The Wheels of The Southwest Car Show

Visitors attended the Wheels of the Southwest car show in Prague Saturday where a 1971 Fastback Mustang took home the top prize. 

According to event coordinator Marilyn Davis, Judges evaluated 53 vehicle classes, which is more than most car shows. The show’s popularity has grown in recent months, as Davis has already organized eight shows this year with several more planned down the line.  

“I’m very excited to see so many people enjoying a taste of Oklahoma car culture,” Davis said. The range of vehicles competing at this event would satisfy even the most dedicated car lover. From several iterations of classic American muscle cars, to a trio of restored Chevrolet Bel Airs; nearly every segment of car culture was represented.  

A trio of beautiful Chevrolet Bel Airs wait to be judged. They competed in the Classic Sedan Class. George DeShurley

It’s typical for competitors to arrive early and fight for the best parking spots to best ensure their cars are seen first by the judges. Competitors then rigorously detail their vehicles, making sure they’re in mint condition when the judges arrive. 

The vehicles are judged on several criteria: exterior/interior quality, mechanical quality, suspension quality, cleanliness, overall concept and presentation. Typically, competing in a car show is more than just having a cool car. A judge’s score is influenced  more by the effort put into making the car as presentable as possible.  

Pinkenstien waits to be judged in Prague Park. The food tray on the side is reminiscent of drive-in restaurants in the 1950s. George DeShurley

Rob Estes entered his 1937 Chevrolet Master Sedan Deluxe, Pinkenstein, in the show. Estes’ passion for cars started when he was young.  

“I started with model cars, and the cars just kept getting bigger and bigger,” he said. Estes and his wife, Joy, came from Mustang to show their car today. The couple proudly described their vehicle as “very pink” on the official description form. 

The Native Kid hugs the grass in Prague Park while waiting for the judges. The unique paint job is a tribute to Aron King’s Native American tribe, the Shawnee Creek. George DeShurley

Aron King entered his 1991 Chevrolet S-10, The Native Kid, in the show as well. Other than its adjustable lowered stance, the custom paint job is the most eye-catching part of this vehicle.  

“I wanted to be able to express my culture with this truck and represent the Indian car guys,” King said. “We are in Oklahoma, after all.”  

The Wheels of the Southwest Car Show is the epitome of car culture in Oklahoma. It gave men and women of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to present the fruits of their labor to those who appreciate all the work that goes into a project car. 

“This is what it’s all about,” Estes said. “This is why we do what we do.” 

All images are property of George DeShurley

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