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Bigger and better car show cruises into Castle Rock

June 17 event draws more than 300 entries from throughout the region

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Wright Welden of Wicked Custom Collision Center in Castle Rock knows how to give cars a flashy paint job. In particular, he used to cruise around in a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro he’d painted a dark, candy green with a lime green stripe running down the side.

“It just looks really fast,” he said.

So fast, in fact, the car twice won the “Most likely to get pulled over” award bestowed by the Castle Rock police chief during the annual Classic Rock Cruise In car show in Castle Rock.

Welden has entered the town car show for four years with plans to add a fifth in 2017. The car show, he says, is not just a chance to market his auto body shop but also entertainment for car lovers and their families alike.

“It’s just fun sitting around and talking with car guys,” he said, noting his wife often spends the day shopping at nearby stores, and the two eat at local restaurants throughout the day. “It’s just a fun community event.”

The 9th annual Classic Rock Cruise In will be held in downtown Castle Rock on June 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Vintage Car Club organizes the event in partnership with the Downtown Merchants Association, drawing more than 300 entries from throughout the region.

“There’s a good chance this year that we’ll probably be sold out before the day of the show,” said John Manka, former vice president of the Downtown Merchants Association and one of the event organizers.

He encourages people to pre-register through the event website, classicrockcruisein.com, as they expect there won’t be space left on June 17, although if there is, day-of registration will be offered.

The purpose of the car show is two-fold, Manka said. While it aims to support downtown Castle Rock business by drawing crowds — typically in the thousands — to eat and shop locally, it also seeks to provide a large-scale car show for the region.

Bill Trombley of the Vintage Car Club said this year’s event will feature more vendors than in previous years, plus food trucks, bounce houses and climbing walls for children.

They’ve also broadened the number of classes and added 50 more trophies to the list of awards.

“We are open to just about every make and model,” he said of potential entries, of which they already have more than 200. “The only thing we don’t have is any motorcycles.”

The 2017 event will continue the show’s tradition of awarding honors such as the “Mayor’s choice,” the “Hottest car” selected by the fire chief and the “Most likely to get pulled over” award chosen by the police chief.

As for Welden, he said winning the police chief’s award was a bit of surprise both years, and he never enters to win prizes. For him the focus is on enjoying the variety of cars.

He’s since sold his green Camaro and this year plans to enter the car show with a 1956 Chevy Wagon. Welden is still working on the flashy paint job, but thinks he’ll go with a root beer candy color and a pearl cream top.

And like always, he said, he’s looking forward to seeing what’s on display.

“There’s a good variety of cars there — old and new and modified,” Welden said. “It just gets bigger every year, which is what’s fun about it. You get to see new stuff.”

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