Green Valley Covered With Vehicles


Dick Belier checks out the specs on this 1933 Ford Coupe as he strolls through Green Valley Park and takes in the multitude of classic cars on display. The park was the site of the 17th Annual Beeline Cruise-In on Saturday, which brought big crowds to admire more than 200 car show entries during the 8-hour event.

Dick Belier checks out the specs on this 1933 Ford Coupe as he strolls through Green Valley Park and takes in the multitude of classic cars on display. The park was the site of the 17th Annual Beeline Cruise-In on Saturday, which brought big crowds to admire more than 200 car show entries during the 8-hour event. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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The 17th Annual Beeline Cruise-In hit on all cylinders Saturday with 224 shiny classics proudly displaying more horsepower than the hybrid, eclectic and modern vehicles in the nearby parking lots combined.

From roadsters, Mustangs, Shelbys and Grand Torinos to Corvettes, Firebirds and Jaguars, every square inch of glistening green grass at Green Valley Park was covered with modified and refurbished autos.

I swear I could have heard “G.T.O.,” “Rocket 88,” “Mustang Sally” or “Little Deuce Coupe” coming from any one of the beauties.

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The grill of this 1938 Ford Coupe has the look of a mouth full of teeth.

A few thousand spectators took in the festivities, a few playfully shouting at owners to “spin donuts” or “burn some rubber” when they rolled out of the park at the end of the eight-hour event.

Jim Gore, a member of the Route 66 Car Club, drove his custom black and “wild strawberry” 1937 Nash LaFayette 400 two-door sedan from Flagstaff to get in on the fun.

In what he calls a stoke of luck, Gore purchased the rare car off eBay.

At the time, Gore said he was looking for a 1940 Ford, but when he found one, it had already been sold. Discouraged that he had missed the Ford, but still determined to find an auto he could tinker on, Gore looked around and found the Nash for sale out of Mississippi.

Gore contacted the owner, who told him he was selling the sedan because his two teenage sons were fighting over who would get it and when — so when he decided he didn’t want to deal with the bickering anymore, he listed it on eBay.

“I lucked out finding this car,” Gore said. “You can go to a lot of car shows now and never see another one.”

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A pinstriper adds bold lines to accentuate the pattern on this custom paint job.

The Nash Motor Company manufactured automobiles for several decades in Wisconsin. In 1937, they debuted the 400 coupes, the first and only year they made the car.

When Gore spotted the listing on eBay, he recognized the rarity of the vehicle and bought the sedan for $32,000.

While the outside of the car looks roughly the same as when Gore bought it, under the hood and inside the car, Gore has modified nearly everything, spending at least $8,000, he estimates.

From new seats and upholstery to a steering column, transmission, larger camshaft to and an impressive 400 horsepower engine, this Nash is evidently just hitting its prime.

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The Rim Country Classic Auto Club’s annual Beeline Cruise-In was a big hit Saturday with participants and spectators alike.

A sticker on the back window appropriately reads “No Bad Days.”

Gore, who has Parkinson’s, said fixing up old cars is a hobby that keeps him active and his mind sharp.

Gore’s other car, a 1959 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus, has 23 windows and a cloth top roof that slides back, another rare find, he proudly declares.

When asked if Gore has a picture of the window-loving bus, he promptly pulls out his wallet and produces a card with the bus’ image. Gore muses he carries around a picture of his cars, but none of his son or wife.

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Victor Neese and Jim Gallatin look over an Arizona Hard Chrome racer Friday at the Kiwanis Brat Burn.

Gore’s t-shirt quotes Bugs Bunny saying, “What a maroon.”

We (jokingly) agree.

This year’s Cruise-In was organized by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club, which has moved the event around to several venues over the years.

From the first Cruise-In at Pioneer Title in 1994, to the courthouse, Chapman Chevrolet, Payson High School, Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Main Street and now the park.

Nearly everyone agreed Saturday that the park provides the perfect setting for the event. Plenty of open space to peruse the cars, pick up a snack or memento at one of the vendors or lie down in the grass on a blanket with family and enjoy the crisp, clear day with friends.

The 17th Annual Beeline Cruise-In hit on all cylinders Saturday with 224 shiny classics proudly displaying more horsepower than the hybrid, eclectic and modern vehicles in the nearby parking lots combined.

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This 1952 Pontiac Chieftain Convertible has been restored to absolute perfection.

“The show went wonderfully well,” said John Turner, co-chair of the Cruise-In.

The Best of Show award was given to the owner of a 1935 bronze Ford four-door sedan.

Besides producing high-revving fun, the event raised money for local charities.

In 2008, the show brought in $24,000 and in 2007, $22,000 for charities.

A combination of monies from the 50-50 drawing, raffles and registration fees will be given to a charity of the auto club’s choice sometime in June, Turner said.

Next year, we can only hope organizers can recreate this year’s show, which took the checkered flag.

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