Cars draw crowds

Car lovers and enthusiasts didn't let heavy winds get in the way of showing off their prized vehicles and supporting Cannon Air Force Base Saturday at the Seventh Annual Cannon Thunder Auto Show at Doc Stewart Park in Clovis.

The base's Community Center Manager Paul Hopkins said show entries were compiled of a good mix between airmen and civilian vehicles.

"This is just a chance for the community to get together," Hopkins said. "Everybody loves cars."

Hopkins said the vehicle entries ranged in year, model and origin, from American vehicles made in the 1920's to foreign vehicles.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Cannon Air Force Base Master Sgt. Dan Leoff (front) explains to Maddox Iriass, 4, how his roommate, Tech sgt. Brad Secord's 1974 Volkswagen beetle works.

Maddox Iriass, 4, of Clovis had a lot of questions about Cannon Tech. Sgt. Brad Secord's 1974 Volkswagen beetle as he hopped in to it to take a test drive.

Secord said he's owned the vehicle since July and spent about a month underneath the hood.

"It's a sunroof model so it's rare," Secord said. "It was pretty cheap, I couldn't pass it up."

Jon Barnett, a construction worker from Clovis, displayed his 1953 Willis wagon. He's had it since the early 1990's.

"I always liked the body style of the Willis," Barnett said.

He plans to pass down his vehicle to his 14-year-old son Jake.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Jon Barnett of Clovis, left, is happy to pass down his 1953 Willis wagon to his son Jake. Barnett said he purchased the vehicle in the early 1990's in Lubbock.

"It's cool," said Jake of his future vehicle. "The other students will be driving normal cars."

Gene Porter of Clovis takes pride in his orange 1973 Camaro that he shared with car lovers Saturday.

"I grew up in hot rods," Porter said. "The passion for cars is in my blood."

Porter said he completely rebuilt the vehicle about three years ago.

Simon Lejeune considers himself a true car enthusiast. His favorite vehicle he owns now is a Mazda RX-8 and he hopes to add more foreign cars to his collection.

"There's just so many things you can do with a car," said Lejeune excitedly.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Gene Porter, owner of the Glass Doctor in Clovis, said he takes pride in his 1973 Camaro that he completely rebuilt three years ago.

He also had his two motorcycles on display.

In addition to classic and custom vehicles, Cannon officials also provided lunch off the grill for the community.

Senior Airman Lionel Junious from Florida grilled burgers and hot dogs for hungry attendees with help from his civilian friend Noberto Loureano of Clovis.

Junious said he loves cars and volunteering and hopes he can get his 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra entered next year.

Hopkins was happy to see a good turnout even though the weather was not ideal and overall, he said people had fun.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Robert and Eddie Harris of Melrose said this former truck was always a basket case until they rebuilt it. It took about six months to rebuild and the floor boards of the vehicle are made of license plates found in a junk yard. The Harris' said they like to do anything that will support the base and troops, especially a car show.

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