Horsepower hits downtown

Mustang Roundup packed with classic cars, memories

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— James Mckenzie wasn't very excited when he took ownership of his first Ford Mustang four years ago.

"I'm not a Mustang guy. I acquired it by default. I had an old pickup truck that my son-in-law said he would take if I took his Mustang, so I did," he said.

But America's most popular sports car has grown on him.

Mckenzie's 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback was one of more than 400 Mustangs on display Saturday during the 18th annual Mustang Roundup Show 'n' Shine Car Show on Lincoln Avenue. The show featured Mustangs from model years 1964 to 2006 and a few other special display cars.

During the show, 50 judges rated the cars in 41 classes, including cleanliness, craftsmanship and quality. The judges also looked at each car's exterior, interior, engine, wheels, tires and overall appearance. Each category was worth five points, and trophies will be awarded during today's Breakfast Show 'n' Shine Awards.

Mckenzie's Mustang, which he named Henry in honor of Henry Ford, is painted tropical turquoise.

"Someone told me it's the only car this color at the show. It's an oddball color," he said. "Henry has his original body with a new set of clothes. He is an excellent automobile and a real pleasure to drive."

Although Mckenzie isn't totally satisfied with Henry's modifications and renovations, he doesn't plan to do much more to it.

"When you fix up a car, you're never really pleased. You can't ever be satisfied. That's the American way," he said.

Mckenzie said Saturday's crowds were bustling, and he was happy to talk to folks about his car.

"Steamboat Springs is one of my favorite places. Everyone has been very nice; they all come and talk to me. The people in this town seem to enjoy having (the Mustang Roundup) here," he said.

Jody Anagnos agrees.

"People love to walk down Lincoln Avenue when it's closed. People bring their dogs and mingle and check out the cars. It's so fun," she said.

"This is one of the Chamber's signature events. Everyone looks forward to coming up, and we look forward to having them," said Anagnos, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's special events director.

The diversity in the cars is one of the most popular elements of the Mustang Roundup because spectators can compare models from the 1960s with the newer models, Anagnos said.

"Even if you're a non car buff, it's easy to get sucked in," she said.

Linda and Randy Bouzek of Aurora didn't even know about the Roundup until they arrived in Steamboat for a conference.

"This is great. The weather is perfect, and all these cars are beautiful," Linda Bouzek said. "A lot of reminiscing is going on."

Randy Bouzek explained that his wife's ex-husband used to own a Mustang.

"We like the older models better, for sure. You get a chance to remember that this is how it used to be," he said. "We were laughing because we were checking out all the bucket seats and the eight-track tape decks."

Granby resident Sheila Retzer has shown her restored Ford Mustang High Country at the past two Mustang Roundups. She thought attendance at this year's Roundup was better than it's been in previous years.

"It's been a really good day," she said. "There seem to be a lot more cars here, and the crowds are definitely bigger."

Retzer's "Brittany Blue" beauty was her first car 25 years ago.

"I've had her a long time," she said.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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