What a sweet ride
Classic cars are time capsules on wheels. If you look closely, you can see a picture of what the world was like in every fender, steering wheel, and engine, and though they may not be as convenient as today’s cars, they’ve got a certain soul that’s hard to resist.
They may remind us of a simpler time, but keeping them looking pretty and running smoothly is a tough job. Perhaps knowing that behind the wheel of every classic car is a dedicated owner makes them even more appealing. All that dedication will be on display at the 5th Annual New Roads Spring Street Festival and Classic Car Show Saturday in New Roads.
Lauren Jones is Main Street Manager and a communications officer for the city, where she helps organize the festival. She’s seen it grow each year, and thinks this year’s event will be the largest to date.
“It’s grown tremendously. This is the fifth year we’ve had this, and I get to say that each year the number of cars and participants has doubled, and we have people from all over come out…it’s one of our biggest events here in New Roads,” she said.
The event will feature more classic cars than Jay Leno’s garage, but that’s not all that’s in store. Food, music, and even a jet-fueled motorcycle will be on-site.
“When you come to this car show, you can expect hundreds of trucks, cars, and motorcycles from all over. There’s also going to be great Louisiana food vendors and live bands playing classic oldies, and our shops and downtown area will be open as well.”
Attending the show will be around 300 car owners from around the state. One such owner is Eddie Langlois, is a self-professed gearhead, lifelong mechanic and New Roads native. Langlois owns an auto parts store and fixes up old cars as well, like his own 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster. He knows firsthand that when you’re looking at a classic car these days, what you might actually be seeing is a hybrid of old and new parts.
“You can’t judge a book by its cover … they’re actually taking old cars and putting in late-model suspension and stuff like that. My ’32, it’s got original-style front suspension and the rear suspension is upgraded to a later model, and I’ve got brakes on all four wheels. It’s just much easier, because these days I have to stop on a dime, whereas the older cars from the ’30s, when you hit the brake pedal you had to guess whether it was going left or right on you,” he said.
If you want to see the really old cars in person, you’d better come to the show, Langlois said. Unless they’ve got some modern enhancements, only a daredevil would try taking a piece of history on the highway.
“Sometimes when you’ve got a ’40-something Ford, the running gears aren’t old school, because the car wants to float and wander from side to side. If you’ve got somebody driving 70 mph on the interstate in an old car you might think you need to call the cops on him for driving under the influence,” he laughed.
Jones said that you don’t have to be an automotive expert to enjoy the show. There will be plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
“We’re going to have inflatables for the kids and a bungie-jumping setup… we’re also having our arts and crafts vendors as well, so the wives who come out with their husbands can do a little shopping. New Roads is a very family friendly town, so there’s going to be lots going on for everybody to enjoy,” she said.