Rootin’ tootin’ good time

By Ryn Gargulinski: Quay County Sun

When longtime Tucumcari resident Elmer Schuster thinks of Route 66, he thinks of cars. In fact, he said he’d expect most people to think of cars — and he was glad to see 62 of them driving in the car show he chaired for the Rotary Club during the weekend’s Best Little Festival on Route 66.
The car show was just one of the events at the annual festival, which drew in an average of 200 people per day over its three-day run, according to Quay County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Virginia Wright.
“The workers from the Glen Rail Visitor’s Center were helping us,” Wright said, “and they had 600 people sign their guest book.
“Overall attendance was down slightly, probably due to gas prices and that kind of thing, but we still had a really, really great crowd,” Wright said.
Festivities kicked off Thursday evening with bluegrass music and a watermelon feed in the park. Friday saw a dinner party, complete with the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band the Fireballs. A car cruise and junior rodeo closed out the night to get people geared up for Saturday’s five-mile fun run/walk to raise money for Five Mile Park. Wright said organizers raked in nearly $500 at the charity event.
Saturday’s Wang Dang Doodle parade attracted a long line of marchers snaked from the Kmart parking lot to the convention center.
“It was not as big as before,” Wright said of the parade, “but we had an outstanding jeep caravan. It was a wonderful parade, open to everyone.”
Another rodeo closed out the festivities on Saturday but not before the hundreds of people could take advantage of the many vendors, kids’ activities or monster bus ride or monster truck crash.
But Schuster, who has been chairman of the Rotary’s car show for all five years the festival has been in existence, was focused on the cars.
“When I moved up here in 1961, we lived right on (Route) 66,” Schuster said. “The traffic and variety of cars that come down that road is amazing. It’s a historical route and people want to drive down it in historical cars.”
Although this year’s show included plenty of cars of all eras, Schuster said he prefers the modern ones. His favorite car moment?
“It was when I was doing 155 mph in a new Corvette,” Schuster said.
And when was that?
“Last April,” he said.

Winners in the Rotary Club’s car show

Best of show
Brad Goldberry, 1939 Chevy

Best engine
Dave Shine, 1979 Corvette

Best paint
Sherry Lucero, 1968 Camaro

People’s choice
Bill and June Brown, 1955 Hudson Hornet

Long distance
Bill and June Brown, Henderson, Nev. (1955 Hudson Hornet)

Antiques to 1949
Arthur Barnard, Chevy pick up
Classic 1959 to 1957
Bill and June Brown, 1955 Hudson Hornet

Classic 1958 to 1964
Alice Martinez, 1958 Ford

Sports cars to 1980
Dave Shine, 1977 Corvette

Sports cars 1981 to 1990
Jason Duba, Monte Carlo SS

Sports cars 1991 and up
Eric Shine, 1995 Corvette

4×4 trucks
Victor Pacheco, 1974 Ford

Muscle cars to 1967
Bob Jensen, GTO

Muscle cars 1968 and up
Dave Shine, Corvette

Street rods
Brad Goldsberry, 1939 Chevy

Early low riders
Johnny Quintana, 1961 Ford

Late low riders
Frank Perla, 1984 El Camino

Mati Guillian, Big Dog

Late sports trucks
Johnny Quintana, 1968 Chevy