Jim’s Blog: Carspotting on a Wednesday Night

Portland is home to Beaches Summertime Cruisin’ — the largest weekly cruise-in on the west coast. A good night will see over a thousand 1974 and older classics take over acres of grass at Portland International Raceway — and on certain nights, later model muscle, trucks, and sports cars are welcome, too. 

I headed out to Beaches this past week to kick some tires before the thrash of Monterey Car Week set in — and to show off my newly completed C10 project truck. Here’s some of what I saw.

This clean ’32 caught a bunch of attention thanks to some period pieces and period styles. Love the triple carb setup on that early blower, the lake pipes, and the upholstered running boards.

 

This ’36 Ford belongs to a friend of mine — it’s been a work in progress since the early 1990s. This was its first outing with a complete interior. It’s powered by a 454-ci big block Chevrolet.

 

Like the one-year-only ’58 styling? These two GM customs looked great together. Interesting to see all the differences between them — and the custom touches — with them side by side.

 

Patina trucks are still hot — including Fords. How about those bucket seats?

 

Period hot rods just have a certain look that you can’t really duplicate with clean, modern parts.

 

When’s the last time you saw a 6-cyl Camaro at a car show? This one was really clean for an original.

 

Earth tones, anyone? They’re starting to grow on me. Is this better than red?

 

Twister Special Mach 1s are a rare sight out on the west coast, but if you’re going to see one, it’ll be at Beaches.

 

Everyone was trying to decide what they thought of the paint on that old Chevy. Parts of it were bare metal, but all of it was cleared. It certainly stands out. Also, who gets married and then heads to a car show? Car people, that’s who.

 

Great juxtaposition here with two very different approaches to the same goals: personalization, performance and tradition.

 

Wagons continue to be hot, and it seems that off-brands (other than Chevrolet or Ford) are even hotter. Not sure where you’d ever find replacement trim for this ’60 Olds wagon, but it’s cool!

 

Speaking of off-brands, how about this clean and dead-stock Buick convertible?

 

I’m always amazed at how small GT40s are in person. Note the Miata next to this one.

 

I’m not a Ford guy, but I’m a sucker for a ’69 or ’70 Mustang fastback. This mild custom looked great.

 

Cadillac may earn the most points for its late ’50s fins, but Ford had them beat with rocket size.

 

That guy appears to be wondering what he’s looking at. His kids, on the other hand, think this is totally normal. And that is precisely why car shows are important.

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