Movie star to be featured at CRUZ car show

The 1932 Ford Coupe made famous in the the movie “American Graffiti” will be the star of this weekend’s CRUZ car show. - Courtesy photo
The 1932 Ford Coupe made famous in the the movie “American Graffiti” will be the star of this weekend’s CRUZ car show.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

When Port Orchard resident John Kincl and his wife head up to Victoria, B.C., soon, they have a choice between driving the Toyota, or his lovingly restored 1950 Dodge.

Of course, the Toyota will get better gas mileage, but if Kincl drives the Dodge, he will get decidedly different perks.

“The last time we drove it up to Victoria, we got to park in front of the Empress when we went there for tea,” said Kincl, referring to the swanky Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is famous for its afternoon tea. “If we had been driving the Toyota, they probably would have said, ‘Find a parking meter somewhere.’”

And that is just one example of the attention you receive while driving a classic car, Kincl said, describing it as a little like being a celebrity. Or perhaps as if you’re driving a celebrity.

A few hundred of those celebrities will be on display this weekend in Port Orchard as the Saints Car Club hosts its 22nd year of The CRUZ Classic Car Show, an event that attracts both classic cars and the people who love them.

“It’s the biggest one-day event in Kitsap County,” said Kincl, explaining that a typical CRUZ has 500 to 600 cars for show and about 30,000 people that come to look at them.

This year’s event features a 1956 Chevy 210 Del-Ray owned by Dick Brown of Kent, and a 1932 Ford Graffiti Coupe, which Kincl said has been built to resemble the “Deuce Coupe” featured in the movie “American Graffiti” as much as possible. That car is owned by Steve and Denise Bergerson of Buckley.

Kincl said the 1932 Ford coupe is such a popular model still today that the body parts are being manufactured again, and car buffs wanting one can purchase a new version on the car.

“The ’32 Ford is one of the most popular hot rods around,” he said. “There’s probably more of them around now then there was (in the 1930s).”

For owners of that model, or other popular models such as the 1968 Mustang Fastback, a mid-1950s Chevrolet or a 1969 Camaro, finding parts for your vehicle can be as easy as finding parts for a late-model car, since businesses are reproducing them.

However, for less popular cars, such as Kincl’s 1950 Dodge, getting replacement parts can be a bit trickier.

Over the years, Kincl has collected extra fenders, doors and other parts that are hard to track down, but since it has a Chevrolet engine and other modifications, most of the nuts and bolts of the car can easily be replaced.

“It is designed so that I can buy parts in any Napa Auto Parts store in the country,” he said. “Even if I break down near the Mojave Desert, I can find a part.”

Which is a good thing, since Kincl said classic cars should be driven. Not every day, perhaps, but once a month or so.

“If a car sits, it collects moisture, and the parts start to get dry-rot,” he said, adding that many people who buy a classic car from a museum thinking they will be able to drive the vehicle, soon find out it will require a lot of work and money to get it running again.

Many of the cars on display Sunday can be drive across three states, however, as evidence by several men from Costa Mesa who attend the CRUZ every year by driving up from California.

Their cars, and everyone else’s, will be on display along Bay Street, starting near Kitsap Bank, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Registration for participants is from 6 a.m. until noon, and 51 trophies will be handed out. A “pedal car” will also be raffled off.

Bay Street is closed much of the day, but shuttle buses will drive attendees who park either at Towne Square on Mile Hill Drive or behind the Kitsap County Courthouse on Cline Street to the event.

Visitors from Seattle or Bremerton can ride the foot ferry across Sinclair Inlet, which will be operating Sunday.

A separate event Saturday night at Gold Mountain Golf Course will be the 50th reunion for South Kitsap High School’s class of 1959. Any SKHS graduates are welcome to attend.

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