Run To The Sun Draws Many Spectators Saturday

There were 750 muscle cars, restored vehicles, project cars and custom vehicles on display Saturday at London Bridge Resort’s Bridgewater Links in Lake Havasu City for the 38th annual Relics and Rods Run to the Sun car show.

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

The competitive show-and-shine lured thousands of spectators throughout the weekend with show organizers and participants reporting bigger than normal crowds for the event.

Lake Havasu City Community Emergency Response Team, or C.E.R.T. cycled through 20 volunteers during the event’s duration to provide onsite medical aid to event goers.

“There were a lot more people this year,” said Team Leader Bob MacMillan. “And, a lot more beautiful cars.”

MacMillan reported one dehydration patient was transferred Friday to the local hospital. Otherwise, there were very few and very minor incidents.

Local car builder Scott Laitinen, owner of SIC Chops, said he was first in line Thursday morning to select his spot on the golf course.

“We look for a better spot every year,” Laitinen said. “After some late night research, we found this location and thought it the perfect colony for about 25 of us.”

The choice location is situated on a back hill of the golf course and is coveted by another local car club, too, he said. But, it was just good, clean fun beating them to the mark. Laitinen had two cars entered in this year’s show. The first is a new build job of his. The black 1969 Convertible Camaro ZL1, owned by George and India Sepulveda, was registered in the event’s Muscle Car class.

The Sepulveda’s, who are dual-residents of Havasu and Norco, Calif., signed on with Laitinen for the build. The partnership is a first and the duo endured six months together while completing the project.

Scott Laitinen stands near a 1956 Continental Mark II Saturday during Relics and Rods Run to the Sun car show at London Bridge Resort’s Bridgewater Links Golf Course. Jayne Hanson/RiverScene

Scott Laitinen stands near a 1956 Continental Mark II Saturday during Relics and Rods Run to the Sun car show at London Bridge Resort’s Bridgewater Links Golf Course.
Jayne Hanson/RiverScene

Laitinen’s second entry was a black 1956 Continental Mark II, which was entered in the car show’s 1955-1960 Modified Custom category. The car’s owners are Dave and Sheri Hoekstra. They’re dual residents of Havasu and Roswell, N.M.

During the Continental’s build, a Mae West autograph was discovered in the trunk, Laitinen said.
“It’s my favorite so far,” owner Dave Hoekstra said of the Continental. “The new ones always are.” Hoekstra is a car enthusiast and builds a complete custom about every other year, he said.

Laitinen said the local car show is improving. Laitinen said he noticed differences this year when it came to the nuts-and-bolts of the judging practices.

“They want to see under the hood, in the trunk, and all around the exterior, they want everything open and exposed,” he said. “It’s a good change. They’re slowly making steady changes in a positive direction.

The show itself draws rave reviews.

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“It’s a great turnout,” Hoekstra said. “There’s beautiful weather and lots of nice cars.”

Laitinen called Friday’s turn out “amazing” and said the weather has been ideal.

Doug Sparks, of Chino Valley, displayed his purple 1937 Chevy. The car was registered in the 1937-1938 Modified Street Rods category.

The car originally was rusted out in an open field in Michigan. Sparks and two of his neighbors completed the restoration within 18 months, he said.

“My wife saw it and liked it,” Sparks said of selecting his project car. The paint is homemade and includes hints of pearl and gold, he said.

Ray McCormick, of Prescott, entered his green 1951 Business Coupe. It’s a restoration with many original parts including the stock running gears, engine, transmission and rear end. It was registered in the event’s Original/Restored 1951 and older category.

“It’s an excellent show, McCormick said. “Every show has its drawbacks but this one here has very few.”

Vendor Dean Baker, owner of Lake Havasu City Properties, said he ventured out just Saturday for the event to inflate his company’s hot air balloon. Baker will be presenting his brand new London Bridge hot air balloon to the community during a glow event set for the evening of Oct. 28 at Springberg Park. The new balloon also is scheduled to participate in the London Bridge Days parade Oct. 31, he said.

The Run to the Sun event began Wednesday night in Havasu with a registration dinner for event participants. Thursday’s show-and-shine on McCulloch Boulevard led the event roster into the display days and judging portion of the event Friday and Saturday at the golf course.

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