Originally Published: August 4, 2010 10 p.m.
The Prescott Antique Auto Club will celebrate its 40th year in style this weekend during its summer car show, parts exchange and old engine fire-up at Watson Lake Park.
This year marks the 36th annual running of the event, one that will feature 1985-and-older model show cars from across the Southwest and California. Trophies will be awarded to the best of the best on Saturday and Sunday.
Spectators enter the gathering from Prescott by taking Highway 89 to the Willow Lake Road roundabout and turning right into the park. Parking costs $5 per car, but admission is free.
No pre-registration is required for show vehicles to go through the park's gates, which will open at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, although a $25 entry fee per car is mandatory.
The first 200 show cars to arrive on Saturday receive an official event T-shirt, dash plaque and goodie bag. Those that visit on Sunday pay only a $5 entry fee, minus the gifts.
In addition to hot rods, classics, muscle cars and trucks, club members invite the owners of vintage motorcycles, motor scooters, Whizzers and tractors to display what they have.
Prescott Antique Auto Club president Scott Hein said several car owners will earn first-place trophies in various categories over the weekend.
Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and Yavapai County Supervisor Carol Springer plan to hand out their own trophies between 1-3 p.m. Saturday, which is the best day to see show cars. The club also sponsors a raffle with many prizes, including gift certificates.
Each year, the club spends the money it generates from the show on Christmas gifts for military veterans at the Bob Stump Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Prescott.
"It's the club's biggest fundraiser of the year," Hein said.
This weekend, setup for the parts exchange will take place from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and anytime after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday near the park's roundabout entrance.
Hein said the exchange and swap meet should garner more than 120 vendors selling everything from car parts and memorabilia to antiques and clothing in booths.
No pre-registration is required for the exchange, either, but it is limited to 120 spaces (all 30 feet by 20 feet) on a first-come, first-serve basis at a cost of $50 apiece for the weekend. Additional spaces are $25 apiece.
Of that $50 fee, the club receives $25 and the City of Prescott gets the other half for a privilege tax license, unless the individual seeking the space already has a license. No refunds are allowed on an exchange space, but vendor overnight camping is allowed. Toy and automotive memorabilia vendors are welcome, too.
Those who attend the event to sell cars must pay $15 per vehicle for the weekend, or any part of the weekend, for a spot in the "cars for sale" area. This area will open at 5:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Setup from noon-7 p.m. on Friday is $5 extra. All vehicles must leave Watson Lake Park by 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Also on Saturday, the old engine fire-up will feature engines on display from as far back as the 1800s. In a separate area nearby, a group of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University engineering students will answer questions from the public about their new jet car.
Access into or out of the park will close at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Club members remind the show's participants that they are responsible for the safety and security of their vehicles, equipment and property. Loud stereos are prohibited and pet leash laws will be strictly enforced.