Seniors show off their wheels

Brookdale Sunwest Senior Center in Hemet hosts 2nd annual car show

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
From hot rods to air cooled, they were all there on Oct. 28.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

California is known for its long-standing car culture, despite high gas prices and heavy traffic in some areas. That said, when you do get stuck in traffic, it helps to be happy with what you’re driving – new or old. On Saturday, Oct. 28, Brookdale Sunwest Senior Center on Lyon Avenue in Hemet gave its residents the chance to show off what they’re happiest to drive.
Dozens of drivers brought their classic cars out of the garage to display at Brookdale Sunwest second annual car show. The range of vehicles on display included cars and trucks dating back as many as 90 years. There were the usual muscle car entries, including Camaros and Mustangs; there was even a 1930s-era pickup truck.

The car show included entries from abroad and stateside, including an Edsel.

One unusual entry present was a 1957 Messerschmitt KR200 from Germany. Unfortunately for the Messerschmitt, it wasn’t the only German economy car present. Its mainstream competitor, Volkswagen, was present, too. And to complete the lineup of cars spanning the past century was a lavender Edsel. It’s good to see some car buffs have an appreciation for color and variety!
Many cars entered had fresh paint jobs, and one claims to have never been refreshed, but kept in prime condition from the get-go.
It wasn’t only classic cars from the 20th century that entered; a 2016 Dodge Challenger was present, driven by an actual skeleton in honor of Halloween.
According to Deanna Nevius, resident program ambassador, this show was put together out of a need to get residents up and moving.

Ford Model A, complete with rumble seat. Good thing the sun was shining today!

“We’re trying to bring back the memories for our residents, from the times when they were little,” said Nevius. “I have one resident who says she was riding in a rumble seat when she was eight years old!”
In addition to scones and coffee in the morning, those present were met with a special luncheon at 11 a.m. Also present were several senior-oriented vendors, including Beltone, which chipped in some raffle prizes.
Classic car groups such as the Hemet Valley Cruisers, the Axle Draggers and the Rolling A’s were present to unleash the smell of ozone on Brookdale Sunwest.
Nevius wanted to thank her team at Sunwest for their effort in making this show happen.
“They call us the best of the west, and they’re absolutely wonderful,” said Nevius. “A lot of us have been here since 7 o’clock this morning!”

Chevy Corvair. Hot bit goes in the back.

Out of many who entered, these entries made Brookdale Sunwest Best of Show list, as selected in conjunction with Sounds Divine DJs Brian and Priscilla Powell:

• Jim McCombs – 1929 Ford Woody
• Vicki Winkler – 1957 Ford Fairlane
• Darrel and Sharon Grangaard – 1937 Ford Club Coupe
• Jerry Uzzi – 1957 Chevy Pickup
• Mitch Gillespie – 1955 Ford Fairlane
• Tom Westley – 2016 Dodge Challenger
• John D. Bodnar – 1943 Willys
• Jim Lawler – 1969 Chevy Malibu
• Ruth Jenison – 1931 Ford Coupe
• Nick Savala – 1957 Chevy 210

Congratulations to this year’s Best of Show winners. And as these winners drive off into the sunset with their latest accolades, let us all remember what these cars symbolize…freedom to move! This especially holds true for our elders and betters, since this is their best chance to embrace it.

A ‘57 Bel Air – never restored but always adored.

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