KINGMAN - Bob Zimmerlee and Vince Salmon were busy washing and waxing cars the week of April 14.
However, it was not their daily transportation that was getting meticulous attention to detail. They were preparing to showcase their classic cars in the Route 66 Fun Run set for May 2-4.
Zimmerlee and his wife, Delsie, own a green 1976 Chevrolet Camaro coupe. They bought it in 1977, when it had less than 10,000 miles on it. It now has a little less than 66,000 miles on the odometer.
In 1961, Salmon purchased a red 1957 Chevrolet pickup.
"It had 200,000 miles on it at the time and had been used by the Apache Powder Co. in St. David, Ariz." Salmon said. "They hauled blasting caps for dynamite in it but took good care of it.
"It now has 452,000 miles on it and is on its second transmission and fourth head. When the last head was put in, I converted it to use unleaded gas."
Salmon has a number of Show & Shine trophies in his living room for best original restored vehicle, participation and carrying Miss Route 66. He plans to do the run from Seligman to Topock but was uncertain at the time of interview if he would remain in Kingman for the Show & Shine competition.
However, he explained his process for preparing the truck for show.
He first goes over it with a pressure hose and then applies hot water and waxes it. That is followed by a wipe down with detail cloth of the body and windows before going over the truck again with cleaner wax. Cleaner is then applied on the tires to brighten up their black wall and a touch-up completes the procedure that may take about four hours.
The battery, gas and water levels also are checked.
"I like to enter it in parades and the Fun Run," Salmon said. "I don't do a lot with it between parades with the price of gas being so steep."
The Zimmerlees have lived in Kingman since 1999 and missed participating in the Fun Run only that first year. While their car has not won an award at previous Show & Shine events, they hope this may be the year it does.
Judges look at originality of vehicles, cleanliness, that it has no discernable rust, and its overall appearance and appeal ability, Bob said.
"When we bought the car, I thought Bob truly loved it more than me," Delsie joked.
Bob estimated spending about $75 to prepare the Camaro.
That includes wax and a once-a-year oil change and filter.
"I can do everything in one day, but take my time," he said. "It's a labor of love."
The Camaro has a 4-speed standard transmission with 4-barrel and 350 cubic-inch engine. It normally gets 14 miles per gallon around town and 22 on trips.
However, he once drove it around Kingman with half a tank of gas and "an egg under my foot on the gas pedal" and got 19 mpg.
Delsie said the original owner of the Camaro had problems with the "intricate" shift. Shift rods tended to lock when put into reverse unless the driver had the right touch and gears were properly engaged.
In 1981, Zimmerlee had a Hurst shifter installed that made the Camaro easier to drive. He estimates putting about 300 miles per year on the odometer.
"I can drive it through a school zone, where the speed limit is 15, and do so in fourth gear," he said. "It idles its way through real smoothly."