‘End of Summer Cruise-in’ biggest and best ever

See what happens when blue skies and warm weather bring owners of specialty vehicles of all descriptions to outer East Portland …

Acres of cars and trucks are on display at the 2014 Pizza Baron End of Summer Cruise-in.

Story and photos David F. Ashton
Even with past threats of early autumn rainstorms, the Pizza Baron “End of Summer Cruise-in” has traditionally attracted a good-sized turnout.

But, with this year’s summer-like weather and beautiful blue skies, the 2014 End of Summer Cruise-in held on September 21 drew a record 181 registered entries – with dozens of additional late-comers parked around the edges of the parking lot at SE 122nd Avenue and SE Division Street, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Standing in front of their cruise-in entry is “Uncle Jeff” Vanderberg, who holds Madison Dayton; Kelli Dayton holds daughter Mackenzie with husband Jeff Dayton behind her, next to Pizza Baron Bill Dayton.

“It’s been a long-time tradition – the cruise-in here, in our parking lot,” said Bill Dayton of Pizza Baron. “Members of many car clubs come to support the event – and this year, in record numbers!”

It takes a considerable effort, over several months, Dayton told East Portland News, to organize the annual car show. “But, when you see a great turnout, like we have here today, and everyone having a good time, it’s all worth it.”

American Legion Portland Post #1 Junior Auxiliary members offer the Posting of the Colors.

Members of the David Douglas High School Choir sing the National Anthem.

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

The cruise-in, this year sponsored and produced primarily by Pizza Baron and Mayhem Customs, had support from many local area businesses, which provided gift bag items and raffle prizes.

A featured car this year was the 1958 Chevy that belonged to George Raeburn of Custom Automotive Restoration.

Chantelle Volk of Mayhem Customs tells the story of “Marilyn”.

“This car is dedicated to George,” said Chantelle Volk of Mayhem Customs. “He was a local car builder here in Portland.

“When he retired, he built this car as a ‘retirement gift’ to himself,” Volk continued. “Almost a year ago he passed away, doing what he loved, which was driving this car – he named her Marilyn. My husband and his shop had the honor of restoring, rebuilding, and making her beautiful again for George’s wife, Susan Raeburn.”

The family-friendly atmosphere – and scores of antique, specialty and custom cars – brings in many visitors to browse among the rows of gleaming cars.

With Jimmy Thompson on bass, Dan Premmer on drums, John Elmore playing lead guitar, and Jeff Dean at the keyboard – the Endless Summer Band again “plays the hits” at the annual outer East Portland car show.

Live music by the band we’ve dubbed “The Endless Summer Band” – a group of professional musicians play together just once each year, and only at this cruise-in – again rocked the event.

With song after song drawn from the rock-and-roll era, the band played and entertained throughout the day.

DDHS Choir Director Christopher Silva presents “50/50 Drawing” winner Ken Ebosh with his cash.

The 2014 Pizza Baron Choice award goes to Lyle Davis, for his 1939 Chevy two-door sedan. “I’ve been working on this project for 18 years,” Davis reflects.

As the cruise-in neared its end, everyone gathered around to learn who would be taking home one of the many trophies – with one for every class and category of entry.

Before long, the vehicular encampment disbanded, with participants taking with them fond memories of the last big cruise-event of the summer of 2014.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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