Record turnout at ‘Classic Rides Cruise-in’

See why specialty vehicle owners and fanciers delighted in a summertime tradition that’s grown to record proportions …

Look at this amazing assemblage of vehicles which their proud owners drove to the Summer Classic Rides Car Club Cruise-in!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Rows of gleaming classic, custom, and unique cars, trucks, and motorcycles filled the Midway Plaza Shopping Center parking lot at SE 122nd Avenue and SE Division Street on Sunday, June 22.

The quantity and variety of vehicles on display attracted hundreds of passers-by who made an unscheduled stop in outer East Portland to browse among shiny chrome and steel cars and trucks.

Classic Rides Car Club hosts Jim Chretien and Lori Frisby show off the many awards to be presented to top entries at their show.

“This is our seventh year, holding it here,” said Jim Chretien, with Classic Rides Car Club.

“This is the biggest cruise-in we’ve had, ever,” Chretien exclaimed to East Portland News. “We have 150 vehicles registered today!”

But, it appeared they ran out of registration cards as more cars kept coming in, because there were as many as 250 vehicles on display.

Keith Johnson polishes up his unique 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline – a car with a long Portland history.

One unique eye-catching entry was Keith Johnson’s 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline. “This rare two-door version was originally a Benson High School ‘project car’ back in 1956.

“The engine, at ‘283’, was installed in 1960,” Johnson said. Then, my neighbor put it in storage for 30 years. Years later, he said he wanted me to have the car. After I rebuilt the Fleetline, I was so happy I was able to give him a ride, before he passed away.”

A DJ played good old rock-and-roll music over a PA system, while car club members and enthusiasts swapped stories about rebuilding and customizing their vehicles.

With so many entries, Classic Rides Car Club judges inspect entries closely, preparing to pick the show’s award winners.

In mid afternoon, Classic Rides Car Club judges, clipboards in hand, roamed up and down the rows, carefully inspecting each vehicle. At the end if their event, they gave away dozens of awards, each with a unique piston motif, to best-of-class and best-of-show entries.

Car enthusiasts swap stories and share ambitions for their next projects with one another at the cruise-in.

“None of the people from the car club brought their vehicles to show,” Chretien observed. “We wanted to make sure we had enough room for others to come and show off their vehicles. We’re here to make sure that everybody has a good time.”

Judges continue to inspect entries at the Summer Classic Rides Car Club Cruise-in.

If you want to show off your car, or love seeing classic and unique vehicles, circle September 21 on your Calendar and come out to the Pizza Baron “End of Summer Cruise-in”. This is the car show that features the now-famous “End of Summer Guys Band” – a group of professional musicians who get together annually just for this event.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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