20th Annual Rockin’ Around the Block Cruise

It was a dark and stormy night… Somewhere. But not in sleepy little town of Gresham Oregon located just on the outskirts of bustling Portland. As the sun peeked over the Eastern Horizon on Saturday August 11th, it gave way to a cool crisp morning as the town began to enjoy a brief respite from a record-setting heat wave.

Off in the distance, finely-tuned ears could tell that something was amiss. A kind of cackling sound gradually approaching downtown Main Street. Those who were there will atttest to the rising cacophony of sounds that all of a sudden seemed to surround the town. The sounds seemed to approach from all directions… Ack ack ack, pocketa pocketa, whompa. For the 20th year the annual Rockin Around the Block Cruise was underway in Gresham.

And just as had been done for so many years before, Main Street quickly filled up with arriving hot rods, gassers, muscle cars and whatever else ones imagination could conjure up. Soon all of the surrounding streets and parking lots throughout downtown were filled.

This time there would be no need for the town fathers to call in the gendarmes, as this event is a result of the finely-tuned effort between the promoters, Northwest Motorsports Association, Mount Hood Community College automotive program,  Chamber of Commerce and all of the other partners, sponsors and volunteers who take part in this successful event.

Again this year there was dancing in the streets as the Ron Ruedi Band laid down his signature rock and roll Tunes. In addition, Spenellis brought in the band, Saturated Phats to entertain fans from their front porch. As always, there was plenty for the whole family along with the clowns, face painting and competitions for the kids. And as always, there were plenty of trophies for the big boys (and girls) and their toys.

In addition to the well over 300 cars, the vendors, sponsors and all of the other attractions make for quite a draw, resulting in far morer spectators than one would see at the average Cruise In.

Show promoter Jerry Lyons, heads up the Mount Hood Community College automotive program. he said they have set up two distinct accounts to directly benefit outstanding Automotive students with what has now resulted in well  over  $350, 000 in scholarships.

Vern Farris is sergeant-at-arms of the Northwest Motorsports Association and has promoted this event many years. His answer as to what makes this event so successful is short and sweet. He says – it is just the coolest. This Association is a conglomeration of a number of car clubs. Other car clubs out there who would like to become involved should inquire. ’nuff said.

Chuck Fasst
GearHeadsWorld.blogspot.com

Route 66 Fun Run

Route 66. The Mother Road. My wife Sue and I have traveled short stretches of Route 66 incidental to other vacation trips. But this trip is different. Following an invitation from Sue’s cousin, Avery Cantwell, we are on our way to Arizona for the Route 66 Fun Run. It is on day one, while on our way to Arizona, that Sue makes the observation that there is a certain symmetry to the fact that I am 66 years old, driving a ’66 Mustang on Route 66.

The Route 66 Fun Run is now in its 31st year. The event is sponsored by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona headquartered in Kingman, Arizona. It is held the first weekend of May each year. Things get started in Seligman on Friday afternoon when you pick up your registration material. In the evening there is a parade (cruise) on the main street of Seligman open to all registered vehicles. There is also live music and dancing.

Saturday morning the Fun Run officially departs Seligman for Kingman, passing through the Hualapai Reservation and the Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs, Hackberry and Valle Vista. Each of these stops has some type of attraction making a quick stop worthwhile. Upon arrival in Kingman, those who wish to participate are parked along Andy Devine Boulevard/Route 66 in the downtown section for a huge car show that lasts throughout the afternoon. There are many attractions to see and visit in the area, including the Route 66 Museum. It is also a great time to see all the other cars and talk to other participants.

Sunday morning the cars start lining up for a ten o’clock departure on the second leg of the cruise. The departure is led by the 1954 Chevrolet Kingman police car “Pickles.” The ultimate destination is Topock/Golden Shores by noon for lunch and the awards ceremony from the previous day’s car show. This section of the highway is a bit more challenging as it traverses some mountainous terrain. Much of the driving for our Mustang was done in second gear and it was on this section that we saw more vehicles suffering breakdowns or overheating issues.

At the top of the mountain is the old gold-mining town of Oatman. Oatman’s main street is lined with real vintage old west buildings. The town stages gun fights throughout the day for travelers’ entainment. It is also home to wild burros that are free to roam the streets. The burros are federally protected and are tame enough to be approached and petted. Be careful though—as on member of our traveling group lost his bag of popcorn to one of the burros. The animal gave him a little head-butt in the ribs and then snatched the popcorn from his hands.

The Fun Run is open to all cars. This year there were cars from the 1910s all the way through the 2010s. The vast majority of the cars are classics, hot rods or special interest. Just observing the cars while we were driving, it appears that Corvettes outnumbered most other makes.

Registration for the event is limited to 800 vehicles. This year they had 788 rides signed up. Cars come from all over the southwest and farther to attend. During the awards ceremony it was noted that the domestic car club attendance award went to a group from Australia who brought eight Mustangs and a 1932 Ford Coupe all the way to Arizona. But they did not win the long distance award. That plaque went to a young coupe from Argentina who had driven a 1980 Volkswagen Van to the to the event. For them this was a planned stop on their way to Alaska.

