Cruise In draws record number of cars, visitors

A combination of warm weather and clear blue skies made for the most successful Cruise In in the event’s 12-year history.

More than 400 hot rods and old cars were on display and 4,000 spectators took in Friday’s Cruise In, sponsored by Ruddell Auto Mall and Ruddell Hyundai in Port Angeles.

The number of cars and those who came to see them was a record, according to owner Howie Ruddell.

“Everything came together very well,” Ruddell said. “We had more cars than expected. We were hoping for good weather and a good turnout, but we were surprised that all five acres were full within 20 minutes of officially opening.”

Melissa Thompson, who came from Renton for the show, said she and her family would be back next year. “We saw vehicles getting on the two ferries ahead of us,” Thompson said. “It was definitely worth the drive and was a lot of fun.”

In fact, cars from 22 different clubs were registered, with dozens of cars from Seattle, Everett, Bellingham, Tacoma, Puyallup, as well as Canada. The Old Timers club from Bremerton had more than 200 pre-1964 custom hot rods and the club and participants stayed through the weekend.

“As always, this is one of our favorite events and Friday night was just awesome,” said Jerry Scott, who is the chairman for the Old Timers club.

Locally, the Peninsula Dream Machines won first place, $500, for the most cars, while the Sequim Valley Car Club took second and West End Thunder and the Port Townsend Rakers tied for third.

Musical entertainment at Ruddell Auto Mall was provided by the band The Way Back Machine, while Fat Chance was headlined at the new Hyundai store. The Port Angeles Volunteer Firefighters Association operated a dunk tank that featured a number of local celebrities and raised more than $500.

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