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Aztec Block Party and Car Show brings out dream mobiles

Aaron-Michael Kee and his wife celebrate their family’s three-category win on Saturday, May 18 at Aztec’s Car Show and Block Party in downtown Aztec. (Tri-City Record)
Muscle cars, campers and trucks highlight Show ‘n’ Shine

Area car enthusiasts came together for Aztec’s Block Party and Car Show ‘n’ Shine on May 18 in downtown Aztec.

Aaron-Michael Kee celebrated with family and said that he has, “been an enthusiast all my life, just fulfilling my childhood dream.”

Kee took home awards for three categories including motorcycle, radio control and classic truck and SUV. He said his “show” bike is still in paint and body, but he entered his traveler bike, which is a 2022 Road Glide ST. The classic truck they entered is a 1981 Chevy K-10, and their radio-controlled entry was a 1978 K-10.

The Chevy 1981 K-10 assembly, wiring and all the interior was done by him and his wife. The bench seat and painting were done by local shops Crown Customs and Auto Original.

It's an honor to finally see the truck at its full potential, said Aaron-Michael Kee.

Aaron-Michael Kee and daughter Bleigsh-Mykeals Kee celebrate their family’s three-category win on Saturday, May 18 at Aztec’s Car Show and Block Party in downtown Aztec. Kee said the truck was driven by Bleigsh-Mykeals to get her through college and back-and-forth to her job for several years. (Tri-City Record)

The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS was the Best of Show winner. It is owned by Bill and Wendi Luce. Bill said he recently finished a frame-off restoration on the car in September, and that took him 4½ years to complete.

“Basically the whole car has been either rebuilt or replaced,” he said.

Bill Luce stands next to his 1967 Camaro Best of Show winner at the conclusion of the Aztec Block Party Car Show held in downtown Aztec, on May 18. Luce said in an email, “P.S., The car is really fun to drive, and yes, it is fast!” (Tri-City Record)

“I did most of the work myself with help from Four Corners Cool Customs in Farmington for the upholstery, and Lin Coats of Coates Designs in Bayfield for help with the paint and exhaust system,” Luce said.

The muscle car has a rebuilt, fuel-injected 327 engine that puts out 425 horsepower with a Muncie four-speed transmission and a Posi rear end differential. Upgrades that were added include a power steering system, four-wheel power disc brakes, vintage air suspension, custom wiring and the electrical system.

Luce had won a cash prize, and Aaron-Michael Kee jokingly hollered to the hosts, “I’m missing my paper prize,” causing laughter from the attending crowd.

1977 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 owned by Steve and Linda Sency of Durango won first place in the Jeeps and Buggies category at the Aztec Block Party Car Show on May 18. (Tri-City Record)

Linda Sency said in an email that she and her husband bought their Land Cruiser in 1984.

“My husband and I bought this Toyota in 1984 for a mere $3,000, even though that was a bit expensive at that time when we first came to the Southwest from the East Coast. We wanted something sturdy that would allow us to get into the backcountry and on four-wheel drive roads, and this Land Cruiser did live up to the hopes we had for it.”

Sency shared with the Tri-City Record in an email that the couple have owned the vehicle for 40 years, and how it has been upgraded over that time. Improvements mentioned included the installation of a 3.3 BT Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, a rooftop tent, an Engel 12-volt refrigerator-freezer and two ARB awnings.

The couple have worked together to make it their version of the perfect off-road recreational vehicle. They shared how they can spend up to three-weeks in the backcountry exploring with their two-burner propane stove, two 12-gallon water tanks and pop-up kitchen that includes a repurposed contractor box for kitchenware. With Steve Sency’s mechanical and fabrication talent and Linda Sency’s organizational perspective, they continue to work together on their “work in progress.”

The first-place winner for the Classic Car (1950–1989) Category, Antonio Perez, shows a 1964 Volkswagen Kombi/Transporter. (Tri-City Record)

Vendors lined the new Aztec Plaza. The recently opened outdoor market area was filled with music, vendors, food, and knickknacks and specialty service providers gave invaluable information to interested attendees.

Vendors line the new Aztec Plaza in downtown Aztec, on May 18. (Tri-City Record)
Vendors line the new Aztec Plaza in downtown Aztec on May 18. (Tri-City Record)
Downtown Aztec motorcycle parking. (Tri-City Record)
Car Show ’n’’ Shine participants line Chuska Street in downtown Aztec. (Tri-City Record)