Car show displays its horsepower

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October 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Dozens of hot rods, speedsters and trucks were in full form Saturday for the Farm-City Days car show on the west side of the square, and Iola resident Rick Dougherty is no stranger to having his car recognized.
Dougherty’s car, a replica Shelby 427, represents a rare model from the ’60s — only 348 were ever built. He estimated about 215 originals are still around, with the cheapest selling in the neighborhood of $600,000. The beautiful speedster’s blue body paint and white racing stripe glistened in the sun. Dougherty has been involved in car shows for the past 11 years, and has taken his vehicles to many car shows throughout the Midwest, including Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Dougherty said his favorite things about displaying his work in a car show is to share his knowledge with others.
“It gives me something to do,” Dougherty said. “I really enjoy talking to people who don’t know much about classic cars.”
“Something to do” may be an understatement for someone like Dougherty. He said he has built five different Shelby roadsters in his 11-year avocation. His current model of car was introduced by the English to America as a track racer, and its chassis holds one of the original NASCAR motors. The car is not sluggish, with around 500 horsepower.
However, Dougherty said he finds real joy in building the car, showing it off and selling it to build the next one. He said his last roadster is now owned by the sound engineer for the New Orleans Saints. He couldn’t resist pointing out that the Shelby’s speed and power is “nasty fast.”
The car show displayed a broad range of vehicles, more than car enthusiasts could have ever asked for. There were classic Cadillacs, farm trucks from the 1950s, a full fleet of motorcycles and even an early version of a gas-powered scooter.

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