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Othello Fair car show features sweet rides

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 21, 2022 1:00 AM

OTHELLO — Johnny Suarez had the spray bottle out, polishing his Subaru WRX to a gleaming shine. The Subaru was among the entries in the second annual car show at the Othello Fair Saturday, and it’s been a work in progress for a while.

“It’s been my project since high school,” Suarez said. “It’s kind of my first car.”

The car show is a new event, but it drew a wide variety of fun rides, from 1960s muscle cars to classic 1930s roadsters to modern rides like the Subaru.

The Subaru has changed a lot from when it came from the factory.

Suarez said he replaced the engine, did a lot of body work, replaced the wheels and added an air-ride suspension.

“The whole car can go up and down,” he said.

It helped keep him busy over the last couple of years.

“I was building during COVID, mostly,” Suarez said.

The Subaru is the car in the garage that’s fun to work on; Suarez owns his own semi and works as an independent contractor. The truck too is a work in progress.

“I work on my semi. A lot,” Suarez said.

For now the Subaru usually goes out on weekends and events like car shows, he said - for one thing, it’s not the most fuel-efficient car on the road.

Josue Medina’s Corvette Z51 C6 also is a work in progress.

“I barely got it about a month ago, actually,” Medina said. “It’s my show car.”

Medina too had the spray bottle out Saturday, keeping everything well-polished. He has plans for the Corvette, which is pretty much stock at the moment.

“I definitely want to get an exhaust,” he said, and there’s some work on the motor to be done.

His everyday car is a truck, partly because the insurance for a guy under 25 years of age with a sports car is pretty substantial, he said.

Connor Williamson’s 1969 Chevrolet Impala convertible is a show car too, given the price of gas. The Othello Fair car show was only the third time he’s driven it this year, he said.

The late 1960s saw cars grow to truly impressive length, and the Impala is no exception. Williamson’s grandfather Merritt Johnson bought the car at auction in the 1990s, he said, and replaced the engine. Williamson said he wants to replace the exhaust system - when it’s on the road he can barely hear it.

“I like things loud,” he said.

It’s something of a family heirloom. It’s expensive to operate, but it’s staying in the family.

“I can’t sell it,” Williamson said. “My grandpa would kill me.”

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Josue Medina checks to see that that’s not a spot on the hood of his Corvette at Saturday’s Othello Fair car show.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Connor Williamson’s 1969 Chevrolet Impala drew plenty of admirers at the Othello Fair car show. Williamson, right, talks to a couple of spectators.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Johnny Suarez works on his car during the Othello Fair car show.

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