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Winners Revved Up
The Favorite Rides Riverbank Car Show drew about 100 entries to the downtown area Saturday morning on a day of almost perfect temperatures, said organizer Scott Pettit.

The People's Choice winners chosen by vote of entrants and spectators were: 1st place - John Conway of Ceres with his 1956 Ford panel truck; 2nd place - Carlos Romero of Stockton with a 1936 Chevy standard sedan; 3rd place - Ray Lacondeguy of Stockton with a 1936 Studebaker President.

Car lover C.J. Nowicki was wiping down his gleaming '55 Chevy with a yellow duster at Saturday's car show as he discussed his obsession with classic cars.

"It takes you back. It's nostalgia. It reminds you of your high school days and the idiot things you used to do in high school. I had a Chevy much like this when I was in high school. I sold it for $350 in 1967 or '68. Now I hear it would be worth about $32,000."

Carlos Romero of Stockton, who took second place honors with his '36 Chevy, had a different approach. He got the vehicle with a rusty, unpainted body and had kept it that way with the addition of barbed wire to the grille, in the rear windows and across the engine compartment.

"It's street legal. I drive it in Stockton" he said. "It gets up to about 75 mph before it starts to shake. The only cop that showed interest simply smiled, gave me the thumbs up and drove away."

Romero has owned it for a couple of years now and put about 700 to 800 miles on the engine.

Earl Thiel of Riverbank was displaying a 1944 Ford Jeep lovingly restored as an Army vehicle complete with all kinds of equipment such as military helmets and a rifle scabbard beside the driver.

"I'm a history buff, especially military history," he said." I found it in Yuba City. This is the first time I've brought it to a show. It's completely authentic."

Mike Wright from Salida was showing his '98 Harley Davidson motorcycle, the soft tail version. It has an old style look and a special shock under the saddle to give a soft ride. He also owns a '78 Shovelhead.

"One ride, one time was all it took, when I was 16," he said of becoming obsessed with motorcycles.

The annual Favorite Rides event was sponsored by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce, Riverbank Pizza Plus, Riverbank Sno White Drive-In and Karate For Kids.

The band was Johnny Rocket and the Thrust; a prize for the hula hoop contest was provided by Sno White Drive-In; and a prize for the '50s Costume Contest was provided courtesy of Pizza Plus.

Pettit thanked all volunteers, car owners, vendors, sponsors and attendees for helping make the event a success. The goal was to collect food and toys for the Riverbank Cares Committee to distribute to families in need at Christmas and they achieved that through the challenge to "Fill The 'Vette" - a 1961 Corvette that was parked in the plaza.