Out of the many classic cars parked along Esmeralda Avenue today, 12-year-old Michael Bourne had his eye on a green 1970 Mustang.
“I like the way they sound,” he said. “And they are always cool.”
The Mustang was one of more than 400 classic cars that rolled into Minden for the fourth stop on the Hot August Nights poker run.
Michael’s grandparents, Lee and Barbara Bourne of Gardnerville, admired a 1959 Chevy Impala with his younger brother Evan.
“I’m into the old cars. I’ve had quite a few of them,” Lee said. “You don’t see too many ’59 Impalas anymore. They are hard to find.”
Stockton, Calif., resident Ed Teicheira and his wife Sharyle bought the black Impala five years ago.
“I put an engine in it out of a 2002 Corvette,” Ed said. “It’s got lots of power, and it cruises nice.”
Their granddaughters Hayley Georguson, 13, and Skyler Gauuan, 12, enjoyed participating in Hot August Nights and cruising in the car.
“I like that you don’t have to be real careful with it because it’s already scratched and stuff,” Skyler said.
“I enjoy the sock hop and cruising around in the car,” Hayley said. “I won first place two years ago in the sock hop.”
Gary Honea, 67, drove his candy maroon-colored 1931 Chevy five-window coupe in the poker run for the first time this year.
“We just now finished it. It took us a while,” the Fallon resident said. “I’ve had the car since 1962 when I was 16 years old. I paid $80, put a battery in it, and drove it home.”
Honea drove the coupe for six years before parking it in his garage. It wasn’t until seven years ago that he decided to do a frame-up rebuild on it.
“It’s got a lot of sentimental value,” he added. “This was my first car. My dad helped me work on it originally.”
Tom McCormick of Gardnerville set a goal of entering his own car in the poker run next year.
“I have a 1968 MG Midget. It’s a British car,” he said. “I’m working on it, but it’s not ready for Hot August Nights.”
For the meantime, McCormick said he was content as a spectator.
“I like to look at the creativeness of what people have done mechanically, paint and upholstery,” he added.
Dana Morris drove his orange-and-white 1956 Chevy two-door post in today’s poker run.
The Carson City resident won the car from the Atlantis Casino during the 2004 Hot August Nights.
“I was kind of surprised, but I’m glad I won it,” he said. “I love it, and will never get rid of it.”
As for his poker hand, Morris was tight-lipped.
“I do it for the fun. I don’t care if I win or not,” he said. “I don’t even look at the hand until I’m done.”
Sponsored by the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, board member Dan Aynesworth, said being a lunch stop on the poker run is good for Valley business.
“It’s good for business downtown, and good for awareness of the Valley,” he said. “It allows people to get a sense of how much elbow room and fresh air there is around here.”
From Minden, the cars headed to Virginia City before their final two stops in Reno.