The annual downtown Hollister Street Festival and Car Show, pictured in 2021, will return this summer with a theme in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the City of Hollister. File photo

Hundreds of car fanatics crowded the streets of downtown Hollister on Sept. 25 for the 34th Street Festival and Car Show on the main drag of San Benito Street.

The Hollister Downtown Association hosted the event which featured live entertainment and music, an assortment of vendors, food concessions, raffle prizes and 292 registered vehicles on display. 

HDA event manager Teri Escamilla said they were excited to be able to have the event this year, especially after not being able to have many opportunities in the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We were anticipating 280 [vehicles] and it’s a great show, people come from all over,” she said.

The Longest Distance Traveled award was handed out to Charlie Barton who drove 720 miles from Nampa, Idaho.    

The Best of Show was awarded to Tomas Morales who brought his gold 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport, which will be featured on next year’s event T-shirt, poster and flyers. The HDA handed out 30 plaques for different categories.

The Boy Scouts of America had a Scout Fest that featured a Lego Pinewood Derby and other activities at Sixth and East streets.

Most of the restaurants on San Benito Street were also packed with guests who attended the event.

“We really wanted to highlight our downtown businesses,” she said. “That really was the goal, so that worked out really well.”

Bernie Vasquez of Soledad showed up with the mindset that he wanted to buy a car after saving some money over the years. He walked around until he saw the first car that was for sale—a 1948 Chevrolet Coupe decked out with magenta flames on orange paint and whitewall tires. 

Vazquez purchased the classic vehicle from Peter Burge, who brought two of his cars including the Chevy Coupe that he parked on Sixth Street in between Monterey and San Benito streets.  

He owned the Coupe for the past 10 years, but said it was time to let it go and give someone else a chance to have fun with it.  

Vasquez talked to his boss about getting a classic car and he was told to buy a Chevy Impala. But the price for one of the more popular lowriders on the market can run anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000, which is something he doesn’t want to spend.

“I ran into this one and got a good deal,” Vasquez said.

Other classic cars on display included a 1950 Mercury Coupe, 1964 Ford Mustang and the 1964 Chevy Impala.   

However, the one thing he was attracted to was how the Chevy Coupe looks apart from the more popular models out there. He also likes the fact that he’ll be able to take his new car to shows along with other lowriders and hot rods.

“It’s exciting, my heart’s pumping a million miles an hour,” he said. “I can’t wait to get into town.”


Best of the best

The Best of Show: 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport – Tomas Morales 

Longest Distance Traveled: 720 miles – Charlie Barton of Nampa, Idaho 

Best San Benito County: Jesse Del Real, Hollister​

People’s Choice: Bernardo Nuno, Soledad

Best Mustang: John Marfia

Best Paint: Lupita Martinez, Hollister

Best Sassy Corvette: Dennis Acosta, Stockton

Best Interior: Shawn Herrera, Hollister

Best Engine Bay: Scott Nunes, Gilroy

Best Original: John Oliveira, Hollister

Best Exotic: John Reed, Hollister

Best 1920s: Frank Rosa, Royal Oaks

Best 1930s: Frank Crocco, Gilroy

Best 1940s: Naz and Florence Martinez, Hollister

Best 1950s: Dennis and Judy Durden, San Juan Bautista

Best Classic: Larry and Debbie Tack, Salinas

Best Late Model: Rafael Lopez, Hollister

Best Muscle:  Mike Ledterman, Scotts Valley

Best Truck: Jim Gillio, Hollister

Best Custom-Modified: Ray and Trish Lerma, Salinas

Best Low Rider: Richard Deans, Hollister

Best Rat Rod: Kevin Stopper, Hollister

Best Motorcycle: Dave Grimsley, Hollister

Best Rig: Keith Severson/Granite Rock, Watsonville

Best Import: Joey Casarez, San Jose

Best Mopar: Steven Palmer, Los Gatos

Best GM: Dave Grimsley, Hollister

Best Ford: Alfred Salcido, Hollister

Best Impala: Elias Lizaola, Salinas

Best Volkswagen: Al Rensen, San Jose

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