SEASIDE - Plans for the first Muscle Beach Cruz are roaring along, according to organizer Gary Diebolt.

The event is set for June 12 and will feature cars from 1962 to 1974 with an engine that is 360 cubic inches or larger. Organizers have space for 215 cars and are conservatively planning for an attendance of 8,000 to 10,000 people over the weekend.

"We already have a commitment from about 100 car owners, and we won't have any problem getting the rest," Diebolt said. "Northwest car clubs are spending their own time passing out flyers.

"People are really excited about this event."

Meguiar's wax and polish has signed on as the main event sponsor. The company sponsorship is like a stamp of approval and adds credibility to the event. Organizers are still looking for souvenir program, welcome party, dance and cruise sponsors.

Diebolt will go to Northwest car shows to promote the event, which will feature a poker run, welcome ice cream social, a show and shine and a cruise down Broadway and the turnaround. But a highlight will be a community street dance held at the turnaround Saturday night. The free dance will be open to all ages and a classic rock and roll band will play. Organizers are searching for an appropriate band for the "paid gig."

The Muscle Beach Cruz comes on a weekend that is typically very slow for Seaside merchants. It's the weekend of the Rose Bowl in Portland. But since car people don't usually go to the football games, the muscle car cruise was a natural, Diebolt said.

He anticipates that the Cruz, like the annual Hot Rod Happenin', will be well-attended by locals as well, who usually avoid the Broadway beach area in the summer months.

"I think the locals will see it as more of a family event," he said. "The average muscle car owner is about 10 years younger than a hot rod owner, and so people bring their families, often with young children. Shows like this are so popular because they provide a flashback, a lot of good memories."


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