Weekend-long automotive event picks up where the popular Wheels ‘n’ Windmills event left off

There was some concern that when the organizers of the popular Wheels ‘n’ Windmills Car Show was discontinued after last year there would be too much of a void in the event calendar for car enthusiasts in Solvang.

However, the Vikings of Solvang, the longtime civic group announced they would be holding their own show to replace WnW.

On Oct. 7, the inaugural Viking Classic Car Show took place along Copenhagen Drive and 1st Street in Solvang. Organizers estimated that over 250 cars were entered in the event. Prizes were given in 23 different car classes, and special awards were given afterwards.

Vikings of Solvang Vice Chief Larry Humburger, decked out in Vikings garb, takes a photo with 5-year-old Zeki Salis in front of the Viking boat during the Viking Classic Car Show. Photo by Mike Chaldu

Those who participated in and entered cars in the show said they were enjoying the event despite the unseasonably hot temperatures and many admitted there were some kinks to work out.

“We’ve really enjoyed it so far,” said Richard Alexander of Lompoc, who had been to the Wheels ‘n’ Windmills show and brought his red ’56 Chevy. “There’s definitely a learning curve with this being their first year, but I think they’ll work it out.”

Vikings Vice Chief Larry Humburger, who manned the club’s booth wearing traditional viking gear and was taking pictures with some of the show’s attendees said the vibe had been pretty positive, but the “growing pains” were expected.

“From what we’ve heard, everyone’s pretty happy. We’ve been getting a few minor complaints, but everyone’s been very understanding,” Humburger said. “We had been planning to take this over for a while, and our committee chairman Roger Lane learned a lot from the Wheels ‘n’ Windmills people last year. We were expecting some constructive criticism, and we’ll use that in planning next year’s event.”

The Saturday car show was just the centerpiece of the weekend for car lovers: On Friday, Oct. 6, the Vikings hosted a Gala Dinner at Mendenhall’s Museum of Gasoline Pumps and Petroliana in Buellton, and on Sunday, the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Auto Shop (aka “The Pirate Garage”) was the site of a barbecue and tour of the school’s auto shop facilities.

At the end of the car show on Saturday, an awards ceremony was held at Solvang Park. The winners by classes and the special award winners were:

Stock Class A — Antiques/Classics to 1959 All Makes

Best in Class: Jack Sanford; 1940 Ford Deluxe. Honorable Mention: Diane Robertson; 1955 Packard Caribbean.

Stock Class B — 1955-57 Chevy

Best: Steve Hovey; 1955 Chevy 210. HM: Randy Tripp; 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

Stock Class C — 1960-90 GM (Excl. Class F)

Best: Jon Stephen (Pacific Valley Street Rods); 1967 Chevy Malibu. HM: Ken Millington; 1987 Buick Grand National.

Solvang Mayor Mark Infanti has a laugh before naming the Mayor’s Award winner at the Viking Classic Car Show. Infanti picked Stu Hanssen’s 1958 Scarab Roadster for the award. Photo by Mike Chaldu

Stock Class D — 1960-90 Ford/Mopar/Other (Excl. Class F)

Best: Pete De La Torre (A.C.D.C.); 1964 VW Kombie. HM: Jim Johnson; 1970 Dodge Charger R/T.

Stock Class F — 1964-90 Camaro/Challenger/Cuda/Firebird/Mustang

Best: Cindy Kennedy; 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. HM: Eric & Tara Weatherby; 1987 Ford Mustang.

Stock Class G — Corvettes to 1990

Best: Kelly Preston; 1967 Chevy Corvette. HM: Vern Hall; 1968 Chevy Corvette.

Stock Class H — Trucks. El Camino, Ranchero to 1990

Best: Wally Schelvis; 1955 GMC 100. HM: Tom Jordan; 1970 Chevy El Camino.

Stock Class I — Sports Car (Foreign or Domestic) to 1990

Best: Andrew Sharpe (MG car club of UK); 1963 MG B. HM: AC D’Augustine; 1965 Ford GT40.

Stock Class J – Motorcycles (Original/Unrestored) to 1990

Best: Glenn Landon; 1934 Prester M/C

Modified Class BB — Hot Rod (Coupe/Sedan) to 1932 

Best: Jim Fortelny; 1932 Ford Coupe. HM: Dan Murphy; 1932 Ford Coupe.

Modified Class CC1 — Hot Rod Coupe 1933-48

Best: Danny Foster; 1940 Mercury Chop Top Coupe. HM: Pete Gaalswyk; 1934 Plymouth PE Coupe

Modified Class CC2 — Hot Rod Sedan 1933-48

Best: Hank Carralejo (Pacific Valley Street Rods); 1934 Ford Sedan. HM: Steven Bernston; 1940 Ford Woodie.

Modified Class DD — 1949-59 All Makes (Excl. Class FF)

Best: Tim Sweet; 1956 Ford F-100. HM: Rod Cox (Rodfathers); 1956 Ford Victoria

Modified Class EE — 1960-90 All Makes

Best: Todd Aho; 1967 Chevy Chevelle. HM: Merle Heggen; 1969 Chevy Nova.

Modified Class FF — 1955-57 Chevy

Best: Raymond Vega; 1955 Chevy Bel Air. HM: Jerry Fults; 1957 Chevy 210.

Modified Class GG —Camaro/Challenger/Cuda/Firebird/Mustang to 1990

Best: Russ Garrison; 1970 Chevy Camaro. HM: Gene Reyes; 1965 Ford Mustang.

Modified Class HH1 —Trucks to 1949

Best: Paul Hinkle; 1948 Thames Panel Trk. HM: Jeff Shannon; 1929 Ford P/U.

Modified Class HH2 — Trucks, El Camino, Ranchero to 1950-90

Best: Gary Pace; 1959 Chevy Apache. HM: Walter Van Wingerden; 1956 Ford Panel Truck.

Modified Class II — Sports Car (Foreign or Domestic) to 1990

Best: Mark Gowing; 1965 Shelby Cobra. HM: Keith Raphael; 1961 MGA Roadster.

Modified Class KK — Motorcycles (Custom) to 1990

Best: Glenn Landon; 1980 Yamaha 650. HM: Robert Rauchhaus; 1951 HD EL

Special Interest Class CG — Mercury Cougar (All)

Best: Rob May (Central Coast Mercury Club); 1969 Mercury Cougar. HM: Rob May (Central Coast Mercury Club); 1967 Mercury Cougar.

Special Interest Class PS — Pro-Street/Street Legal Race

Best: Don Wagner, (Paul Hinkle Group); 1965 Chevy Chevelle. HM: Stu Hanssen; 1958 Scarab Roadster.

Special Interest Class SC — Motorcycle with Sidecar (All Makes and Years)

Best: Ray Hull, 2010 Ural Side Car; HM: Phil Wilson (Pacific Valley Street Rods); 2002 Kawasaki 1200RS

Special Awards

Car Club Participant Award: Pacific Valley Street Rods

Christopher Hartman Memorial Award: Jim Fortelny; 1932 Ford Coupe

Mayor’s Award: Stu Hanssen’s 1958 Scarab Roadster

Viking Chief’s Award: Robert Rauchhaus; 1952 Harley Panhead

Best of Show (Stock): A.C. Augustine; 1965 Ford GT40

Best of Show (Modified): Todd Aho; 1967 Chevy Chevelle