If you happened to find yourself passing through town on the second Saturday of August and suddenly ended up hip deep In what appeared to be a hornet’s nest of hot rods, you might have felt some concern for your health and welfare—that is, if you were not a GearHead. After all, Hollywood had once made horror films about hot rods taking over a town!
Car guys and gals from all around know that this is the Gresham, OR. Rockin’ Around The Block Annual Cruise spectacular! This is the day that the Northwest Motorsports Association takes over downtown Gresham and proceeds to line Main Street with all manner of muscle and hardcore hot rods.
And not to worry Martha. This horde runs a clean operation… Well, there was that one year… You see, there was this thing called the “Brick It.” And well – there was this T-Bird that caught fire! It seems the engine blew up and spread fire to all of the plastic on the car which proceeded to burn and burn and could not be put out. Ultimately the fire department had to be called in. But then that is another story.
The fact is, the NWMA has been producing this event for seventeen years running with the blessing of the entire downtown district. This event is a fundraiser for the Mount Hood Community College automotive technology program. During that time it has raised over $150,000 for scholarships.
Long time Street magic car club member, Scott sayre has been working this event since its inception. We asked him what stood out in this year’s show? Not surprisingly his answer was – a car. Specifically it was a ‘66 Nova out of Schroeder Speed and Custom speed shop In Troutdale, OR. This car has been pulling down multiple trophies and wins since it was recently introduced to the car world. It did it at the Portland Roadster Show and at this event as well.
There really was much more going on at this spectacular event than we can mention in these pages. This is a huge draw for the Gresham Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor, Jon Weston introduced a really bitchin’ old ‘54 Fire Engine that would have come in handy years ago (see above).
The show is heavily supported by a number or recurring sponsors. Not only are all the streets and lots throughout the core downtown area filled with Detroit iron but the Farmers Market fills up adjacent streets. All together it adds up to throngs of people jamming the streets and sidewalks throughout the day.
Speaking of throngs – we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Gresham Bed Races. What are those… uh, watch the vid. Actually, this has been part of the tradition. On Friday evening, the locals line the sidewalks on Main Street to witness those crazy bed contraptions that local businesses and organizations have built. Teams push them down the impromptu dragstrip set up on the closed down street. This year’s competition was mostly dominated by Tae Kwon Do fighters. Show promoter, Vern Ferris was happy to include a raffle this year for wounded veterans. Two lucky winners went home with some really bitchin’, little miniature electric KIA cars donated by Show sponsor Westin Buick Kia GMC. Then there were the hundred or so trophies given out to the deserving winners.
Ron Ruedi and the Hurricanes rocked out throughout the afternoon on their Main Street stage right up until the Main Street Cruise closed out the event that evening.
It was a great day for a car cruise And this one did not disappoint. The weather was nice and mild and the whole town was filled with hundreds of hot rods all throughout the day. Were you there? Let us know what you think.