By Kyle Cushman, Correspondent
Fifty-plus cars, trucks and motorcycles of all shapes and sizes filled the square in downtown Belton on July 21 for the monthly Rod Chopperz Car Cruise. The Rod Chopperz club hosts the event on the square the third Friday of each month, and it is open to the public.
Doug Holland, a member of Rod Chopperz, has a 1929 Ford Model A Delivery.
“Rod Chopperz currently has about 25 members. We’re a pretty new club. Billy Martone started the club about five years ago,” said Holland. “Our club is going to start having a show at Sonic on FM 439 every month, and we’ll have one at the Dead Fish Grill three times a year. The third Friday of each month on the square is open to public. We want to get up to 100 members in the club and raise enough money to start having a few more bigger car shows. We’d also like to raise money to give to charities.”
Steve Brooks is also a member of Rod Chopperz. He is in the process of building a car.
“It’s a 1933 Ford coupe,” said Brooks. “When it’s done, it will have new upholstery inside and a new paint job.” Speaking about Rod Chopperz, Brooks mentioned, “It’s $40 to join the Rod Chopperz club. With the membership, you get a T-shirt and a decal.”
Mike Joachim and Mitch McCluhan, of the Central Texas Classic Mustang club, brought their cars to the square on Friday.
“Our Mustang club is just starting out and there are four cars in the club,” said Joachim. “We’re looking for people with first generation mustangs, which is year model 1964 ½ – 1973. Our club is real informal. There are no rules and no dues, just guys loving their old cars. We have a Facebook page named ‘Central Texas Classic Mustangs’.”
Jack Meredith of Belton showed up with his bright yellow 1973 Ford Gran Torino hard top.
“I bought it at an estate sale, mentioned Meredith. “I bought it for my grandson, but it had too much power for him. We got him a Subaru instead. A friend of mine at church named the car “Tweety Bird”.
Michael Gonzales, owner of Gonzos FabWorks & CNC, displayed his M35A2 military vehicle.
“It’s a military cargo truck. They were manufactured from 1958 until 1990,” said Gonzales. “This one is a 1983 model.” Gonzales also displayed many of his steel cutouts that he made at Gonzo FabWorks. “It’s an outgrown hobby. I started doing it at home. I use a CNC with design software. A lot of time is spent designing each piece of work. We’re getting ready to put a store front in Salado.”
Jesse Coulter of Killeen, a welder on Ft Hood, is the proud owner of a 1967 Mustang Shelby GT 500.
“I found it in Tennessee,” said Coulter. “It was in real bad shape, and there were lots of parts underneath which were rusted. The first thing I did when I got it home was take it completely apart. I rebuilt the motor myself. It’s a 302 V-8. I built the entire car in about one year.”