Muscle Machines To Land Yachts, Summer Is Go-Time For Wyoming’s Gearheads

From muscle machines to land yachts, the summer classic car season in Wyoming wouldn’t be complete without the annual Cars, Cigars and Guitars show in Cheyenne.

RJ
Renée Jean

August 27, 20238 min read

This 2007 Corvette Indy 500 owned by Steve Melius was getting some attention during the Cars, Cigars and Guitars event.
This 2007 Corvette Indy 500 owned by Steve Melius was getting some attention during the Cars, Cigars and Guitars event. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

CHEYENNE — In 2007, Brenda Treuthardt fell head over heels for a green mustang. 

It had a sleek glass roof — impossible to see through outside the car, but a breeze for the driver inside.  It had a shaker intake, which feeds more oxygen to a muscle car’s engine. And, of course, it had the requisite hole in the hood so that the aforementioned shaker can properly breathe.  

Treuthardt’s ex bought the car as a surprise anniversary present for her. She has since lost the ex, but has kept the car through thick and thin. 

Saturday night, she was among about 100 car enthusiasts that gathered for Cars, Cigars and Guitars Under The Stars, a nationally-televised charity car show event in Cheyenne. 

Some of the best cars in the show come from far-distant places to be part of the event, which is sponsored by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. The event generally raises around $50,000 every year for charity.  

The charities benefitting from this year’s event are Coats for Kids, South Side Sluggers, Veterans’ rock, and the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative.  

Those who missed the show can catch it on Motor Trend and other national programs over the next six months. 

“Power Scope productions are here today, videoing and interviewing people with the cars, as well as some of the charities,” Cars, Cigars and Guitars organizer Timothy Joannides told Cowboy State Daily. “It will be shown on national TV at least four times in the next six months. We’ll be on Motor Trend TV, as an example, and there’s other national programs that will be featuring this event. We’re pretty excited about that. We’re here in old Cheyenne, Wyoming, and we’ll be on national TV.” 

Joannides got the idea for the charity event from a similar event in Texas. But he added a few of his own ideas, like free cigars as well as guitars — live music outside. 

  • Brenda Treuthardt poses with the 2007 green Mustang she calls Sins of Envy.
    Brenda Treuthardt poses with the 2007 green Mustang she calls Sins of Envy. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Sins of Envy is a 2007 green Mustang with a shaker engine and chrome wheels.
    Sins of Envy is a 2007 green Mustang with a shaker engine and chrome wheels. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Sins of Envy was the perfect name for a green 2007 Mustang, because those who admire it turn green with envy.
    Sins of Envy was the perfect name for a green 2007 Mustang, because those who admire it turn green with envy. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Brenda Treuthardt added old-time pin striping to the car she calls Sins of Envy.
    Brenda Treuthardt added old-time pin striping to the car she calls Sins of Envy. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A look under the hood of a green Mustang called Sins of Envy.
    A look under the hood of a green Mustang called Sins of Envy. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Working On Cars With Dad 

Truethardt grew up in a Ford household working on cars with her dad. Her first car, in fact, was a green 1968 Ford Mustang.  

That may have been why the 2007 green Mustang tripped all the right triggers for her. 

“It was at the Laramie Ford dealership,” she said. “It was just sitting there, and nobody wanted it. They made a handful of these conversions of Mustangs, but nobody wanted green.” 

The car today is pretty much as it was when purchased in 2007, Truethardt told Cowboy State Daily, but she’s added a few tweaks to make it her own.  Like the old-school pinstripe on either side of the car, as well as items inside the car to give it more of a Mustang feel.  

Eventually, 12 years after getting the car, she gave it a name — Sins of Envy. 

“It’s green,” Truethardt said. “It’s green with envy, Sins of Envy. And I’m obsessed with dragonflies. So it’s got little dragonflies here and there.” 

Truethardt keeps the car inside year-round, but enjoys driving it to car shows now and then. 

“I’m not a trailer queen,” she said. “But I just turned 40,000 miles on it, so I don’t drive it that much.” 

Her favorite car memory is the year she and her dad went to Steamboat to a car show. 

“He had a ‘97 I think, Cobra, and I had a ‘63 and a half Ford Galaxy and we went there and competed side by side,” she said. “Back in the day, they used to do racing and track stuff. They kind of frown upon that now, but it was in almost every event then, and at the car show I beat my dad. So that was funny.” 

Truethardt’s dad died five years ago, but she always feels like he’s there in spirit at every car show. 

“Life’s too short to drive a boring car,” she said. “I don’t care if you buy a can of spray paint and paint half the car black. Have fun, recreate it, make it you.” 

  • Craig Rood and his 1976 Ford Bronco.
    Craig Rood and his 1976 Ford Bronco. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • The condition of a 1976 Ford Bronco before Craig Rood rescued and restored it.
    The condition of a 1976 Ford Bronco before Craig Rood rescued and restored it. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A little peek under the hood of this restored 1976 Ford Bronco.
    A little peek under the hood of this restored 1976 Ford Bronco. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • This classic Bronco has some pretty sweet wheels.
    This classic Bronco has some pretty sweet wheels. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Randy Danclif polishes his 1961 Corvette after a brief downpour during the Cars, Cigars and Guitars charity fundraiser in Cheyenne.
    Randy Danclif polishes his 1961 Corvette after a brief downpour during the Cars, Cigars and Guitars charity fundraiser in Cheyenne. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Indy 500 owned by Steve Melius.
    A 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Indy 500 owned by Steve Melius. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Cars Guitars and Cigars organizer Timothy Joannides poses with his 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Only 400 like it were made.
    Cars Guitars and Cigars organizer Timothy Joannides poses with his 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Only 400 like it were made. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A sky blue Hummer is admired.
    A sky blue Hummer is admired. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Talk Of The Show 

All the cars at the show were worthy of more than a few words, but of all the cars at the show, the one that had the most people talking was a 1976 burnt orange Ford Bronco. 

