If you watch cars passing by on local highways and byways this weekend, you may think you're stuck in the 50s, or some other decade of the last century. Chances are, lots of classic coupes and shiny hot rods will be on their way to two popular car shows: the Rod Run to the End of the World on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula and the Hot Rod Happenin' in Seaside.

The cutoff year for vehicles entered in the Rod Run, put on by the Beach Barons club, is 1973. Entries in the Seaside Hot Rod Happenin' can't be newer than 1962. The Seaside event is sponsored by the Seaside Downtown Development Association and HRM Productions.

Rod Run to the End of the World

Dick Perry is chairman of this year's Rod Run. It's his fourth time as chairman, his 13th year as a member of the Beach Barons, the car club that's been putting on this show since 1983. Cars will be on display at Wilson Field, near 250th Street and Sandridge Road in Ocean Park. The award ceremony is Sunday afternoon - 135 trophies will be presented to winners in a variety of categories.

The 2004 Rod Run offers more events and activities than ever before, Perry said. Vendors have increased from 40 to almost 60, and there are food booths, crafts, car-related clothing and car products for sale - even a Les Schwab Tires tent.

Someone's name will be drawn for a free spray-in truck bed liner; and two brand new engines, one a Ford engine, the other a Chevy, will be raffled off for charity on Sunday afternoon. Engine raffle tickets cost $1 and usually net a $5,000 to $7,000 profit. This year's engine raffle proceeds go to the Senior Drug Free Party at Ilwaco High School. Perry said the Beach Barons maintain close ties with the high school, hoping to get some younger members into the club. A class at the high school is filming this year's Rod Run as a school project.

Dick and Shirley Perry enjoy the Beach Barons club. "They're a nice bunch of people, fun to be with," Perry said. "We do things together." The Perrys fancy El Caminos. They got their first one in 1959, restored it and took it to a lot of shows until several years ago. That's when "a fellow had to have it, so I sold it to him," Perry said. Perry promptly found another El Camino in California and started all over again. "The show helps the whole Peninsula, Perry said. "I think they feel the effect of this for many miles around us."

Ross and Marcia Glasson of Long Beach, Wash., have been gearing up for this year's Rod Run to the End of the World since the day after last year's show ended. Ross is a member of the board of the Beach Barons, Marcia is the club's treasurer and registrar.

"It's a really nice group of people," Ross Glasson said. "We all get along and we've always got people wanting to join," he said. The Beach Barons have about 175 members.

The Glassons bought a '55 Chevy about 15 years ago. Later they found their '48 Chevy Fleetline Aero Sedan - a fastback model, now lovingly restored and painted brilliant red - in a friend's garage in Spokane. It was old and worn out and didn't run.

"I had to restore it," Ross Glasson said. "It was down to nothing."

He took out the motor, all of the glass and just about everything else, until the car was down to a shell. Then he added new parts, including air conditioning, power windows and disc brakes.

"It's like an older car with all modern stuff underneath," he said.

The Glassons' Aero Sedan must have the right stuff. It was chosen Beach Baron Host Car Pick by participants at last year's Rod Run.

Seaside Hot Rod Happenin'

The Hot Rod Happenin' features more than 500 show-quality hot rods, custom cars and classics. The vehicles will cruise down Broadway Drive on Saturday night during the popular Cool Cruze, a highlight of the show, now in its seventh year in Seaside.

At the 2003 Rod Run, cars stretched as far as the eye could see.Another favorite event, according to Bree Phillips of the Seaside Downtown Development Association, is the Seaside Roadster Show, held inside the Seaside Civic and Convention Center Saturday and Sunday. More than 25 top cars will compete for national awards, including America's Best Hot Rod, America's Best Custom and America's Best Classy Classic. Admission to the Roadster show is $1.

The Happenin' attracts participants from all over, and plenty of local car devotees as well. Jake and Diana Churchwell, who moved to Seaside a few months ago from California, have entered their 1935 Chevy four-door with "suicide doors" and a "blown 350" with a supercharger. It's painted a rich black cherry.

"It's a very unusual car," Jake Churchwell said. "Chevy only made it one year." He paid $75 for it 40 years ago, shortly after he and Diana were married. He said it's now insured for $40,000. "My wife is as enthused about it as I am," Churchwell said.

Steve and Pam Ackley of Warrenton just finished painting their 1933 Ford Coupe for the Hod Rod Happenin'. The bottom is yellow with pearl, and the top is metallic harvest gold. "It's got custom purple flames," Pam Ackley said. "Steve loves that stuff." They also own a 1969 Camaro.

Their shared love of cars brought the Ackleys together 25 years ago. They met at a car show when they were teenagers growing up in Portland. "It's been a part of our lives," she said.

Rod Run to the End of the World

schedule of events

Friday, Sept. 10

10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Registration booth open

4 p.m. - dark - Slow Drag Race at Port of Ilwaco

Saturday, Sept. 11

8 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Registration booth open

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Vendors open

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Show and Shine

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. - '50s and '60s music

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Door prizes

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Children's games

Sunday, Sept. 12

8 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Registration booth open

8 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Vendors open

9 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Treasure hunt

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - '50s and '60s music

10 a.m. until gone - Door prizes

11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Participant barbecue

2 p.m. - Trophy presentation

Hot Rod Happenin'

schedule of events

Thursday, Sept. 9

9 a.m. - 7 p.m. - Hot Rod Classic Charity Golf Tournament and Auction at Gearhart Golf Links

Friday, Sept. 10

Noon - 7 p.m. - Registration in Carousel Mall

7:30 - 11p.m. - TGIF Party for show participants at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center

Saturday, Sept. 11

All day - Show and Shine

All day - Northwest Stunt Kite Championships on the beach

10 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Steve's Auto Restorations Seaside Roadster Show at Seaside Convention Center

3 - 5 p.m. - Strolling Banjo Concert

6 - 8 p.m. - Cool Cruze

Sunday, Sept. 12

All day - Show and Shine

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Steve's Auto Restorations Seaside Roadster Show at Seaside Convention Center

2 p.m. - Award Show in Quatat Park


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