Fathers Day Classic Car Show rumbles into Gering

Leland Spanjer of Cozad sits in his 1961 Corvette. He said he wanted one since he graduated in 1961. The ‘Vette was designed to compete against foreign sports cars.

GERING — America’s love affair with the automobile continues on June 15 as collectors from around the region roll into Gering for the 21st annual Rock-n-Roll Father’s Day Classic car show.

The show started with about 30 entrants as it moved to different locations around the community each year until a permanent home was found at Five Rocks Amphitheater south of Gering. It is sponsored by the High Plains Auto Club.

Daryl Wills, one of the event organizers, said the June show has turned into one of the largest in the region. This year they’re expecting about 300 entrants, bringing classic cars from Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and beyond.

Classic and custom vehicles from the early days of automotive history all the way to late model vehicles will be on display at the amphitheater from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15.

Car enthusiasts are encouraged to come out, take a look at some vintage machinery, meet the drivers and enjoy some car talk. Food vendors will also be on site for the event.

“There are always some expensive cars on display,” Wills said. “All of the 1960s classics like the Mustangs, Firebirds and GTOs are selling in the $60,000 range so they’re very valuable. People that customize their cars also put a lot of money and time into the project.

“There are so many people locally who have really nice cars but don’t get them out that often,” he said. “With this show, we want to give them that opportunity.”

One of the regulars who has shown his cars is Darrell Bentley of Gering. While he won’t be in this year’s show, he plans to be back soon.

“This is one of the best organized car shows in the four-state region,” Bentley said. “The local community and businesses are really behind them. The city of Gering has also been very supportive and helpful in so many areas. It’s just a great show.”

Mike Reynolds, one of the longtime members of the High Plains Auto Club, estimated that about 2,500 people turned out to view the cars at last year’s event.

“Most of the comments we hear from entrants is how friendly the people are,” Reynolds said. “They also can’t believe how beautiful the area is. Those of us who grew up here can sometimes take that for granted.”

The Rock-n-Roll Father’s Day Classic car show, which organizers say has grown by leaps and bounds, is actually a two-day event.

Drivers start arriving at the Gering Civic Center the afternoon of June 14 followed by a 4 p.m. barbecue for entrants. A cruise for cash drive follows as drivers take a tour of the community. Then it’s back to the Civic Center for an ice cream social.

The show-and-shine starts early Saturday morning with a 9 a.m. parade through downtown Gering as drivers head out to the amphitheater.

An awards banquet for drivers, including some door prizes and auction, wrap up the day back at the Civic Center.

During the summer months, usually April through September depending on the weather, the High Plains Auto Club schedules poker run cruises around the community the first Saturday of the month.

The club supports scholarship opportunities for students going into the automotive industry and service agencies like the Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy.

More information is available on its website, highplainsautoclub.com.

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Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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