Judging the Cruise of Champions

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Thousands of cars cruise through the Atlantis parking lot for the annual Cruise of Champions, part of the Hot August Nights celebration. And five judges are tasked with picking those that shine the brightest.

"We're the luckiest guys on the planet because these guys bring their cars to us," said Mike Amrine, who has been judging cars in this competition for the last nineteen years. "It's really tough competition though once in a while you just get the most amazing car that rises to the top."

The judges score the classic cars in several categories.

"There's a point sheet the judges have and you're scored so many points for things like the engine compartment, the interior, the exterior," said Scott Lotts. He's been judging the competition for the last seven years. "I love the cars and I've wanted to be involved in this for a long time."

They're car guys themselves.

"I've got my cars too, you gotta have your hot rods, you know,?" Lotts said.

"In a past lifetime I worked for a private car collector, I've always loved cars," Amrine said.

It's like a reunion every August.

"I've seen cars since I first started and they're back every year," Lotts said. "The funny thing is, I remember their names, they remember my name and it's like, hi again, it's great."

Winners are chosen at the end of every night.

"That's the greatest thing ever, you'd think we were giving them a house," Amrine said. "Men are really simple creatures; you show interest in what we're interested in and you've got us."

Pictures with the winners captures the moment forever.

"When they take the picture we all kind of photobomb the picture," Lotts said.

The Cruise of Champions continues through Saturday, August 12, 2017.