Sunrunners Car Show sees amphibians in the lake
Alannah Brown (left) and Cynthia Misurelli both of British Columbia go back in time as they look at the interior of a 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Alannah said, "We are the antiques here, as we remember these cars and they are in better shape than we are." (DENNIS JACOBELLI PHOTO)
Shiny new sports cars to 100-year-old, perfectly preserved classic Ford trucks “and everything in between,” were brought from all over the Valley, Yuma, Palm Springs and San Diego, said Sunrunners president Mike Taylor.
There were also two amphibious cars.
This fundraiser is the only one the club does every year and supports about 20 charities and local families that the club feels are the most in need.
“It’s all about cooperating with the community,” said El Centro resident and biker Fred Rivera, who along 10 other residents had his motorcycles on display.
“It’s impressive,” said El Centro resident Alfonso Juarez while pointing to a line of cars, where Mustangs, a GT Sterling and even a Shelby Cobra could be seen.
When Juarez looks at a car, it’s all about the colors and the sound the engine makes, he said.
But for others, like Yuma resident Paul Shedal, it’s also about the rarities, such as the 1964 Amphi he owns.
The model is a 7-70, Shedal said, 7 for the seven miles per hour the car can make on water and 70 for the speed it can pick up on the road.
It is estimated that there are only 300 Amphi cars left around the world, he said.
And while the Amphi “is not a real good car or a real good boat,” Shedal likes it because he can dash into the water “really fast and see the (looks on) people’s faces.”
Shedal was able to see exactly that when he decided to take his Amphi into Sunbeam Lake.
But he wasn’t alone in this endeavor. Rogelio Gonzalez, a Calexico resident who finished building his own car-boat after 24 years in the making, drove his car into the lake soon after Shedal.
The idea was to have an amphibian car race on the lake, but Gonzalez’s car had some mechanical issues and was left being paddled to shore.
Once Gonzalez and his son Adrian, 12, paddled near shore, it took a family effort and a rope to pull the car out of water.
“I was about to press on the pedal to race him (Shedal),” but the main chain broke, Gonzalez said in Spanish with a wide grin on his face.
“There are still some adjustments to make,” he acknowledged.
“That’s it man, the Amphi car experience,” Shedal said moments after he jokingly told the Gonzalezes: “I won.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org