Iowa Street Rod Association shows off more than 100 cars

Kyle Ferguson

Classic cars from throughout the previous century were on display at the Street Rod Car Show at North Grand Mall on Saturday.

“The name of the game is, ‘Are they fun to look at?’ That’s what brings people,” said Harley Alcox, vice president of membership of the Iowa Street Rod Association, the organization hosting the event.

The association helps to promote shows throughout the state, but this was one of the few they organize themselves.

More than 100 cars were present at the event well before the registration deadline, which is a little better that Alcox was used to.

“Well, I ran out of toes to count with, so we’re doing pretty good,” said one of Alcox’s assistants, when asked how many cars there were.

The cars were organized into four classes, with each class representing a different time period. The cars from the earlier part of the century had mostly older caretakers, but overall, the age of participants varied across the board.

Aaron Johnston, 24, of Carroll, said he’s not intimidated by the knowledge of the older participants.

“Yeah, they’re older and more experienced, and this is my first show, but I’ve been doing this since I was 5,” he said.

Alcox said one of his goals was to get the different age groups talking and have them learn from each other.

“The older people, most of them have built their own cars, which takes a lot of time and know-how that the younger guys don’t have. And with the generation gap, a bunch of younger people have figured out new ways of doing things that my generation didn’t have,” Alcox said. “We have a lot to offer each other.”

Erick Lenning, 49, of Le Grand, just likes to come for the company.

“I don’t give a hoot if I win. These shows are just too much damn fun,” he said. “I show up, talk to people that I’ve known from previous shows for a while, meet new people and talk about whatever. It’s great.”

Lenning compared the event to a dog show for cars.

“The thing with these shows is, they’re like the Westminster Dog Show for dog people. You watch it and you say to yourself, ‘I want one of those and one of those and one of those,’ and before you know it, you want to get half of the show,” Lenning said.

Lloyd Miller, 63, of Earlham, is proud of the amount of work he’s put into his 1938 Chevy Master Deluxe.

“I’ve been restoring this thing for six years, in addition to my job. I finished it in 1992, and been taking it to shows since,” he said. “It takes a lot of patience to do that kind of thing.”

In the end, this show was all about everyone just relaxing on a beautiful day and admiring classic cars.

“For this show, we let anyone who wants to get in, get in. The point of this show is just to have fun,” Alcox said.