The dreamboat Bronco is something Craig Rood found in a backyard next to his mother’s house in Rock Springs a long time ago. 

“I tried to talk the guy into selling it for years and years, and he never wanted to because it was his mom and dad’s,” Rood told Cowboy State Daily. “I’d always wanted a Bronco, so one day he said he’d sell it, so I bought it.” 

Rood said he had driven a Bronco while working at a summer job when he was still in high school and had wanted one ever since. 

“My son and I were going to restore it,” Rood said. 

But three months into it, they realized it was going to take them forever working at the pace they were able to work. 

“So, even though we enjoyed it, and he and I are both pretty handy, we found a guy in Colorado who does nothing but restore Broncos and sent it down there,” Rood said. “It took about two years to get it restored.” 

Everything on the Ford Bronco is brand new, Rood said. 

“They took it down to the frame and repainted it,” he said. “So they had it about two years and I’ve had it about two years since then.” 

Rood paid about $1,000 for the Bronco itself, but has about $80,000 into it now that it’s been completely refurbished.  

“It’s a lot more expensive than my daily driver,” he admitted. “I do drive it around, but they’re not as roadworthy as new cars.” 

He enjoys taking it to car shows, where it frequently takes the top award. 

  • From left, Athen Mores Rick Swanzey and AHEPA Vice President Chris Allen enjoy a cigar during Cars, Cigars and Guitars, a charity fundraiser in Cheyenne.
    From left, Athen Mores Rick Swanzey and AHEPA Vice President Chris Allen enjoy a cigar during Cars, Cigars and Guitars, a charity fundraiser in Cheyenne. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Cars moved indoors as bad weather moved in.
    Cars moved indoors as bad weather moved in. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Cars lined up outside at the start of the charity event Cars, Guitars and Cigars, but not for long. A storm moved in and most owners moved their vehicles inside.
    Cars lined up outside at the start of the charity event Cars, Guitars and Cigars, but not for long. A storm moved in and most owners moved their vehicles inside. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Classic cars isn't all that turn the cranks for Wyoming car enthusiasts. Big Als towing brought these sweet rigs to show at Cars, Cigars and Guitars.
    Classic cars isn't all that turn the cranks for Wyoming car enthusiasts. Big Als towing brought these sweet rigs to show at Cars, Cigars and Guitars. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A small contingent of motorcycles was also at the Cars Guitars and Cigars charity fundraiser.
    A small contingent of motorcycles was also at the Cars Guitars and Cigars charity fundraiser. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • This off-road vehicle was the raffle prize.
    This off-road vehicle was the raffle prize. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Free cigars from Smoker Friendly were passed out to participants of the charity fundraiser Cars, Guitars and Cigars.
    Free cigars from Smoker Friendly were passed out to participants of the charity fundraiser Cars, Guitars and Cigars. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

No Rewards But Lots of Camaraderie 

Cars, Cigars and Guitars Under The Stars is a different kind of car show, in that there are no prizes for best or most original car.  

“This is a charity classic car show, and frankly, it’s the largest and most lucrative one,” organizer Timothy Joannides told Cowboy State Daly. “We raise more money than any other car show that we know of.” 

For participants, that’s the real reward of the whole event. Knowing that they’ve played a part in raising money for good causes. And then there’s the camaraderie. 

“I’ve been coming to this every year,” Randy Dancliff told Cowboy State Daily, while he buffed a few water marks off of his cherry red 1961 Corvette. “I think this is the fifth or sixth car show, and I’ve been coming every year.” 

What he likes the best is just the chance to talk with other car enthusiasts about cars. 

“When you come to a car show like this, you bump into people who have the same hobbies,” he said. “And it’s kind of fun to just talk cars with everyone.” 

Dancliff paid $9,000 in the 80s for the 1961 Corvette he brought to the show Saturday. It was a birthday present to himself. 

“These things are rare,” he said. “And that’s why I like it. There are eight generations of Corvette styles, and this was the first.” 

In 1963, Chevy came out with the Stingray, changing things up from the Roadster model that had been popular from 1953 through 1962. The ’62 Corvettes were also the last to have a trunk.  

“They made about 3,000 of these cars,” he said. “It’s been a great, great toy, and I’ve had it a long time.” 

Dancliff and his wife used to drive it once a year to Saratoga every summer for a weekend.  

But one thing they never did was drive the car in bad weather.  

“You get as much water inside the car with the top up as you do down when it rains,” he said, chuckling.  

That makes it a fair-weather-only car.  Not unlike most of the other cars at the show, which only come out when the weather and the company are particularly fine. 

  • A 1934 Plymouth coupe on display at Cars Guitars and Cigars.
    A 1934 Plymouth coupe on display at Cars Guitars and Cigars. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A 1931 Ford Model A slant windshield with four doors owned by Gene Sticks.
    A 1931 Ford Model A slant windshield with four doors owned by Gene Sticks. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • A 1936 Chevy truck with the engine showing.
    A 1936 Chevy truck with the engine showing. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)
  • The engine in a 1936 Chevy pickup.
    The engine in a 1936 Chevy pickup. (Renee Jean, Cowboy State Daily)

Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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RJ

Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter