Southern Oregon Rod & Custom Show

Car enthusiasts show off for a good cause
Tommy Carr drives a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad near Gold Hill.Photo by Jamie Lusch

With an electric hood, automatic headlights, GPS, XM radio, a camera for backing up, leather interior, power windows and electric, heated seats, there's nothing old about Glen Jahnke's '55 Chevrolet Nomad.

"Originally, it was going to be a slightly modified car, but it turned into way more than that," Jahnke says.

If you go

What: Southern Oregon Rod & Custom Show

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10

Where: The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point

Tickets: $8, $2 for children 6 to 12 and free for kids 5 and younger

Call: 408-203-0999

The beautiful, custom car, called "The Modmad," is painted Champagne pearl on top and cobalt-blue candy on the sides. After purchasing the car in pieces and "pretty rough shape," Jahnke left the car in the capable hands of mechanic Tommy Carr of Carr's Hot Rods & Customs in Gold Hill. Together, the pair collaborated on the design and mechanics of the car.

At one point, Jahnke made a list of modifications. There were more than 250, he says.

"It has everything your new Lexus would have," Carr says.

Showtime Auto Upholstery in Central Point put the finishing touches on it this week and returned it to Carr's, just in time for its debut at the 36th annual Rod & Custom Show Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10, at The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.

"For the first couple of years, it will be a no-drive car, strictly for shows, but after that, when the new starts to wear off, then it will be driven — after I've won my trophies, hopefully, and once everyone has seen what Tommy put together," Jahnke says.

Every year, nearly 8,000 people attend the car show/fundraiser hosted by Rogue Valley Street Rods for the Child Development & Rehabilitation Center at Oregon Health & Science University, says Ron Peil, club president.

In addition to Modmad, there will be more than 100 other immaculate cars and motorcycles on display, as well as 74 vendors selling car-related products.

"All of these cars are here by special invitation," Peil says. "What we do is go to car shows from Sacramento to Canada and invite these guys to our show. We're looking for a car that, for one thing, hasn't been seen in the Rogue Valley before."

This year's star car is Bob Komlofske's '53 Chevrolet pickup. The truck was a Great 8 finalist in the prestigious Detroit Autorama in 2012 and won Truck of the Year at the Good Guys Car Show in Kansas City, Kan., and awards at the Boise, Idaho, and Portland auto shows.

"It's totally customized ... and paid for," Komlofske says with pride.

The "RK" green pickup features a fuel-injected, 1100- horsepower Dart engine and 4L80-E transmission. Komlofske had seen a similar color at a car show in Australia and modified it. PPG Automotive Coatings liked the color and named it after him.

He and his crew at RK Restorations in Prineville did the bulk of the labor.

"A lot of these cars look as good underneath as they do on top," Peil says.

And there's a lot of pride in these cars, he adds.

"It's like when we were kids — 'Who's got the best bike? The fastest bike?' " he says. "I guess you could say we haven't grown up."

Prizes will be awarded for Best of Show, Participants' Choice, Peoples' Choice, Mayor's Choice and eight other categories.

This year's OHSU child ambassador, 11-year-old Evelyn, also will get to pick her favorite car. (Evelyn has cerebral palsy. Already, she has received shoes with special, ankle-foot orthotics and a three-wheel bicycle, courtesy of the RVSR fund.)

Kid-friendly activities, including a youth bike drawing, valve-cover races and a coloring contest, will be available at the show. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $8, $2 for children 6 to 12; kids 5 and younger get in free.

For more information, call 408-203-0999 or see www.roguevalleystreetrods.com.


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