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Cars, Cars, Cars

Shiny cars from old to new downtown
decorated car hood from last year’s show
Decorated car hood from last year’s show.

Most people peruse the Eugene Celebration looking for things to buy, food to eat or entertainment to watch. Most don’t think of it as an opportunity to time travel. However, on 8th Avenue between Charnelton and Olive, the Show ‘n’ Shine Classic Car Show will give Eugeneans the opportunity to travel nearly 90 years in one stroll of about 100 cars. At the Celebration, you might expect to see a bike show rather than a car show, but cars still seem to be a timeless way to look at American culture. 

“You don’t always know what you’re going to get,” says Susan Davis, co-owner of Petersen Collector Cars and one of the organizers of the Show ‘n’ Shine. “We’ve been able to draw in some beautiful cars from the area and from outside of Eugene.”

This year, cars as varied as a 1968 Chevy stepside pickup, a 1940 Pontiac coupe and a 1929 Ford roadster will be showcased, coming from cities as far as Ridgefield, Wash., and Haines, Ore. 

Most of the cars will be older, but there is no discrimination against age. At last year’s show a 2006 Dodge Charger was showcased. “It’s wide open. Everybody’s got their idea on what is a classic car, and we want them included,” Davis says. 

There’s also no discrimination against the age of the appreciators. In fact, younger patrons are encouraged to come and look, touch and ask questions. 

Asking questions is necessary, as just looking is only half of the experience. “There’s a lot involved. Sometimes it takes years to get these cars together. Meeting these people and hearing their stories, that’s what it’s all about,” Davis says. 

Although it’s not the focus of the event, there will be a Best in Show awarded, as well as individual awards from each of the sponsors of the event. Unlike most car shows, many of the winners of these awards don’t have the typical “roadster” look, such as a 1973 Ford Bronco or a 1989 Mercedes 560SL, both of which won sponsor awards at last year’s show.

Although they come from all over, the community of the restorers is strong. “It’s an amazing group,” Davis says. “It’s like a brotherhood. They know where the others are coming from, how much work it has taken, how much money. It’s a passion.”  

Despite the awards, Davis stresses the main focus of the show is to just “come and enjoy.”