It goes without saying that the owners of the more than 100 classic cars at the Dairy Queen Show and Shine on Aug. 16 are serious about their love for vintage vehicles.
How serious? Consider the sign in the window of a 1941 pearl-white Ford Business Coupe: "Please don't touch. The last person seen touching it was Jimmy Hoffa."
Touching aside, the car owners who packed the Dairy Queen parking lot off South Pierce Street between West Ken Caryl and West Chatfield avenues were eager to talk about their cars and proud to show them off.
"It's a lot of fun," said Karen Holbrook. She and her husband, Gary, brought their bright orange 1928 Ford Model A, complete with a hard top and whitewall tires. "People drive up and honk, or they wave and tell us they love the car," Karen Holbrook said. In a recent encounter, a woman became very excited about the vehicle at a red light. "Gary almost picked up a new girlfriend," Karen said with a laugh.
Gary said they've owned the car for only a month.
"We've been into motorcycles for years, and we decided to get into something else," he said. It doesn't hurt that Gary was a Ford mechanic for more than 30 years and knows his way around the car's engine.
The Holbrooks, from Littleton, said that being into cars is the "American way" but acknowledged they're into anything that has wheels and an engine: They've owned street rods, Jeeps, a stock Ford Model A, four-wheelers and motorcycles.
Del Befus of South Jeffco is one of the organizers of the show. He said it's a community event that everyone can enjoy.
This was the second year for the show in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen, and it grew from a group of people who gathered in the parking lot on Sunday nights with their classic cars. Befus eventually was recruited to organize formal shows, and the Dairy Queen Show and Shine was born in the summer of 2008.
Revenue from the raffle tickets sold this year ($1,500 in prizes was given away) went to the Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit group that raises money for more than 170 children's hospitals nationwide. The Dairy Queen also donated a portion of its profits on Sunday to the same cause.
For Befus, the event is an excuse to get together with friends and meet new people who share his lifelong passion for cars. Befus has been into hotrods and other classic cars since he was a teenager, and back then he "did as much with cars as (his) dad's pocketbook would allow." Six years ago he bought his gorgeous Viper red 1923 Ford T-Bucket, a car that caught a lot of looks Aug. 16.
Befus said that people of all ages love old cars and car shows.
"The older folks are at a point in their lives where they have more expendable money," Befus said. "But you are seeing younger folks that will get involved. That's good, because they are the future."
That point wasn't lost on Kevin Roberts, who brought his 7-year-old daughter, Skyler, from Highlands Ranch.
"All my kids are into it, but they seem to get more into it as they get older," Roberts said. He said he's taken his kids to more than 50 car shows, and he believes his lifelong passion for cars is being passed on to them.
Young Skyler said her favorite cars at the show were the Ford Shelby Mustangs.
For Roberts, it's all about the past.
"This brings me back to high school," said Roberts, a 1984 graduate of Columbine High School. "Back then, you used to see a lot more of these," he said, pointing to the vehicles. "It was just a great time."