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Florence Gets Into High Gear With Rods 'N Rhodies in Sept. | Central Oregon Coast

Published 08/26/21 at 4:48 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Florence Gets Into High Gear With Rods 'N Rhodies in Sept. | Central Oregon Coast

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(Florence, Oregon) – One of the yearly highlights of the central Oregon coast is revving up to return, as Florence's Rods N Rhodies Invitational Car Show and Benefit and the Community-wide Garage Sale are coming on September 10, 11 and 12. This year, just about everything takes place around Historic Old Town Florence, with the car show on the 10 and 11, and the garage sale on September 12.

“At Rods N Rhodies you know you'll see some of the West Coast's most gorgeous, amazing, awe-inspiring hot rods all around town,” said organizer Gary Cargill of the local charitable nonprofit Rods N Rhodies, Inc. “Up to 125 of the west coast's best high-end hot rods, rat rods, and custom cruisers from 1976 and earlier will be in town. Some are worth up to a quarter-million dollars.”

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Bettina Hannigan called it a “high-octane weekend” in what is generally the best time of year on the Oregon coast. September and October are referred to as the “Second Summer,” where weather is usually at its absolute nicest.

“We can't know for sure right now what the Covid-19 regulations are going to be, but we expect all visitors and locals to abide by the Oregon Health Authority's guidelines in effect at the time, and to bring their patience and good manners when attending, dining, or shopping,” she said.

Though known primarily for the annual September event, Rods N Rhodies became its own local volunteer-led nonprofit in 2018 with a renewed vision to provide automotive assistance to locals in need. This year's event will be a benefit for their mission and goals.

Friday starts with an all-comers “Kool Car Stand-Around” show-and-shine at the Port of Siuslaw parking lot at the east end of Bay St. There will be food, music, and up to 100--plus cars on display including the 2019 event winners. Owners of any classic car are welcome to exhibit along with the invited vehicles.

Rods N Rhodies' main event takes place Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Bay Street. The event also includes a classic Saturday night cruise in and around Old Town, a poker walk and raffles with lots of prizes, and awards for the exhibitors. Music from the '50s to the '70s will be provided all weekend by Russ Strohmeyer, a popular DJ on the car show circuit. “He's a master, a car enthusiast, and his DJ equipment is to die for,” said Cargill.

Bargain hunters can pick up a guide to the Community-wide Garage Sale at the Siuslaw News office, 148 Maple St., at, or and cruise the bargain trail all weekend to see dozens of commercial and private sales all over town.

On Saturday, Bay St. will be blocked to regular traffic beginning at 7:00 a.m. for exhibitors to enter at the west end at Kingwood. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. cars will be on display along both sides of the street, there will be themed music, and raffle tickets for sale with a different winner's name drawn every half hour. The awards presentation begins at 4:00 p.m. with exhibitors vying for the Merchant Award, Children's Choice Award, Peoples' Choice Award, and Best of Show Award. Visitors are invited to vote for the Peoples' Choice by obtaining a ballot in Old Town and returning it by 3:00 p.m. At 4:15, immediately following the presentation, cruisers will begin the annual classic car cruise in and around Historic Old Town.

“The cruise is one of the public's and exhibitors' favorite events during the weekend,” said Cargill. “Low and slow is the goal.”

“Rod and Rhody, retired teachers in blue and pink overalls like mechanics wore back in the day, will help kids with a special ballot for the Children's Choice Award. Kids who vote receive a small goodie bag. The couple will also inform the public about our Transportation Solutions Project which assists local families in need with transportation solutions,” Cargill added.

About the benefit aspect of the event, Cargill says, “Most of us go through day-to-day activities without even thinking about how we will get to where we want to go. We have the means of transportation that is reliable and comfortable. However, within our community, there are those who struggle to make ends meet and don't have that luxury.

“Many families who do own transportation may not have the means to properly maintain the vehicle for safety and reliability. Sometimes it comes down to a choice between the car or food, clothing, or housing. An unexpected flat tire has been known to cost a person a job for making them late. A burned-out headlight or taillight yields an expensive citation. Worn out windshield wipers can impair vision leading to an accident. We want to change that for as many as possible,” he added.

There are multiple levels of opportunity for businesses and individuals to sponsor various aspects of Rods N Rhodies during this year's event or support their year-around charitable work. Contact Rods N Rhodies president Gary Cargill at 541-999-6513 or -- MORE FLORENCE BELOW

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