One of the entrants that earned a best in show award at Morgan City’s Cruz’n Classics Car Show almost didn’t enter. Duane Carpenter, owner of a cherry red 1959 Ford Edsel Convertible, saw a brochure for the car show the night before in Wyoming. He hurried to make it to Morgan’s Riverside Park from Evanston on Saturday.
“I feel it was one of the better car shows ever,” said Carpenter, who admits this newest award will join other trophies his car has earned.
Carpenter said he bought his 1959 Ford Edsel after only looking at a picture of it. At the time, it was in terrible condition and in Georgia. Five years later, Carpenter said it was restored to what it should be.
His tale is a similar one that many of the 55 entrants in this year’s show could tell.
Carpenter tied first place for best of show with a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye, owned by William West from Mountain Green. Both the Austin Healey and Ford Edsel tied for second place in the people’s choice category. All participants, entrants, and spectators were invited to vote for the people’s choice category.
But the judging for all categories—including the best of show, muscle cars, custom vehicles, 1940s and earlier classics, 1950s classics, 1960s classics, 1970 to 1975 classics, 1976 and newer, classic motorcycles, and custom motorcycles—was done by the actual entrants.
“Participants have the knowledge and know-how. They know cars,” said Mark Evans, the car show’s chairman, who brought along his own Corvette, Chopped and Camaro for support. “This gives people a reason to get the car out of the garage and let people appreciate it.”
Evans hoped for 40 entrants, which would be double the 19 from last year. After over two months of marketing, mostly at auto parts stores, he got 55 from as close as Morgan to as far away as Soda Springs, Idaho, and Evanston, Wyoming. Twenty-six of those entries came on the day of the car show.
But the local support is what made the car show a success, Evans said. He gathered goody bags and prizes from local merchants. The prizes were given away in a raffle.
With so many cars to wander around while serenaded by local singing talent and fed by locals from “The Post,” the show offered a little bit of everything. From a 1929 Ford Roadster to a 2000 Ford Mustang, many years were represented. Two hearses, one conservative Lincoln Town Car and another pimped out Cadillac Miller, joined the line-up. Chevy was well represented with a Malibu, Camino, pickup, 210, C10, Bel Air, Camaro, and several Corvettes. Ford sported a Roadster, Edsel, Cobra, Deuce Coupe, Woodie, Deluxe, Coupe, pickup, A Tudor Sedan, Tudor pickup, Thunderbird, and several Mustangs.
GMC offered a Sierra Grande; Mercury had a Chopped, and Plymouth had a Cuda. A Dart and Charger rounded out the Dodges at the show, while a Trans Am and Firebird represented Pontiac, and a Jeepster and Aero Eagle represented Willys. And of course, there was the Austin Healey.
Morgan City Mayor Jim Egbert offered his and his wife’s favorite picks for the official Mayor’s Choice Awards: first place 1957 Chevy Bel Air, second place 1936 Ford Woodie and third place 1931 Ford Tudor pickup.
Even the little ones had something to do while Mom and Dad gandered at the cars. Two bounce houses were offered free of charge during the four-hour event.