MV Chamber Holds Annual Car & Motorcycle Show


The Progress

The Despain family of Henderson has been travelling to Moapa Valley for 15 years now to enter vehicles in the local Car Show. This year was no exception. Here they stand in front of seven different vehicles that family members entered into this year’s show. PHOTO BY VERNON ROBISON/The Progress.

The back lawn at the Old Logandale School experienced a blast from the past on Saturday, Oct. 16 for the 2021 Moapa Valley Car and Motorcycle Show held by the Moapa Valley Chamber of Commerce.

More than 50 classic cars of all different styles and eras were parked on the grass behind the historic building. Entries rolled into town early on Saturday morning and most stayed through the afternoon having a good time in the beautiful weather.

The cars came from all across the region including Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California. Many look forward to this show every year for its small town charm and its laid-back style.

The Despain family of Henderson, Nevada has been coming to the local show for more than 15 years now. The family has established its own car club called the Classics And Rods (CARs) of So. Nevada. Membership is mainly all in the family, with a few close friends.

This year, the club entered no less than seven different vehicles in the show. Five of these were old Chevy Novas of various years and colors. One was a purple colored Plymouth Berracuda. The other was a beautiful classic Ford pickup truck.

“We have been coming to this show as a family for a long time,” said CARs club president and older brother Joe Despain. “We always get together early in the morning and caravan here by way of the Northshore Road. It is a beautiful drive and we then we spend a great day at the show. It is a lot of fun.”

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Joe said that the love for retroing old cars runs deep in the family. His father, Kim, had taken him to get his first old car when he was a teen still in high school, Joe said.
“I wanted a Volkswagen but he wasn’t having any of that,” Joe said. “Instead we got an old Nova and went to work on it.”

Similar stories happened with his younger brothers, each of whom had entered their own beautifully restored Chevy Nova in the show.

Joe said it was a long process getting all these car restored, but in the process the family had developed a love for cars and a bond with one another.
“We used to have pieces and parts of cars strewn all over in the garage,” Joe said. “Our mom would be frustrated with us because she would come home and we would be rebuilding a carburetor at the kitchen table.”

Another Car Show attendee was Ron Wittusen of Mesquite. Ron has lived in Mesquite for a little over four years now and is a member of the Over the Hill Gang car club. He brought two cars to the show. The first was a bright red 1963 Chevy Station Wagon. The other belonged to his son Troy who lives in Beaver Dam, Arizona. It was a yellow 1955 Chevy 210.
“It is a good show and a beautiful day,” Wittusen said. “We are having a good time.”

In the back corner of the lawn, an auto parts swap meet was set up. Everything from old engines to rear view mirrors were sitting there for purchase.

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Inside the old school building were additional local vendors who were selling various wares to attendees. In the parking lot, food and drink vendors were set up to keep the crowd fed and happy.

All along the front of the building were parked several of the old “rat rods” owned by former Moapa Valley resident Dan Bailey. Bailey passed away in late 2020. He and his family were regulars at the Moapa Valley Car Show over the years. This display was put together as a tribute to Dan.

Chamber Past President and Car Show coordinator Vanette Christensen expressed gratitude to all those who had entered cars in the show after the show had been forced to take a break last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year we didn’t get to come out and play,” Christensen told the crowd at the show on Saturday afternoon. “We couldn’t have the car show because of health restrictions. We are just so grateful to have it this year again. I appreciate all of you coming out and sharing your passion for old cars. Thank you!”

At the end of the day, Christensen announced the winners. The Best in Show award in the car class went to a 1955 Chevy 210 owned by Steve Trujillo. In the motorcycle class, the Best in Show award went to a 2017 Harley Davidson Streetglide owned by Vicki Hendrix. Other winners are as follows:

1900-1939 Stock: Tom Galbreath/1932 Buick
1900-1939 Modified: Steve Undeul/1933 Ford
1940s Stock: Kent Friant/1945 Ford
1940s Modified: Nolan Leavitt / 1949 Dodge Truck
1950s-60s Stock: Peter Davidson/ 1952 MG TD
1950s-60s Modified: Richard Torres/1964 Chevy Impala
1970s-80s Stock: Steven Fouch/1979 Pontiac TransAm
1970s-80s Modified: Ron Serab/ 1970 Pontiac Formula
1990s Stock: Ed Rowland/ 1990 Ford Mustang
Under Construction: Logan Stolworthy/1981 Pontiac Firebird
Dan Bailey Memorial “Rat Rod” award: Jack Pettit/ 1939 Chevy Pickup.

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