No doubt about it—the Bow Tie brigade had the Rocky Mountains rocking. With hundreds of show cars and race cars doing their thing, everyone was, as the Byrds sang back in the day, eight miles high.
Despite the track literally being one mile above sea level, it didn’t seem to affect the racers much. The Exhibition class showcased some of the world’s fastest street cars, who were making their way west in anticipation of the Hot Rod Power Tour. This was a great way to start testing and the crowd, significantly up from the year before, packed the grandstands every time these monsters were called to the lanes. Of note was Larry Larson in his 6-second Nova. Even at 5,280 feet of elevation (not including the heat), the Missouri resident was clicking off low 7-second passes at 208 mph. As Howard Cosell used to say, it was “truly a sight to behold.”
For the second straight event, the big cars mystified the show field. Bel Airs, Impalas, Biscaynes—from ’58 all the way to the ’96 Impala SS—dominated with their imposing presence. There were 409s, 283s, LT1s, big-blocks, even a survivor ’72 four-door Impala. What style and elegance.
That doesn’t mean there were no trucks, Chevelles, Camaros, Corvettes, or Novas. The show field was filled to the brim with everything Chevrolet. We’re guessing they’re going to have to make this space larger in 2015 to accommodate the swelling ranks. Special credit to Nacho Bernal, who brought his 45th anniversary Camaro all the way from San Fernando, California, (1,006 miles) to show and race in the Camaro5guys fifth-gen Challenge! That’s a long way to go for a trophy, but he wanted to show what his twin-turbo, LSX 427-powered ’12 could do. We gave him an Editor’s Choice Drag Car award for his efforts and even after racing the car was clean enough to garner a podium finish in the car show.
It got a little ominous on Friday evening, but after a brief downpour, the racing went back to green.
The fullsize gang put on a heck of a display. Stock, modified, outlandish, there was plenty to choose from.
Kevin Guthrie’s ’62 Bel Air packed a 632ci monster under the hood.
The winner of our Most Discreet Paint Job award did not go to this Impala.
Rich Lenhart gets faster every year, this time running his ProCharged ’99 Corvette through the traps in 9.8 seconds at 140 mph in the LS Shootout.
Jason Wise from Milliken, CO, takes his 388-powered ’68 Chevelle down the strip to the tune of 10.36 seconds.
Ed Sawyer and his 496-powered ’68 Camaro takes on Richard Southhall and his ’03 Racetech dragster.
Good to see a Tri-Five attacking the track. Here, John Black of Pueblo, CO, puts his 400-powered ’55 two-door sedan through its paces.
Jim Smith wasn’t content to just sit in a lawn chair waiting for his Bel Air to be judged.
When not parked in the show area, it was covering the quarter-mile in 12.80 seconds at 108 thanks to a 383 and Turbo 400 trans.
One of the slickest restomods on hand was this black with red ’65 Malibu SS ragtop.
Dennis Wellbrock’s ’62 had us drooling. If the body mods and color didn’t hook you, there was a limited-edition Chevrolet Performance ZL1 427 crate engine under the hood.
Here’s an ingenious way to show off your 409’s dual quads. Just hang the factory air cleaner from the hood!
Two-tone blue is not a color combo we come across often. This ’56 proved it works.
Joe Gonzales’ ’55 second-series 3200 longbed was a gem. He’s kept the factory six-banger under the hood, and restored the wood trim in the bed.
… because you can never have enough air cleaners. Cindy Dauhl’s Pro Street Camaro attracted attention all weekend.
We gave him an Editor’s Choice Show Car award.
Brand-new ’56 Buick scored the holeshot in this qualifier, which helped him cross the finish line first despite being outrun by TK’s ’56 Chevy, 7.85 at 187.76 to 7.99 at 179.42.
Rob Ware of Loveland, CO, ran consistent sub-10-second times throughout the day. In this particular run he went 147 mph covering the distance in 9.243 seconds, bringing his 632 big-block-powered ’64 Nova within a fraction of a second of his 9.23 dial-in.
For Paul Horwat, the idea was to build a factory-stock appearing V-8 Vega. Obviously, there never was such a production car, but we’d say he nailed it. Under the original ’75 skin is a 400 SBC with a Turbo 350 and a 10-bolt with 3.42s. He got an Editor’s Choice award for his effort.
Pueblo’s Josh Herman and his 565ci Chevy-powered ’08 Mullis dragster dominated at the end of the day. He edged out Michael Otis (not shown here) in the final with a 7.37 run at a blistering 174 mph.
Florissant’s Les Grenfell Jr. (near lane) and his LS3-powered ’10 Camaro participated in the LS shootout and the Camaro5Guys.com Challenge with a winning time in the latter class of 14.40 at 100 mph.
In the DOT final Allan Ray and his ’93 Chevy Camaro ran a 14.8 at 92 mph with an 0.002 reaction time to score the victory. Tim Larson in his LS-powered ’57 Chevy put together an impressive package, with a reaction time of just 0.013, but it wasn’t good enough.
Kyle Cramsey from adjacent Morrison, CO, and his Chevy II.
Yes, that’s pinstriping on a blower belt.
Bryan Wenger’s ’71 bench-seat Chevelle, another Car Show Editor’s Choice recipient.
Still mad you can’t buy a Ute in this country? Well, if you supply Left Hand Utes of Denver with a G8, SS sedan, or slightly used Caprice PPV, they’ll build you one using correct factory parts.
An unrestored Yenko Stinger.
What time is it? Chevy time!
Adding ice to the intercooler’s tank to keep the air charge nice and dense before a low 7-second pass.
Best of Show: The Panic Again ’56.