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Great vehicles, weather make car show a classic

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The popularity of “Cadzilla,” the $900,000 ’48 Cadillac owned by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, made it hard to find ’48 Cadillacs. But Butte resident Gary Gatelli found one in Texas. 

Gary and his wife Cathy drove the Caddy to the Cruisen by the Bay car show in Polson last weekend.

The Gatellis' Caddy is black with creamy tan leather upholstery, and it has modest fins, since 1948 was just the start of the fins, Gary said. The roofline was lowered to three-and-a- half-feet, he said, and the car sports whitewall tires. 

The ’48 Cadillac was just one of the many cars, hot rods and pickups on display down Polson’s Main Street from Highway 93 to Seventh Avenue West.

Mission Valley Cruisers hosts the car show, and MVC secretary Dyan Fiorentino said 222 cars and five motorcycles lined Polson’s streets this year, compared to 181 last year.

Not only do car fans enjoy the Cruisen by the Bay show, but so the people who visit Polson to display their automobiles and the downtown Polson merchants.

Jackie Cripe, Jackie M’s Footwear owner, said Cruisen by the Bay and the art festival bring lots of people downtown. Also the car show visitors tire of sitting and wander the town, some even going shopping. 

“(The car show) is good for business. The motels are full; filling stations and restaurants are busy; and there’s a lot of entertainment,” Cripe said. 

Although Candy Yeater from Treasure State Mercantile had been on vacation, she could tell from receipts that Friday and Saturday were busy days for the store. 

However, Colton and Cason Graham were not interested in shopping. They simply came to look at all the cool cars with their mom — and maybe score an ice cream cone. 


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