'Smoking' good time

Burn-off contest kicks off George Geer Memorial Car Show

Year in and year out, the George Geer Memorial Car Show features its fair share of unique and interesting cars. In addition, the annual event has brought community members together and memorialized fallen soldiers.

Taking place on Aug. 16 in Centennial Park, the year's show was as entertaining as always, featuring large crowds, shiny cars and other entertainment.

Chief among such entertainment was the Burn-off Contest, which took place on Aug. 8 near Angel's End Zone.

Featuring both cars and motorcycles, the Burn Off required contestants to spin their rear wheels for roughly 30 seconds. The contest was judged by the amount of smoke raised and the crowd's reaction.

A unique event on many levels, the Burn-off elicited excited cheers from the crowd and wide smiles from drivers, who clearly relished the opportunity to show off their engines.

Finishing first in the motorcycle category was Dolores resident Bobby Perkins, whose 2009 Custom Road Bike, which was built by Chrome Mafia. Stoically sitting on his impressive machine, Perkins showed little expression while burning his tires, yet clearly relished the experience.

"This is a cool event," said Perkins. "There are a lot of people here. I won a couple of years ago and I try to come back every couple years and do it."

Finishing first among the car category was John Neely, whose 1983 Chevy Blazer did not look all that impressive, but raised spun its tires impressively nonetheless.

"My car doesn't look especially impressive, but we've done a lot of work on it," said Neely. "It has a V-8 engine and a (modified transmission). "It's a lot of fun."

Other crowd favorites at the Burn Off included Jay Stroud, whose lime green 1968 Chevy Chevelle harkened to the era of American muscle cars and Brent McClain, whose 1986 Chevy Truck was truly a beast.

While the vast majority of the vehicles in the competition emerged relatively unscathed, Martin White's Honda 600 F4 Motorcycle and Rick Tulio's 1955 Chevy Gasser were not so lucky as both experienced transmission failures.

"The transmission came apart," said Tulio. "That's what went bad. I busted my driveline last year."

Even with the problems however, Tulio vowed to the Burn Off in coming years due to the unique experience the event offers.

"I love the smell of burning rubber," said Tuio. "For probably 15 years in Cortez, I was the burnout king."

Look for complete Results from this year's George Geer Memorial Car Show will appear in the Aug. 15 edition of the Cortez Journal.

Bobby Perkins shoots flames out the back of his Harley after competing in the burnout contest. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Bobby Perkins shoots flames out the back of his Harley after competing in the burnout contest.