Look at these shiny classic cars from the Friendswood show


Obviously, we don’t think twice when we see a Texas license plate, but if that plate is on a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sports coupe with coral and shadow gray colors, for me it’s love at first sight.

For car aficionados, there were plenty of beautiful sights at the annual Friendswood Chamber of Commerce’s Car & Bike Show held at Stevenson Park on May 21.

Beautifully restored vehicles that have been given a new lease on life as treasures on the roadway were up for awards in several categories.

The love of these cars runs deep. There was David Shafer of Houston dusting his gray Corvette under one of the park’s trees, and there was a red 1971 Volkswagen bus that had a camper on the roof, a storage spot for a skateboard in the back, a Subaru engine and license plates that read “Mary Jane” — named after the song, “Sweet Mary Jane” by Mungo Jerry.

Every vehicle has a story

Some of the car owners, like Mike Wagoner, detailed on a placard how these classic cars wound up in Stevenson Park in the first place. In most instances, it was a long and difficult journey.

That beautiful Chevrolet Bel Air was a “barn find” in Missouri that was in such dilapidated shape that it had to be dragged out of its so-called secret location because the tires were rotten.

“For 20 years, I was looking for a ’55, but it had to be coral, shadow gray. It had to be coral, shadow gray from the factory,” Wagoner said. “Bob Coonrod, a famous restoration guy from Missouri, went out to this farm that a family was selling. He went out there and be bought two tractors and he bought two old trucks.

“As he was leaving, under this lean-to, connected to the barn, he saw a taillight sticking out. He told them that he’s got a friend that’s looking for a car in this color,” he said. “They had to put tires on it to get it out from this barn. The motor was no good, the transmission was no good, otherwise we would have restored it to its original condition. That’s how the process started.”

What Wagoner, who lives in Pearland, left out was that when Coonrod was just 16, he noticed the same vehicle by the same barn and wanted to buy it then. But his request to buy it was turned down, and for an estimated 20 years, there it sat until the family farm went up for sale.

Wagoner’s wife, Ruby, did a painting of what the car looked like in its original condition and the transformation to what it looked like in Missouri to what was on display in Stevenson Park is nothing short of astounding.

Also on display was a 1953 Corvette, a dazzling white one in fact with a red dashboard and red trim on the steering wheel.

It’s not hard picturing any one of these antique vehicles on display rumbling down the road in its heyday. Thanks to the chamber’s annual car show, we get to gaze at the real things up close, picturing all the knobs and gadgets performing their functions during days long gone.

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