Big classic car show roars into Rigby this weekend

Adam Forsgren EastIdahoNews.com

RIGBY — Rigby City Park will be filled with chrome, smoke and noise as the annual “Rigby Hot Classic Nights” car show pulls into town Saturday.

“It’s a car show and who doesn’t love to see shiny chrome,” “Classic Nights” co-chairman Todd Stowell told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s one of the best, I would say, in all of Idaho. I mean, where else can you go to a car show and have food and drag races?”

Now in its 16th year, “Classic Nights” was started as a way to help raise money for the Meals on Wheels program for local senior citizens.

“Back in 2004, the senior citizens of Rigby came to me and said ‘Hey, can we put a hot dog stand in front of your business to raise some money for Meals on Wheels,’” Stowell explained. “The bottom line was that they weren’t making any money. So, my team and I decided ‘Hey, let’s take this thing over and let’s get the seniors some money.’”

Adam Forsgren EastIdahoNews.com

Stowell and his team decided to start a car show as a way of raising money for Meals on Wheels. The show grew steadily every year it was staged.

“The car show evolved into a drag race,” Stowell said. “Then it got so big, we had to move it over to city park. The city even went so far as building us a starting line for the drag races. It’s been a great program and we’ve been able to support the Meals on Wheels program handsomely every year.”

Along with all the beautiful machinery and delicious food, “Classic Nights” features a couple of unique highlights. One of these is the 100-foot drag races, in which racers square off in cars that can generate upwards of 1,000 horsepower to see who is faster off the line.

Stowell said the drag races couldn’t happen without the help of the Midnight Muscle Car Club.

“These guys do drag races right on the streets of beautiful downtown Rigby,” said Stowell. “When the green light comes down, they take off. They only go 100 feet and then they get out of the throttle, so the cars don’t get up to high, high speeds.”

Adam Forsgren EastIdahoNews.com

“What’s cool is the drivers, to ready for that, they do burnouts,” continued Stowell. “There’s just tons of smoke. Then they line up to the starting gate and the light clicks down and they get into that throttle and the noise is so loud, you can feel it through your chest.”

Speaking of loud noises, another “Classic Nights” highlight is the “Dick Brooks Moment of Noise.” Started in honor of local classic car-building legend Dick Brooks, the “Moment of Noise” is a tribute to members of the hot rodding community who have passed on.

Adam Forsgren EastIdahoNews.com

“A lot of people have a moment of silence to honor those who have passed on,” Stowell said. “We kind of do things the opposite way. People start those cars up and let ‘em rip. I know that if Dick was here, he’d want to hear the pipes on that Ratfink Ford of his. So, it’s a really cool and, for me, emotional moment.”

“Classic Nights” culminates in a cruise down Main Street in Rigby. Folks who can’t make it out to the show can still see and hear the cars in all their glory.

“It’s like a parade on Main street,” “Classic Nights” co-chair Adam Hall said. “People can go line up on Main Street and watch all the classic cars that were in the show drive up and down Main Street for about thirty minutes or so, blaring music from their windows.”

“Rigby Hot Classic Nights” revs into Rigby City Park Saturday, July 11 from noon to 5 p.m., with the cruise down Main Street following the conclusion of the show. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing masks and social distancing are encouraged and many of the shows big events will be live-streamed to the show’s Facebook page.

For more information about the show or to donate money or raffle prizes, visit the “Rigby Hot Classic Nights” Facebook page.