For many, a motorized vehicle is a tool used solely for transportation.
For others, it is seen as a piece of art, used as a canvas to show the various permutations of someone’s creative automotive side.
And for a car enthusiast, it is a practical showpiece that can be used day to day as well.
All three categories and more were on display at The Record’s second annual Stockton Auto Show and Family Festival on Saturday at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.
There were plenty of cars, both new and classic — no one would dare call any of these pristine vehicles “used.” There were vendors, food and music, too.
But the cars really were the stars of the day. There was a restored 1922 Ford Model T, a 1964 Chevrolet Impala lowrider or a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix that Joseph Ramirez and his son, Joel, both of Stockton, had spinning — albeit slowly — on a turntable in the middle of a walkway.
The car, worth an estimated $50,000, had been lovingly and precisely painted and modified during the past 40 years. It features a custom paint job, chrome of various colors and so many minute details that it would take hours, if not longer, to spot them all.
“All of the work is original, we just dress it up and maintain it,” Joel Ramirez said.
It takes a full day to clean and prepare the car, which makes the three hours needed to set up the vehicle for display seem like nothing.
“We show the car about five times a year,” Joseph Ramirez said. That would be about five times more than the car is driven; it travels on the back of a trailer.
Which is different than Tom Oliver’s 1965 Chevrolet C10 pickup truck that he uses daily and named “The Joker.” Its name did not come from “Batman” but from Oliver’s affinity for the Oakland Raiders.
His custom welding work resulted in a skeleton, and a few other things, emerging from the hood of the matte black truck.
Inside was much more, including two skeletons in the passenger seat.
The truck surely turns heads as it rolls down the road.
“It’s a blessing to be alive and to share your craft,” Oliver said.
The 55-year-old Stockton resident could not estimate the number of hours he had worked on his daily ride.
“It’s not really work, it’s hours of love,” he said. “I could work on this and not go to work.”
Among the crowd taking it all in was Javier Torres.
The 28-year-old Stockton resident said he was saving up for one of his dream rides: a 1984 Cadillac deVille Coupe or a 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The classic cars, especially the older models, he said, were among his favorites.
It would have been difficult for anyone to have selected a favorite on Saturday, but the choices were aplenty at this car show.
Contact Editor Donald W. Blount at (209) 546-8251 or [email protected] Follow him at recordnet.com/editorblog and on Twitter @donblount.
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