Summer kicks off with 19th annual Classic Car Show

Car enthusiasts from across the region gathered at Cherry Hills

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One day of the year, the massive parking lot at Cherry Hills Community Church fills with hundreds of one-of-a-kind cars and motorcycles. Hosted by the Highlands Ranch Community Association, the 19th annual Classic Car Show took place June 8, a sweltering summer day.

The show brings car enthusiasts and curious individuals of all ages from across the south metro Denver area. This year featured more than 150 motor vehicles.

Reasons for participating vary.

For some people, like John Wanniger, it’s nostalgic. He stood next to his burnt orange, squeaky clean, 2010 Dodge Challenger. The car is a newer version of one he owned in the `70s, he said.

“When I was a kid,” Wanniger, of Roxborough, said, “I used to have cars and fix them up.”

Jenie Lawler first saw the jet-black, 1983 Zimmer Golden Spirit in 1985, at a car dealership in California. At the time she was married with kids.

Three years ago, after her daughter and husband had died, she found that same car, bought it and drove it back to her home in Littleton.

“They say when you find your passion, it heals you,” Lawler said.

She brings out her beloved vehicle on special occasions. Last year, she participated in 20 car shows. She enjoys driving it to technical colleges because “the young kids are amazed.”

“To me,” Lawler said, “it’s a blend of old and new.”

For some, the car show is an opportunity to show off years of hard work.

Ten years ago, Linda Terpenning and her husband, George, bought their 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda, a bright-orange muscle car, off eBay. The couple from Wheat Ridge spent the next six to eight years restoring the vehicle.

“It’s loud,” said Linda Terpenning, who grew up frequenting car shows with her father. “And you get a lot of lookers.”

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