King, queen pick favorites at car show
MORGAN CITY, La. — Nearly 100 cars of all shapes, sizes, colors and mechanical orientation were the subjects of admiration, gawking, bragging and even a little good-natured teasing at the Cypress Corvette Club’s festival seven-hour car show Saturday.
Scharlette Mayon, club treasurer and coordinator of the car show, said local car enthusiasts began meeting for the club’s show seven years ago on Front Street in Morgan City.
“We had it on Front Street for two years but we have been with the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival for the past five years,” Mayon said.
Mayon said Mother Nature threw a wet towel on the show with rainy weather the past couple years. Saturday’s event ended the soggy streak with no rain. The afternoon heat and humidity did not seem to faze the spirit of those in attendance as well as those who had brought their four-wheeled babies to be ogled on the playground and parking lot of M. D. Shannon Elementary School where the event was held.
Car enthusiasts, professional and amateur, were scattered across the back side of the campus, many in lawn chairs under shade trees. Many extolled the virtue and pedigree of their particular vehicle.
Joey Busbice of Morgan City pulled out the original showroom sticker for his 1996 Corvette coupe and ran his finger across the bottom showing where his 5.7L, 300 horsepower vehicle was assembled and then noted that this vehicle was one of the model testers when it came off the assembly line. He said his car can reach speeds up to 165 mph.
Dwayne Stringer of Bourg said he has owned his 1935 Chevy Master Deluxe with a 206-cubic-inch, inline-six cylinder motor for six years. The motor is cranked by pressing the accelerator all the way to the floorboard, and the doors are hinged on front and swing to the back.
“This is the only year I know of that Chevy put “suicide” doors on their vehicle,” Stringer said. The term came about because the doors had a tendency to come open in a collision and allow the passenger to be thrown outside the vehicle.
Chris Becnel of Paulina was proud of his 1996 Cobra Mustang convertible and gave a quick tutorial on the Cobras.
The 4.6L overhead cam motor was only on the Cobra, a model made from 1993 to 2004, Becnel said. His car was one of only 2,500 Cobra convertibles made in 1996 and everything on it is original, he said.
Ronnie Landry of Bayou Vista had one of the oldest vehicles at the car show, a 1923 Ford T-Bucket.
His T-Bucket is a reincarnation, or perhaps more accurately a transformation, of a Model T Ford.
“In the 1950’s people started making the cars as hot rods. They redid the motors and the interiors,” Landry explained. They would put all sorts of things in them and thus became “bucket” cars.
Similar in concept to a bucket car is a rat-rod. Mayon said a rat-rod has original parts replaced by something cannibalized from something unrelated, for instance a house door knob might replace a door handle or a beer keg might become the gas tank.
She said four is the most vehicles anybody has entered in the show. In 2012, Tommy Landry of Franklin had four entries and all of his vehicles were rat-rods. Mayon’s husband, Joe, said Butch Weber of Morgan City entered four vehicles in 2011; two were junior dragsters, one was a Corvette and the other was a 1934 Ford coupe.
“If you are a car person, you come out and show your car and you see what other people have and what they have done to their cars,” Mayon said.
Each year the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival king and queen choose the automobile they favor.
Festival King Burt Adams chose a gold 1951 Chevy pickup truck owned by Keith and Donna Dufrene of Houma as his selection. The Dufrenes said this was the fifth car show they have entered in the five months since they purchased their vehicle.
Festival Queen Paige Johnson selected a pink 1955 Ford owned by Dick MacDougall of Lafayette. He said he bought the car in Tyler, Texas, five years ago. It was set up to simulate being parked in a 1950’s drive-in movie.
Mayon said festival judges were asked to select a winner for the first time this year. She got a top selection and two other selections from the judges.
Carl Fontenot of Opelousas was the top judges’ selection with a 1955 orange and Indian Ivory Chevy two-door Belair. The other two selections were a 1958 black Chevy Impala owned by Bill Picou of Patterson and a white 1969 Camero Z-28 owned by Woody Gary of New Iberia.