Attending the Run was a great time. Although it may not have as many of the classic roadside attractions as other sections of the highway, it is one of the longest remaining sections of the road. It gives you a real sense of what early travelers must have encountered. If you go, be prepared for the possibility of very warm weather. At the end of the run in Topock the temperature was 104 degrees at noon. A little warm for a native Oregonian. It is also highly recommended that you reserve a place to stay early. At his mother’s insistence, since it would hold the entire family, Avery was driving a 1957 Rambler. As Avery put it, “Nothing says fun like driving your momma’s Rambler.” Turns out he was right. The car got a lot of attention and it did comfortably transport the whole family from start to finish.

La Grande Car Show

In July, some friends of mine made a second trip to La Grande, Oregon to participate in the Grande Ronde-A-View Car Show. This time one couple, Jim & Sylvia took their ’39 Ford Sedan and the other couple, Wes & Becki, took their ’40 Chevy Sedan. The Cruise is put on by the Timber Cruisers Car Club. (www.timbercruiserscarclub.com) As I mentioned, this was their second time to go to this cruise. This must speak to the fun this show offers, it’s around 200 miles from Beavercreek.

They stayed in the renovated, “The Landing Hotel” a mixture of rustic and modern decor in downtown La Grande. They all liked sitting on the second-floor veranda right above their cars displayed below on the main drag. Jim told me that there were a couple hundred cars with some from far reaching places, Lake Havasu, Arizona for instance, some from Canada, of course Oregon, Washington, Idaho and other places I can’t remember.

This is a three-day show, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sponsored by local businesses and it’s held right on the main drag through town and at Riverside Park. In addition, there is a Poker Run and a Country side cruise up into the local mountains. The local businesses/sponsors include Les Schwab Tires, Baxter Auto Parts, Market Place, M. J. Goss Motors Co. and La Grande Gold & Silver.

Next years show is scheduled for July 19th thru the 21st. Maybe it should be on your list.

Sadly, this was Wes Warner’s last car show. He passed away after a stroke on August 4th. He will be missed.

National Collector Car Appreciation Day

As this goes to press, it is Friday the 13th, National Collector Car Appreciation Day. Congress has honored all Gearheads by making this our special holiday. We hope it was special for you.

The Wednesday night Beaches cruise-ins opened out at PIR June 6th. And what a Whopper it was, reportedly over 1800 cars in attendance. Unfortunately I have no coverage of this event as the pixel 2 work phone holding thatinfo, mysteriously disappeared Into Thin Air out there. #GearHeadsWorld is still on the lookout for it.

Tesla Makes The News Again:

Another Tesla Model S has gone up in flames. This one belongs to a movie star who had parked it on Santa Monica Boulevard. Some of you may have seen the viral video. in the meantime, Elon Musk has fired a load of his mid-level managers. Looks like he is trimming things down.

Next we have a self-driving Uber that has fatally killed a bicyclist. The driver was behind the wheel streaming “The Voice.” Charges have been brought.

Speaking of bicycles, did you hear the one about the Motorcycle Company who goes back to building bicycles just like they did a hundred years ago when they started? Yep, we are talking about Harley. It seems that the bubble has burst that consisted of the successful baby boomers who climbed aboard their Harleys in the wake of the tremendously successful Discovery show American Chopper which has also settled back down to earth.
Now Harley is looking at the millennial yuppies who don’t want motorcycles. They prefer Nifty bicycles so Harley will be supplying them. They won’t be cheap. You will have to drop around 4 Grand for one. So, now the word bike will have a whole new meaning for Harley.

We like to put in a good word for the RPM bill which continues to be successfully lobbied. Now we have a new wrinkle, it seems that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, has resigned under pressure. Now we wait to see how all that shakes out.

Now, here is our high performance news of the week. And this, most definitely is a harbinger of things to come. The Pikes Peak competition has recently wrapped. There has been a world record run hosted by an electric car. This was the VW l. D. R electric car. It posted a 7. 57 at 148 mph, which is the fastest run for any kind of vehicle ever!
In conclusion we would like to make mention of The Rockin Around The Block cruise in which is coming right up in Gresham. This is the event put on by the Northwest Motorsports Association to benefit the Mount Hood Community College automotive department. Hot rods will take over the entire downtown for the entire day on Saturday August 11th.

’nuff said, Chuck Fasst.
GearHeadsWorld@blogspot.com

Downtown Oregon City Cruise

The eighth annual Downtown Oregon City Cruise is now in the history books. This year, unlike last year’s cruise, had perfect weather. Always a popular cruise, 2017 had nearly 350 cars, trucks, and motor cycles on display.

The cruise is hosted by Trick ‘n Racy Cars, car club and the Downtown Oregon City Association. Several blocks on Main Street from 7th to 10th and the neighboring side streets are closed for the Saturday show.

Oregon City was once the territorial capitol before Oregon became a state and was the end of the Barlow Trail during the wagon train era in the mid-1800s, it has an historic charm and is a picturesque venue.

