5 Questions: 'Casper' is a friendly addition to car shows
Ed Betancourt of Roseville is a fixture at Downtown Tuesday Nights car shows with Casper, his 1931 Ford five-window coupe.
A 350-cubic-inch Chevy motor helps Betancourt and wife Sue fly down local roads, whether to and from car shows or just cruising.
Betancourt modernized the classic rod by adding LED lights to the fenders on the 81-year-old body, and Casper is equipped with train, ahooga and wolf whistle horns.
With features such as power windows, doors and brakes, pearl white paint accented with teal pin-striping, CD and, yes, 8-track players, the rod draws eyes young and old.
1. You said you were into restoring foreign cars, notably the British Austin Healy. How did you come to own Casper?
I wanted to get a '67 (Healy). I couldn't find one. A lot of people were just holding onto them. It was time to go to something else. I wanted to do a hot rod. I found this in Rocklin. It didn't have the original fenders, but I was interested in the body.
2. How did the car get the name Casper?
When I put it all together and it was in a paint booth, we put the base coat to it, and I'm going, 'Oh my God.' It's supposed to be a pearl finish, but this thing is white as a ghost. It was whiter than milk. And I said, 'Ghost. Casper.' Right then and there, that's when it was tagged Casper.
3. What are some of the other features on the car?
Those were bolts there (in the fenders). I drilled there and put these little (blinking) LED lights in there. I bought them in Vietnam for $1 each. I took out the rumble seat and made it a trunk.
4. How many car shows have you been to over the years?
The car's been on the road for about 10 years. Every year, just about every show I can go to, I do; on the average, about 15 shows or so a year.
5. What do you like about Downtown Tuesday Nights?
It's relaxing. Everybody knows each other pretty well. We all at one time or another help each other out. A very friendly crowd. I get a kick out of the kids. They come over, look at all the cars. A lot of the fathers, they'll say, "I had something like that, but it didn't look that good."
CLASSIC CAR SHOW
How to enter: Anyone can participate. Cars must be 1973 models and older. Parking starts at 3:30 p.m. Enter at the corner of Vernon and Judah.