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St. Augustine Cruisers Car & Truck Show • November 1, 2008

story and photos by John Michael and Kay Wells

On Saturday, November 1st, 2008, the 7th Annual St. Augustine Cruisers Car & Truck Show was held at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds, just west of I-95 near St. Augustine, Florida. The show was open to all makes, models and years, and dash plaques along with goody bags were given out at registration.

A century old 1908 Buick Model G, owned by St. Augustine Cruisers (SAC) members Bob and Jinny Quackenbush, was certainly among the many memorable vehicles at the show. Their ancient Buick has a two-cylinder engine producing 22hp at 1,200 RPM, and was one of 219 built in 1908 with a price tag of $1,150. There were between 150 and 160 younger vintage and classic automobiles on display, with 41 separate classes of competition.

The fall day started out with cloudy skies and slightly cool breezes, but the weatherman’s prediction of rain did not materialize, and the event proceeded under sunny skies. SAC members scurried about, working the registrations, judging, parking, food service and other car show duties. Admission was free for spectators, and a steady stream of visitors came to look at the cars, enjoy the barbecue, hamburgers and snacks, and listen to a lively band. Tricycle races and other games kept the kids occupied, with new bicycles and trophies going to the winners. Door prize drawings and two raffles, one for a gas-saving Tracer Scooter and the other a 50/50, were also on the schedule. Two “officers” from the “Shoddy Security Company” sold tickets to the 50/50, with $391 paid out to the winner.

In addition to the 41 classes with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, two special awards were also presented. One of them was “Rick’s Pick”. Presented to a street rod or antique car, this award is an individual trophy honoring Rick Molner, one of the club founders who passed away in June of 2007. In addition to the award at their annual car show, a car is selected for a “Rick’s Pick” trophy at each of SAC’s monthly cruise-ins on the third Saturday of the month. The second special award at the car show, a plaque, went to SAC member Johnny Vogel for his many years of promoting and supporting the image and value of classic cars. Other long-time club members have been honored with this award in previous years.

On the previous evening (Halloween), the SAC treated car owners who had pre-registered for the show to a barbecue and sock hop, also at the Fairgrounds. The foot-tapping music kept the crowd dancing until the late hours.

As in past years, all of the profit from the show was donated to local children’s charities during the holiday season. The SAC members vote on the recipients at their December meeting. The 2008 beneficiaries were the Sertoma For Kids Toy Drive, the transportation fund for the Shriners Hospitals, and St. Augustine Youth Services.

After the trophies were presented the crowd dispersed, many of them heading for televisions to watch the Florida vs. Georgia football game. However, quite a few people remained, waiting for Bob Quackenbush to fire up the century-old Buick so they could hear the two-cylinder motor with its distinctive sound.

The St. Augustine Cruisers Car & Truck Show is an annual event usually held in the fall. For more information visit, call David at 904-669-2321, Frank at 904-540-0049, or check the Coming Attractions section of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News as the 2009 event draws closer. CN