Many of the downtown businesses support the cruise and the cruise really draws a lot of spectators. With perfect weather, it was great fun for the participants and spectators alike.


Endless Summer Rod Run by Pharoahs Street Rodders

The Endless Summer Rod Run hosted by the Pharaohs Street Rodders had another successful year out in Gresham, Oregon. For 18 weeks, every Wednesday from June until the first week in October, over an estimated one thousand Custom Cars, Street Rods, Classic Original Stockers and Trucks filled the show area lot on Main Street, at the East Hills Church in Gresham.

The Pharaohs were happy to announce they raised Eleven Thousand Dollars for the Veterans programs, MIAP Missing in America and the Lines for Life programs plus, $1000 to the youth services at East Hills. An estimated $1100 was raised and donated by Mary Young (an Army Vet.) and her super helper Johni Gordon at their fantastic Hamburger feed at the final show, the first week in October. An estimated 270 Trophies were awarded to the winning show cars and trucks at this year’s Endless Summer Rod Run events.

The Last Beaches Cruise-In of 2017

September 27th was the last “Beaches Cruise-In” at PIR for 2017, and what a final performance it was. Estimates said there were as many as 2000 cars for this the final for the year. Amazing! This cruise, held every Wednesday evening June through September on the grass at PIR in Portland has blossomed into a massive weekly event. Food and beverage are available for purchase on sight.

The price at the gate is $5.00 per car (two occupants) with the money going to charities. I think I read where over 2 million dollars have be donated so far.

Don’t forget, in 2018, every Wednesday, June through September, gates open at 3pm.

Oregon Festival of Cars

A sure sign that summer is coming to an end is the Oregon Festival of Cars, held each September in Bend, Oregon. Broken Top Club’s driving range is the venue and is a perfect setting. This is a weekend event which starts Friday morning with an optional tour which leaves Ron Tonkin’s Gran Turismo in Wilsonville. With a leasurely drive through country roads, it takes a different route every year. It ends at a car wash in Bachlor Village with all the beer and wash supplies provided, the labor is on you. Later everyone meets in the showroon of Kendall Porsche for dinner, drinks and conversation.

Saturday morning starts with the placement of cars on the driving range with public viewing beginning at 10:00 a.m. The variety of cars is one of the many things I enjoy about this show, with everything from hot rods, customs, classics and muscle cars, to sports cars and classics. This year the featured cars were Badass Cars, and there was a wide variety to choose from. After the show there is a banquet for participants to close things out.
Sunday for those left standing they can choose to participate in a tour which ends with lunch. If you find yourself in Bend the middle of September this is a must see.

Rockin’ Around the Block

If you weren’t at the Northwest Motorsports Associations Rockin Around the Block cruise last month, you missed a big one. Hundreds of cars showed up for this day long event that benefits scholarships for the automotive program at Mount Hood Community College. Rockin’ Ron Rudy and his band supplied the street dance as Hot Rods and cool cars filled in the entire Gresham downtown area. The event then wrapped with the cruise of Main Street.

Jerry Lyons of MHCC was this year’s chairperson of the event. At the last NWMA staff meeting he reported that the entire MHCC staff very pleased with the success of the event. This year’s contribution to the Scholarship Fund will be signifcant, adding to considerable contributions from prior years. NWMA has plenty to be proud of. This year’s event was the most successful of many years. GearHeads: you might want to leave room in your calendars for next year’s 20th. Annual event.

 

Where the CARS are always the STARS

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Produced by Northwest Motorsports Association and presenting sponsor Weston BUICK KIA GMC, Rockin’ Round the Block is a fundraiser for the Mt Hood Community College Automotive Technology Scholarship Program. The event has raised over $153,000 for student scholarships in the past 17 years. The day was packed with fun for the entire family including free kid’s activities, vendor booths and a nostalgic street cruise. This years show was celebrated with over 350 custom cars, street rods, trucks and bikes registering to be eligible to have their rides judged for an opportunity to win one of over 125 Rockin’Round the Block custom made trophies. Opening ceremony started the show with the singing of the star spangled banner at 10 AM and live music with Ron Reudi and the Hurricanes entertained the crowd from noon to 5pm on 3rd & Main Street in downtown Gresham.

As an added attraction Bev and Vern Farris event co-chairs sold raffle tickets for three battery powered children’s vehicles. The funds raised at this event was dedicated to help provide services to veterans and their families. Bob Carlson donated a yellow Prowler and Jan Weston donated two KIA’s to the fund raising program that were given away at this year’s cruise-in. A total of 25 Block Sponsors and supporters from local churches to businesses and community out reach foundations from all over Gresham helped support the 2016 activities. An estimated 12,000 spectators enjoyed the car show plus many frequented the Gresham Farmers Market that is always a big hit. In addition a big salute goes out to all the volunteers from the Northwest Motor sports association and the local Gresham Police and Fire Departments for their activities in making the 2016 show one of the best ever.

bobcollison

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