Jimmie and Cindi Dean of Pleak haven’t had the opportunity – or the large sum of money – it would take to restore their 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday Super 88 and 1951 Hudson Pacemaker, but they still love driving beauties vintage.
And on Saturday, they were rewarded with many compliments from fellow enthusiasts who attended the LICSD Auto Fest car show at Rosenberg Natatorium.
Deans were among 95 people who entered cars in this year’s fundraiser, a record number. Two people got into two cars.
Proceeds benefit the Automotive Technology Department at Lamar Consolidated High School.
Hundreds of visitors discovered vintage cars, classic beauties and even modern vehicles, all shone to perfection in the showroom.
Seth Stephan, 15, a freshman at Foster High School, showed off his uncle’s Chevy Camaro.
He said Uncle BJ left the vehicle in his care while he was working in California.
Boling’s Jim Richardson was hoping to win a trophy or two for his 1960 Ford Sunliner, which has been fully restored over the years.
He says he rarely sees 1960 Ford Sunliners, restored or not. “This one is very rare,” he said. “I only saw three more.”
Sugar Land’s Brian Verdehem spent much of the show telling people about his restored 1966 Plymouth Barracuda.
It cost a small fortune to restore, he admitted.
“Don’t tell my wife,” he begged the photographer.
Still, the expense and hard work have their rewards, he said.
“Every time I go out for a drive I get a lot of waves and thumbs up and honks,” he said.
The event raised much-needed funds for the automotive technology department, its organizer noted.
“The 2022 LCSD Auto Fest was a success!” said Allen Deon Wilson, Professor of Automotive Technology at LCHS.
“We were entitled to a hundred vehicles. We actually broke 100 vehicles before but Covid hit us and stopped us a couple of years.
Wilson said a large college of individuals, groups and businesses helped make the annual fundraiser a success.
“I would like to personally thank all of the sponsors, vehicle owners, vendors, volunteers and spectators for their support of the automotive program,” he said.
Wilson suspects the event raised more than $2,000 for the automotive technology department.
“The show is important because it brings attention to the automotive program and supports student participation in SkillsUSA competitions, field trips and projects,” Wilson explained.
“Also, this is the only major fundraiser we have for the program. We don’t have a booster club.
Sponsors this year included Legacy Ford, Davis Bros. Auto Supply, Finnegan Auto Group, Momentum BMW, Rock Auto, Summit Racing, Classic Chevrolet, Rowdy’s BBQ and Just Chill Out Shaved Ice.
“Vehicle owners and visitors said they had a great time and are looking forward to next year!” said Wilson. “I also heard: ‘Great! To display! Awesome show! Good time!”
While some of the vehicles were restored at great expense, others were not restored at all, such as the 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday Super 88 and the 1951 Hudson Pacemaker hired by the Deans.
“We get a lot of nods, a lot of waves when we ride them around town,” Jimmie said. “I see a lot of people taking pictures of themselves with cellphones.”
Jimmie Dean said his stepfather, Merle Whitaker, taught auto mechanics at Lamar Consolidated High School before he retired.