While custom culture has bridged generations, it all originated somewhere, specifically with the bootleggers. Certainly, the industry has come a long way since modifying vehicles meant a means to an end, but in Loveland, Colorado, there is a shop that’s dedicated to the vintage era and keeping the history of classic cars and vintage autos alive for generations to come. They came together and shared this passion with the local community through the first annual Hot Cars Cool Nights car show in the historic Downtown Loveland, Colorado and we were on hand to bring it straight to you, Slam’d style!


Photos & Words: Lindsey Fisher

The shop responsible for this awesome event and collection of history is called The Forge, formally known as Custom Auto, and while it’s been in Loveland for many years now producing some of the community’s most amazing custom cars, the shop is under new ownership and with a new name and flavor. With that comes a fresh new outlook and a rekindling of passion set to expand into the local car community like never before to give back to those who support and help keep the lifestyle alive.


On Friday June 5th, Mike Detwiler, the new owner of The Forge, invited the community to his shop in east Loveland for the freshly re-themed grand opening party. A ton of local car enthusiasts brought out their personal vehicles for the event, while the shop itself displayed a number of customer cars currently under construction at the facility, as well as a handful of historic hot rods including a black-on-black 1971 ‘Cuda recently completed at The Forge.


The grand opening party turned cruise and stretched well into the night with countless enthusiasts touring the shop, hitting up the on-site food truck and enjoying classic rockabilly music from The Atomic Drifters. Even the little bit of rain that came through around 9pm that night didn’t deter enthusiasts as they piled into the working area of the facility along with many high-end hot rods in the making and talked shop late into the night.


Saturday proved to be even more popular in Downtown Loveland as The Forge kicked off the the official Hot Cars Cool Nights car show. The streets in the historic town were crowded to the brim with hundreds of pre-1973 vehicles alongside their proud owners and builders. In addition to the countless customs, historic hot rods, including a recently unearthed Bonneville racer and an original all-steel 1932 Ford roadster, the event offered live music, a classy pinup contest, local craft beer garden, and special Kids Zone packed full of inflatable climbing contraptions and otherwise entertaining activities for the youngins, such as high-flying trampolines and even a pedal car race track. Supported by downtown shops and restaurants, there was plenty to do and see for all types of show-goers in this old-school Americana-inspired show.


The car show went until 6pm with awards for various classes, including People’s Choice and Kids’ Choice, handed out to deserving contenders and participants. The event then continued on with an exclusive police escort out to Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson, where classic car enthusiasts parked their cars for a Saturday-night double feature of “Grease” and “America Graffiti” in true drive-in style. This was the perfect night cap and an ode to classic Americana. Historic vehicles and the passion that is the basis of The Forge and the local car community – Hot Cars Cool Nights turned out to be a spectacular event that will surly become a highly anticipated annual event for years to come!


For more information on the passion, talent and dedication for preserving classic cars behind The Forge, be sure to check them out online HERE. We’ve got plenty more car shows and events from the Rocky Mountain area coming your way, so stay tuned right here to Slam’d Mag for plenty more custom action coast-to-coast and around the globe!

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