Acres of cars delight visitors at ‘End of Summer’ Cruise-In

See what has become one of the largest community car shows in Portland …

Jordin Irvin and Courtney Vanderberg are check in entrants to the 2015 End of Summer Cruise-in.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Attracting aficionados of specialty and vintage vehicles of all ages and kinds, the End of Summer Cruise-In has grown to be a huge annual outer East Portland event. This year, it was held on September 20.

Spectators enjoy looking at the craftsmanship by the vehicle owners who bring their cars to the show, as much as the owners love showing them off one last time before winter weather sets in. By 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 20th, the parking lot at SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, was filled with vehicles, owners, and visitors.

There are always acres of vintage and specialty vehicles on display at the End of Summer Cruise-In.

Pizza Baron owner Bill Dayton shows off his own cherry-red classic 1953 Studebaker Custom; the hood’s up, showing the Avanti engine with supercharger.

“Because of my long association with cars, the ‘End of Summer Cruise-In’ has been a long-standing tradition here in our parking lot,” smiled Bill Dayton of Pizza Baron.

“Again this year, many people, from a dozen different car clubs, have come out to support this great community event,” Dayton told East Portland News.

Like many entrants, these folks at the End of Summer Cruise-In enjoy talking about cars about as much as working on them.

With more than 170 entrants, Dayton said he felt the months-long effort of arranging the annual car-lover get-together was worth the effort. “It’s a great day; we see smiles on people’s faces, and everyone is having a good time. That’s what a cruise-in is all about.”

Judging a 1988 Chevy Blazer S10 are Blayne Eubanks, Jason Eubanks and Ryan Volk.

David Douglas High School senior Felisa Armitage sings the National Anthem.

As in past years, the David Douglas High School Choir sold “50/50 Drawing” tickets –$300 worth – to help support their program. And, again this year, the Junior Auxiliary member of American Legion Portland Post #1 – “The Service Post” – presented the colors.

The Endless Summer Band was back to “play the hits” at the annual outer East Portland car show.

Perhaps the greatest rock-and-roll live band ever – the group we called “The Endless Summer Band” – returned with Jimmy Thompson on bass, Dan Premmer on drums, and Jeff Dean at the keyboard. New to the band was lead guitarist Carl Wilson, who has been playing music in Portland since 1963, and is the Chaplin of Oregon Fraternal Order of Eagles, as well as being their Humanitarian of the Year award recipient.

Although this is the only gig they play together during the year, the band played and entertained throughout the day, performing the greatest rock-and-roll songs ever, as if they’d been playing nightly.

This reproduction 1890 Reo was created by owner Dave Crowley, who built it from scratch, based on a photograph. It actually runs, powered by an 18.5 Briggs engine.

The cruise-in was sponsored and produced primarily by Pizza Baron and Mayhem Customs, was joined this year by a new sponsor, O’Reilly Auto Parts, who along with many other area businesses provided gift bag items and raffle prizes.

This year, winning entrants took home one of 33 trophies – three of them being sweepstakes trophies – the honorees selected by the sponsors.

The Sweepstakes Winners arePizza Baron Award: Ron Davis for his ’47 Chevy Coupe; Kevin Ernst presents the Mayhem Customs Award to Ryan Volk for his ’70 Chevelle; and the O’Reilly Auto Parts Award goes to the Fugates for their ’36 Auburn.

Until next summer, these classic car lovers will go back to engaging their second love – tending to their chromed vehicles in their workshops.

Here’s the 2015 End of Summer Cruise-In, looking north across the festival, in a view from the bed of the big truck entry brought by Michael Deaner and Jeanne Golladay (inset).

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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