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Some vintage vehicles stand out in a ‘crowd’ of 400 at museum’s show

A 1941 Chevrolet 4-door sedan during the Super Saturday Castle Air Museum Car Show in Atwater on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
A 1941 Chevrolet 4-door sedan during the Super Saturday Castle Air Museum Car Show in Atwater on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. dyawger@mercedsunstar.com

With more than 400 vintage vehicles vying for your attention, it seemed at first like they all were blending together and nothing particularly stood out.

At last Saturday’s “Super Saturday Castle Air Museum Car Show,” sensory overload could easily have set in if there weren’t some outstanding cars or trucks that provided “stop in your tracks” moments.

Maybe it’s the car itself or its color combination, but several dozen cars grabbed my attention at once and wouldn’t let go. They are easily on the top of my personal hit parade.

Bang! A 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner convertible in a powder blue provided one of those moments. Cruising in that old finned Ford would have to be fun, and you’d certainly be the center of attention in traffic.

Another attention-grabber was a red 1961 Ford Thunderbird with a white top. Red was a popular color at the Castle event, and a 1956 Buick Century two-door hardtop with wire wheels and big whitewall tires pegged the nostalgia meter.

One of the best cars nestled under the old military planes was a 1951 Ford Victoria two-door hardtop. Coated in a pewter gray on the roof and cranberry red on the body, that 1951 was a stunner.

Right next to it was an orange-and-white 1951 Ford convertible with a luxurious caramel-color interior and modern modular motor. While modified, it kept its characteristic styling elements, including two front bumper bezels reminiscent of the propeller-driven engines on some of those military aircraft.

Other prizewinners to my thinking included two early 1950s Cadillac Coupe De Ville two-door hardtops, again stock on the inside, with their trademark tailfins, extra-large chrome bumpers and prominent hood ornaments.

Another Cadillac caught my fancy: a 1955 Coupe De Ville with a white top and green color scheme, along with wide whitewall tires and wire wheels. That would be the epitome of luxury, with a dab of sportiness thrown in.

A 1972 Chevrolet Blazer truck had an electric blue color that was impossible to miss, with a white top. Next door was a 1972 K-5 Blazer convertible pickup in a traditional factory mustardlike color. Fun with a functional twist.

Speaking of trucks, a 1950 Ford pickup was painted bright red with large whitewall tires, red rims and small chrome hubcaps. It had a detailed flathead V-8 engine with three small chrome-topped air cleaners.

A 1935 Ford two-door flatback sedan had all the street rod touches with a ribbed roof and a lustrous brandywine paint job. A 1941 Ford pickup had an eye-catching candy apple-red paint job with subtle ghost flames.

Looking like it just escaped from the Chevrolet showroom floor, a 1959 Corvette roadster was resplendent in a burgundy color with white side covers, also complemented by whitewall tires.

Bright colors draw the looks, and that was the case for an orange 1958 Chevy Cameo pickup. A bit more subtle but still captivating was a 1956 Chevrolet two-door hardtop in white and sky-blue colors, as factory original as you could get.

Seeing a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 two-door hardtop in green and white took me back to the day when I first saw one of those Fords and thought how avante-garde its styling was.

Variety is the spice of life at car shows and there were a few gems for the sports car lovers, too. Likely the most notable was a slate-blue 1954 Jaguar XK 120 roadster with its swooping fenders and eye-catching grille.

Another sporty-type vehicle that endeared itself to me was a mid-1950s Nash Metropolitan, a red-and-white single-seater that would have to produce some open-air fun for its occupants.

Slightly off the beaten path was a 1954 Ford station wagon in blue with white trim, still hosting its original overhead valve V-8 engine. A 1950 Ford woody had the requisite surfboard and begged for a trip to the beach.

One of the most unusual vehicles had to be a 1952 Plymouth business coupe in a purple. Only a single-seater, that Plymouth was earmarked for the traveling salesman, with an extra-large trunk to hold his wares.

There was plenty to see at the Castle show and it was all good. While I might have had some favorites, any one of those cars would be welcomed in my driveway.

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