When the gleaming classic, vintage and antique automobiles glide majestically through town, just about everyone turns to enjoy the show.
Chances are that beautiful grand dame belongs to a member of one of the three car clubs in Payson.
The community boasts the Early Ford Club, the Rim Country Classic Auto Club and the newest kid on the block, the Sports Car Club and its subsidiary, the Mustang Car Club.
The Rim Country Classic Auto Club probably has the highest profile, as it is the sponsor of the big Beeline Cruise-in Car Show. This year the event is April 25, 26 and 27. The show is now in its 15th year and will have more than 300 fabulous collector cars on display.
Funds from the 2007 car show helped 16 nonprofits: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Payson Area Habitat For Humanity, Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library, Payson Community Kids, Payson Fire Department - Guardian Angel Fund, Payson Helping Payson, Payson Humane Society, Payson Humane Society - Second Chance, Payson Senior Center, Payson Sheriff's Posse, Payson Supply Line, SonShine Club After School Program, Special Olympics Charity Golf Tournament, Time Out Shelter, Veterans Helping Veterans. A total of $15,500 was distributed to the charities from the show proceeds.
The Rim Country Classic Auto Club is a nonprofit, family-oriented organization and donates all profits from the Annual Charity Auto Show to Payson area charities and college scholarships for high school seniors. To date, RCCAC has donated approximately $89,000. Recipients of donations are chosen and voted on by the membership at the next general meeting following the show.
The Rim Country Classic Auto Club, as we know it today, had its beginnings back in 1993 when a few people had a common interest in restoring and driving classic cars. They cruised around Payson where they met and talked about their cars.
The meeting places were Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pioneer Title and Phil White Ford parking lots. As the group flourished and the number of members grew, Phil White Ford became the main meeting place with the management providing a meeting room upstairs. In 1994 Rim Country Classic Auto Club members decided to have their first annual car show to help charities in the town of Payson.
Since then the car shows have been held in the following locations throughout the years: 1994 Pioneer Title, 1995 Payson Court House, 1996-97 Chapman Chevrolet, 1998-00 Payson High School Parking Lot and 2001-03 Mazatzal Casino Parking Lot.
Since 2004, the show has been presented on Payson's historic West Main Street, and filled it from North McLane east as far as the eye can see.
Within the membership there are more than 100 classic automobiles and hotrods both restored or in progress.
Today, the Rim Country Classic Auto Club has its regular meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Bingo Hall at the Mazatzal Casino. General meetings are open to the public and open to all guests whether they own a classic vehicle or not.
The Rim Country Classic Auto Club has a yearly calendar, as do most other car clubs, so members can plan cruises and make hotel and car show reservations.
The Rim Country Classic Auto Club has on its agenda at least two cruises a month and they range from a single day at the Pine, Ariz. Craft Fair to three-day cruises to Pinetop, for the "Run to the Pines" and the "Route 66 Fun Run" in Kingman.
When the group goes on their cruises it is usually one of the best, if not the best, represented car clubs in attendance. The club always displays its banner showing the Beeline Cruise-In and Charity Auto Show sponsors.
Rim Country Classic Auto Club
Membership is $30 a year
President Nancy Guyon
Vice President Larry Trotter
Treasurer Barb Gromley
Secretary Marla Leis
Board Members: Pete Orlando, Jim Winters, Roy Andrews
Early Ford Club
All those interested in early Fords (Model Ts, As and V8s and 6s, '32 to '53) are invited to meet for coffee at 8 a.m. Wednesdays (except the third Wednesday of the month). The third week there will be a dinner meeting at 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.
For membership, call (928) 472-6625 or (928) 472-6796 for meeting locations.
Sports Car/Mustang Club
Contact Keith Orr, (928) 595-0665