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Classics roar into town

Road Kings Picnic Car Show brings out a variety of cars and fun for the whole family.

June 13, 2007|By Joyce Rudolph

Spectators and car exhibitors agreed that the Road Kings 18th annual Picnic Car Show was a great outing for the whole family.

There were at least 750 cars on display throughout Johnny Carson Park in Burbank on Sunday. The day kicked off with breakfast cooked up by the Burbank Kiwanis for Fun Club and singing of the national anthem by Elizabeth Chadwick, a 13-year-old who attends Luther Burbank Middle School.

Parents and youngsters surrounded the booth of exotic animal ambassadors, making their debut from Busch Gardens and SeaWorld San Diego, which are owned by Anheuser Busch, the car show's largest corporate sponsor.

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Pat De Gree of Baldwin Hills attended the event because her husband was showing his black and gray 1961 Corvette.

"It's one of the best family-oriented events," she said. "The park is great. There's a place for kids to play and I'd advise anyone to relax and sit under the shade."

De Gree was amazed by the marmoset monkeys, Deak and Zulu, and the black vulture named Orchid.

"First of all, they have monkeys from Brazil," she said. "I've never seen anything like it. And they also have a black vulture, which is awesome, and a baby hedgehog and baby porcupine."

Sherman Oaks residents Nancy Paradis and her 4-year-old daughter, Renee, had just come from seeing the animals.

"She saw a hedgehog named Sonic," Nancy Paradis translated for her daughter who spoke in soft voice.

Fred Thompson of Burbank was checking out a 1966 Chevy Chevelle. He's been coming to the Road Kings car show for about 10 years.

"Variety of cars and good nature of the people," he listed as the reasons he returns each year.

The Chevelle's color and body style caught his eye, he said.

"It's a nice clean car," he said. "It's not overdone."

He's partial to Chevrolets, mostly because they are affordable and parts are available, he said. He owns a 1957 Chevy.

"It's got a timeless body style and a fin on the rear quarter panel," he said. "My kids refer to it as a fish."

Classic cars were parked next to motorcycles and modified cars and drew hundreds of admirers, including Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top fame, said Don Baldaseroni, Road Kings publicity director and past president.

This year's car show was dedicated to deceased Road Kings members Tom McCourry of Granada Hills, Bill King of Glendale and Chuck Collingwood of Burbank, Baldaseroni said.

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