Arts and Entertainment

Saints Car Club brings 'Cruz' to Port Orchard

The Cruz in Port Orchard runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. - Courtesy photo
The Cruz in Port Orchard runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Downtown Port Orchard will be filled with polished paint and glistening chrome during its annual car show this weekend.

The Cruz, an all-day event hosted by The Saints Car Club, will include about 600 classic cars which will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.

The majority of the cars at the event are considered either classic or antique cars, many of which people will not see anywhere but the show, said co-chair of the show Frank Grazianai.

“You definitely don’t see these cars driving the streets very often,” Graziani said. “But these are the kinds of cars that will bring back memories.”

Every year a hand-picked feature car is put on display. This year it is a 1939 Chevrolet sedan.

“We try and find cars to feature that people may have never seen before,” said Saints Car Club President Larry VanBoyen.

For a car to be considered classic it needs to have been built between 20 and 45 years ago. Other factors include the original price of the car, how rare it is and technical standards such as engine displacement, upholstery and accessories. Cars older than 45 years are considered to be antiques.

Older generations often come to the show and relate to the cars, Graziani said. Cars people grew up with give a nostalgic feeling and visitors enjoy looking at restored classics of their past.

Graziani, a member of the Saints, said classic cars have always been a passion — a passion he has pursued for 40 years.

“I’ve been into these cars all my life,” Graziani said. “Collecting cars is something that you start as a teenager and just continue to do.”

The way the cars are built is what kept Graziani’s interest for so long. Currently, he owns a 1953 Chevrolet pickup truck which he has had for 23 years.

“The character you see in classic cars is something you just don’t see in new car models,” Graziani said. “Details like the lines of the car are just so much more appealing.”

The Saints Car Club began hosting the car show 13 years ago after businesses previously running it handed it over. There are 65 people in the car club and VanBoyen said members work on preparing the event and their cars all year.

Since the club took over the car show, VanBoyen said there has been an increase in the size of the show and more visitors. The largest amount of entries the show has seen is 620 and there is a chance that number may be broken this year.

The Festival by the Bay, an event sponsored by Fathoms O’ Fun, will run at the same time as the car show. Although the two events are separate, the vendors and activities at the festival help draw a larger crowd, said Bob Morehouse, a member of the board of directors with Fathoms O’ Fun.

“The two events kind of feed off each other,” Morehouse said. “It tends to work out pretty well.”

There are 53 classes of vehicles in the show this year, all of which will be judged. Trophies will be handed out in the afternoon for the best cars in their class.

Proceeds from the show are donated to community organizations and high school scholarships.

An interest in classic cars is something VanBoyen said is inherent in certain people.

“I think you’re born with that gene,” VanBoyen said. “Once you get involved with classic cars it’s difficult letting go.”

VanBoyen enjoys restoring older cars, staying away from new models. He said the amount of technology in new cars is what turns him away from becoming as invested as he is with his classic vehicles.

“There’s a lot of time into these cars, it’s a lot of fun to see all the effort people invest in these,” VanBoyen said. WU

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