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Hot August Nights features hot rods, fresh produce
Eileen Kuil packs a bag of almonds for a customer at the Manteca Farmers Market and Hot August Nights cars show Tuesday night at Library Park. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Ray Simons looked over his blue 1927 Ford sedan with a smile as a couple passing by asked him about the car.

Parked along the edge of Library Park for the Hot August Nights meeting of the Manteca Farmer’s Market sponsored by the Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau, Simons graciously accepted the compliments from the couple, and told them about his other car – a restored Camaro – that fulfills his need for having a Chevrolet.

“This is all Ford right here – Mama won’t let me put anything Chevy on it,” Simons said with a laugh. “I’ve had it for about nine years now, and it’s a process of restoring it and fine-tuning everything.”

As a part of the Nuts and Bolts car club, Simons gets together with his fellow auto enthusiasts every Wednesday morning at Perko’s Café located at 1703 E. Yosemite Avenue – the second Perko’s that the group has called home after the café located at Yosemite Avenue and Union Road closed and later became a pizza establishment.

Wednesday nights, he said, are often spent at Chubby’s where pictures of classic cars adorn the walls and the ‘50s-era theme rings true with all of the restored vehicles sitting in the parking lot.

There are no dues for the group. Pretty much the only basis for becoming a member is having the passion for restoring your classic ride and talking about it with other people that share the same goal.

“We just come and tell lies about what we’re going to do,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s a labor of love, and it’s a good group of people to spend time with.”

Manteca resident Carol Lopez looked at the cars with awe as she passed by along the closed portion of the street at the western edge of the Library complex.

“I think it’s great that there are so many people that are dedicated to restoring their cars, and that they bring them out for people to enjoy around town,” said Lopez, who spent her Tuesday shopping for fruit and vegetables at one of the last farmer’s market gatherings of the season. “It’s a lot of fun, and events like this really give you a reason to come out and chat with people in the community.”