The winner of the most coveted award "Best in Show" was a 1940 Mercury. This year's Blue Ribbon Rally drove Lubbock native Larry Hunter to bring his award winning burgundy 1940 Mercury into town from Fort Worth. "The era this is trying to copy is the '50s when customization was big and to some customization means something different today," says Larry Hunter. His Mercury has parts from other classics, a 350 Chevrolet engine and 1941 Studebaker taillights turned sideways. His older brother helped fuel his passion for cars at age 9. "He had cool cars, a '55 Chevy Convertible. I remember riding around and he'd point at cars and I'd have to name the year, make and model," says Hunter.
The team that built his car created some of Hollywood's most memorable rides. Some of the cars were the original bat mobile, the Flintstone's stylish stone-age ride, and the car that brought the Clampetts to Beverly Hills.
With nearly 200 cars registered in Saturday's rally and 25 different categories it took a lot to stand out. Reggis Tibbetts and Bill Howard have been judging car shows for nearly 30 years and have been friends for even longer. "We work really hard to judge everything evenly," says Tibbetts who looks at the paint, engine, interior and body of each vehicle. "It's always something new and different. You never know what you are going to get," says Howard. But this time it was the 1940 Mercury that caught their eyes.
Hunter added an extra feature to his custom ride for this show, a blue ribbon. "It's a very worthy cause, and I'm excited about that," says Hunter. But the real winners of the rally are the children.
Organizers hoped to raise nearly $70,000 that will go straight to the Family Guidance and Outreach Center of Lubbock to prevent child abuse.
|Child Safety Consumer Advocate|