By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
EVERETT — A rain squall hit downtown Everett on Sunday just as 500 vintage cars and trucks started their annual cruise down Colby Avenue.
Neither the crowd — substantial despite the rain — nor the drivers seemed to mind.
“We just love this,” said Sujey Torres-Munizc of Everett regarding the 14th annual Cruzin’ to Colby car parade and show. “I love to bring my kids.”
Her four young children, ages 4 to 10, were in the right place at the right time to catch bags of candy that Steve and Deb Brandt of Mill Creek tossed from their sage green 1959 Chevy Impala.
Many people took shelter under awnings or overhangs until the rain let up. Some restaurants set up chairs and tables outdoors. One, El Paraiso, brought out portable heaters.
Mark Ackerson of Marysville, one of the event’s organizers, was happy with the turnout under the circumstances.
“We’d probably have double the amount if the weather was better,” he said.
Steve Lacy of Marysville was driving an open-air, 1916 Model-T Ford. He got wet, he said, but it was worth it.
“I really love this show,” he said.
He believes his car was the oldest of those in Sunday’s cruise. One car owner has a 1911 Model-T that might be at Monday’s “Show and Shine” on the second day of the event, he said.
Lacy, 38, said he and his father pieced together two Model-T Fords from a barn full of old car parts. The restoration work took about four years, he said.
His car’s 1916 vintage is an estimate, he said. Many of the original Model-Ts were put together with parts that weren’t necessarily all made at the same time, Lacy said.
“Henry Ford used everything,” he said.
Recently, the event has raised between $5,000 and $10,000 total per year for the organizations, Ackerson said.
“That’s really what this is all about,” he said.
Of course, it’s also about fun and nostalgia.
Cliff Olsen, 73, and his son, Rob, 50, both used to cruise the social scene in their cars on Colby before the city outlawed the pastime.
In the late ’50s, Cliff Olsen drove a ‘56 Chevy convertible. In the late ’70s, Rob Olsen started with a ‘66 Plymouth Fury.
“Later on I got a ‘74 Nova,” he said.
John McDonald, 60, of Everett, and Rod Kirkwood, 68, of Sammamish, said their love of cars brought them to the event.
“We’re old timers, we’re old car buffs, we go to all these things,” Kirkwood said. “This is everyone turning 18 again.”
“Except when we were kids,” McDonald said, “nobody had a car that looked this good.”
Kirkwood now has four restored cars of his own, McDonald three.
“I’m a Chevy guy; he’s a Ford guy,” Kirkwood said.
“And we’re still friends,” McDonald said.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second day of Cruzin’ to Colby in downtown Everett features the Show and Shine from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Wright Brothers Band will perform from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Danny Vernon Illusions of Elvis scheduled to entertain from 1 to 3 p.m.
An awards presentation is scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m.
For more information go to www.seattlerod-tiques.com/.