LIHUE — Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami was making his Father’s Day weekend rounds Saturday, stopping by and getting magnetized by a collection of Jeeps parked at the 12th annual Dad’s Day Car Show at Kukui Grove Center.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen to me if I go home with one of these,” Kawakami said, while touring the collection of more than 60 cars that glistened under the broiling sun and the oldies tunes being spun by DJ Richard Rasay, who set up next to the food-collection table benefiting the Kauai Independent Food Bank.
The self-guided tour included a stop at the organizers’ tent, where Harvey Maeda of Kauai Classic Cars introduced Kawakami to Al Oppio and Liz Kern, visiting from Reno, Nevada.
“Al and Liz are responsible for the trophies and awards,” Maeda said. “They do car shows in Reno, and since they are here, offered to do the awards. All of the cars with the hoods up are going to be judged.”
Best of show honors went to a vintage 1961 Chevy Impala owned by Pat Barretto.
Terry Daligdig’s 1934 Ford coupe, no stranger to parades with Kauai Classic Cars, took best interior honors, and Robert Soares’ 1966 Pontiac GTO, parked on the far side of the parking lot, got the nod for best muscle car.
“I don’t know,” said Ron Wiley, doing a remote radio transmission from the parking lot dotted with automotive admirers, many doing selfies for social media posting. “My first car that I drove was a 1947! How about you? What was the first car you drove?”
Candace Boxer, a first-time vendor, parked just downwind of the award-winning GTO, and commented on the throng of people who braved the scorching heat. “People just love to look at these cars,” said Boxer, dispensing Ono Pops and Uncle Willy’s beef jerky. “These cars are like mistresses, and there are a lot of them out there.”
Best hot rod honors went to Robin Troche’s 1967 Chevy Camaro, and Eugene Fukushima’s 1968 Chevy Camaro took the best paint award.
There were no awards presented to the junior dragsters, where Christian Silva was the victim of his younger brother Rayte’s harassment while showing off his vehicle that was parked next to his brother Christopher’s keiki-sized vehicle.
More car shows are on the calendar for June when Auto Zone in Lihue hosts a Meet and Beep event during its grand opening, Sunday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot fronting the Kukui Grove Street store. The opening will feature imports, domestics, classic cars, bikes, Jeeps and trucks, with special guest DJ Mauka Beats.
The Kauai Classic Cars go south to The Shops at Kukuiula Saturday, June 29, for a Southside Cruise and Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the shopping center’s south parking lot located near Bubba Burgers.