Michael and Maryana Sullivan’s 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster won Best of Show last weekend in the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance, a large classic car and boat show outside of Houston, Texas. It was the first car show the Sullivans entered. Courtesy

CHEYENNE – Michael Sullivan has been a gearhead since he was 8 years old, when he opened a National Geographic magazine and saw a 1953 Buick Skylark.

“I turned to my buddy, and I said, ‘I’m going to own one someday,’” Sullivan said.

Now, he and his wife, Maryana, do own a 1953 Skylark, along with three other classic cars. Sullivan also proudly displays his 1915 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in his downtown Cheyenne office.

One of their cars recently won big – their 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster won Best of Show last weekend in the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance in Seabrook, Texas, a bayside city outside of Houston.

The invitation-only show was Sullivan’s first time showing one of the cars.

“I was pretty lucky to get invited to this, and to win an award – especially that award – was just totally unexpected,” he said.

In a video of the awards ceremony, “Voice of the Concours” Ed Lucas calls Sullivan’s entry “absolutely impeccable” and “the best restored Auburn Speedster I’ve ever seen.”

The car won the Best of Show award in the American category, with the other going to a European entry.

This year’s show featured 200 cars, motorcycles and trucks, and close to 70 classic boats, according to its website.

The Cheyenne native is quick to point out that he didn’t build or restore the car – he just had the foresight to buy it, and he’s very proud to own it.

He complimented his wife, too, adding that she was beside him every step of the way.

“She’s the one that helped me and went along with this and supported it,” he said. “She’s been very supportive.”

The couple has attended shows around the world together, including ones in Paris and Germany.

Sullivan plans to show the couple’s 1936 Packard Speedster at a California show in June.

For now, he’s looking forward to summer drives through his neighborhood in his award-winning ride. He said he’ll never tire of looking at old cars, and he hopes more young people in the Cheyenne area will get involved in the classic car and hot rod communities.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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