By Gretchen Ammerman
For the TODAY
Whether you like the purr of a classic engine as you give it some gas, or the thought of not having to give your vehicle any gas at all, the Cruisin’ the Bay Car show will have something for you to drool over this Saturday, Sept. 9.
Classic lines will meet cutting edge technology as the 8th annual show unfolds along the shores of Siletz Bay, with a range of electric cars on display alongside the old-school gas guzzlers.
Scott Arehart, who will be there with his pristine ’55 Chevy Bel Air, is part of the group the Ocean Motion Car Owners, who help organize the event with the Bay Area Merchants Association.
“As a group we do ‘cruise-ins,’” he said. “But we wanted to try to organize a show too.”
The Chevy Arehart enters into the show was the result of a father-son bonding exercise.
“My dad bought it when I was a kid, and I did a lot of the work on it,” he said. “Then he gave it to me when I graduated college.”
Arehart’s dad, who lives in the area, still doesn’t seem ready to give up the car completely.
“He still borrows it sometimes,” Arehart said.
The style too was more his dad’s choice, though he has grown to love the car.
“At the time, what I really wanted was a Mustang,” he said.
The number of classic cars on display each year varies, but entries have the chance to win in a full 30 different classes, including Best of a Decade.
“We want this to be a fun event,” Arehart said. “So we give people lots of ways to win.”
One of the classes is “Best Project Car,” which gives people the chance to bring in works in progress and get feedback from fellow petrol heads.
A big crowd favorite last year, which won four categories, was a vintage VW bus.
“We also have a couple who enter every year with a really nice dark blue Woody,” Arehart said. “The show falls on their anniversary, and they always win something.”
As the show also falls during National Drive Electric Week, it’s only natural an electric vehicle show would add a little juice to the event.
“We’ll have 10 electric cars there, most privately owned,” said Debbie Jimmerson, who serves as city captain for Lincoln City during the official week, which takes place from Sept. 9 to 17. “Three of the cars will be available for people to drive, including two Teslas.”
Jimmerson, who owns a Tesla, says that driving one is something everyone should try at least once.
“Teslas are pretty cool to experience,” she said. “And the best way to it is with your butt in the driver’s seat.”
The cars that will be available to take for a spin are the Tesla model S, Tesla Model X and a Nissan Leaf.
“My husband and I actually have the Tesla and a Leaf,” Jimmerson said. “We haven’t bought gas for over four years.”
The Cruisin’ show will also be jammin,’ with music provided by the Ocean 2.0, who will begin rocking at 11 am. And if test driving a Tesla makes you work up an appetite, Central Coast Humane Society will be selling hot dogs and burgers to raise funds for their efforts to help the animals of Lincoln County.
“Cruisin’ the Bay is a real collaborative effort,” Arehart said. “Steve Wilson of The Bay House provides our venue, Karl Bullard of Diamonds by the Sea orders and engraves our trophies, Jenny Dahrens organizes and does all the admin and work with the judges’ results, members of local car clubs help with the parking and judging at the event, and Siletz Bay area
businesses contribute coffee and gifts. I serve to draw all the pieces together, but there are lots of people that actually make it happen every year voluntarily.”
Cruisin’ the Bay will run from 9 am to 2 pm outside The Bay House, 5911 SW Hwy. 101. Registration will be available until 11:30 am, when judging begins. Awards will be presented at 2 pm. For more information, call 541-921-9329, or go to the Cruisin’ the Bay Car Show Facebook page.