles and owners were a 1969 Chevy El Camino owned by Doug and Debbie Mote, 1977 Chevy Corvette owned by Steve and Carmelita Kosko, 1938 Chevy Coupe owned by Larry and Elaine Holt, 1955 Chevy 210 owned by Bill Jones, 1931 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup owned by Larry Tocby and 1913 Ford Model T Speedster owned by Scott Pettit.

The fourth annual event of its kind drew about 130 entries and featured vehicles manufactured in England, Germany and Sweden besides the United States, according to Scott Pettit of the Riverbank Black Belt Academy, who organized the event.

Almost double the number that turned up last year, they spilled across the lawn of the Community Center Park on both sides of the building.

There are car shows going on everywhere at this time of year. This was an exceptional one, fans said. People seem to nurture a deep love of vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Independent of the size of their pocketbook, they will haul their particular favorite auto many miles to sit in the hot sun and swap tall stories about them - and the memories the cars bring back for them.

Leaning against his '37 Chevy sedan, that's just what Carlos Torres of Riverbank was talking about when a browser walked over to reminisce about owning a similar vehicle many years ago.

"This is my fancy car. We do everything in it including going to church. My wife has a Nissan. But this is my fancy weekend car. It can carry lawn chairs, a table, an ice chest, three kids and the wife," said Torres, who also owns a 1956 Chevy pick up.

The Chevy was standing near a '69 Ford Bronco. The owner Tome Robertson, a retired Baptist preacher in Waterford, has owned seven to eight Broncos.

"He was a gear head in high school," said a friend. "Always out with the guys taking on all the hot rods, be used to carry rolls of floor covering in them for his job. Best vinyl man in the south."

"He puts all his old cars in my backyard. That's all it is. All cars," commented his wife Vesta Robertson.

Pettit's 1913 Ford was one of the first to drive onto the lawn from its luncheon trip to a Knights Ferry restaurant and stationed at the heart of the event. Delightful for its angular lines, oil lamps and sit up and beg steering wheel and hand brake, it was flanked by a 1957 Morgan which also belongs to Pettit and another British sports car, a 1962 Austin Healey.

Pettit, by the way, apologized for winning a People's Choice plaque with his 1913 Ford, commenting he did not realize he was on the judges' list until it was too late to back out.

One vehicle that stood out at the meet was a 2008 Tatum Sand Car. With huge front forks, high clearance and exhausts like those of a jet plane, it's strictly an off-road vehicle that's not allowed on the highway. Custom built for Rich Swanson of Oakdale, this is an overblown dune buggy, a toy for a man who's done his time on old Chevys and beaten-up motorbikes.

"Once the kids had left and I could change the locks I was able to get something for myself." he said. "My wife loves it and drives it. We go down to the Glamais area near the Mexican-Arizona border. Then we change the tires and tackle the desert."