Buddy Holly made her famous and after half a century his hit single “Peggy Sue” can still be heard on the vintage radio of the 1955 Thunderbird Convertible owned by Sandy Aucoin of Bridge City. The classic red automobile is a head-turner wherever he goes. His travelling companion is a good-looking blonde in the passenger seat named Peggy Sue.

The engine purrs, chrome glistens and like a time machine Aucion and his Peggy Sue mannequin merge onto memory lane where the classic hits — like the showroom quality restoration of the American icon he drives — are like new again.

It’s love at first sight for most classic car aficionados. One can almost hear Buddy Holly echoing in the background, “Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue. . .”

Aucion began restoring classic cars long before they became vintage. He once owned the gallant Thunderbird before giving it up to become a Port Arthur police officer. But the fever never left him. His mock Peggy Sue travelling companion is a mail order gift from his wife Barbara.  It is the only replica allowed on his car. Everything else, including its driver, are classic.

Aucoin, who found his dream car while shopping for antique fishing lures on eBay, is a long-standing member of ACA and A.C.E.S. car clubs, two of several regional organizations for classic car enthusiasts. In Bridge City there is also the Southeast Texas Cruisers.

He will be among the exhibitors in the Classic Car Show hosted by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce on July 19. The show runs concurrent with the fourth annual Washer Board Tournament at the Bridge City-Orangefield Community Center the same day. Both are fundraisers.

This is the first year the Classic Car Show has become part of the annual event and is free to the public. The antique vehicles will be on display beginning at 9 a.m. Cars range from the early 1930s to classic-style modern day cars. All the entrants are “must-sees” for classic car enthusiasts and spectators.

“We also have a couple that brings a 1923 Ford Model T fire engine with all original equipment,” said Evelyn Brandon, show organizer and staff member for the BC Chamber.

Brandon has been producing and participating in Classic Car Shows for several years. Last September she produced a fundraiser in Bridge City for the Lupus Foundation of America. She is a member of the Southeast Texas Cruisers and the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America.

“When all my girlfriends were in the malls and getting their hair and nails done, I was under the hood with my brother and his friends,” Brandon said.

In addition to the gleaming rows of vintage cars visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in voting for their favorite car for the People’s Choice awards. Women will also get to chose a Ladies Choice winners. There will be a Judges Choice Award conducted by a three-judge panel.

One real beauty to be displayed is Judy Aycock’s 1948 Plymouth-Mayflower Edition restored by her husband Bobby Aycock. It is spacious and elegant, unlike anything made today. The Bridge City couple own three vintage heart throbs that include a 1956 Thunderbird and a 1965 Mustang. The Aycocks are members  of the Gearheads another local classic car club.

Detroit muscle cars and other rides from the 1960s and 1970s will also be on display. Mike Ducote of Bridge City will be showing his prized 1969 Camaro RS-SS and 1972 El Camino.

“There is always a wide variety of muscle cars, including Corvettes, Mustangs, Chargers, Chevelles,” Brandon said. “We’re expecting a very rare Plymouth Road Runner Superbird that is in mint condition and all original.”

Owners of classic cars may enter an exhibit in advance or the morning of the event. Entry fees are $10.00 through July 18 and $15.00 at the gate.

“There should be some very nice high quality show bikes entered as well as the cars,” Brandon said.

According to Brandon, there will be first, second and third place ribbons for both cars and bikes in each category.  Ladies Choice and Best in Show winners will receive trophies.

Criteria for prizes in the Judges Choice award is craftsmanship, quality, presentation, overall cleanliness and attention to detail.

The three judge panel include Kelly Sharpton from Buna, an NCRS (National Corvette Restoration Society) judge and Daryl Peveto, owner of Peveto’s Custom Paints in Bridge City. Peveto is an ISCA (International Show Car Association) judge. Mike Ducote completes the panel with four decades of experience in working on and rebuilding classic cars.

“There’s never been a better time than now to come out and spend time in your local community,” Brandon says, “With the price of gas, you can stay right here in town and have a fantastic time at the car show and washer board tournament.”