As summer draws to a close, Seaside will once again provide the backdrop for a gathering of vintage car enthusiasts who enjoy a little sand and surf with their hot rods and convertibles.
Scheduled in September, part of the “shoulder season,” the Seaside Downtown Development Association’s annual Wheels and Waves car show prompts visitors and locals to visit downtown and celebrate show-quality cars manufactured in 1965 or earlier.
“It’s hard to think of it as being in the off-season, because it’s so busy now that everybody thinks it’s still summer — but it wouldn’t (be busy) without the car show,” said Keith Chandler, chair of SDDA’s Car Show Committee.
This year’s Wheels and Waves is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 7 through 10, and will feature all the traditional festivities: the Coastline Poker Run, Thursday afternoon’s Senior Cruise to Seaside’s three retirement facilities, and the Downtown Cruise.
However, the development association is constantly looking to add new features, and this year is no different, said Sarah Dailey, the organization’s executive director.
For families with young children, the event will include a Kid Zone in Sponsor Alley, set up on North Edgewood Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The organization was given a van that’s been painted matte black and primed for children to decorate with chalk art throughout the event. The Kid Zone will offer drawing sheets as well.
Slow drag demo
Organizers are especially looking forward to what’s coming Sunday morning: a trial run of slow drag racing. The demonstration will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday along Edgewood and Oceanway streets, behind the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.
In short, slow drag racing involves drivers — two cars at a time — revving their engines, accelerating for a set distance, and then coasting to get the front wheels and axle over the finish line, without going too far. The catch is they must slow down without using brakes.
Various ways to accomplish that feat include opening the vehicle’s doors; sticking umbrellas or blankets out the window; or whatever other creative ideas racers can generate.
This year, SDDA is hoping to recruit 10 to 12 car owners during registration who are willing to take part in the demonstration. By next year, the organization plans to establish a specific set of rules regarding the slow drag, as it will be a competitive event anyone can enter, Dailey said.
She added that, in general, they want to expand the offerings Sunday mornings to energize the crowd and increase the value of staying in Seaside the extra Saturday night.
“We’re trying to add more interesting things for both the car participants and for the spectators,” she said.
Detailing the event
During Wheels and Waves, Broadway, from Holladay Drive to the Turnaround, and portions of connecting streets will be closed to general motor vehicle traffic until after the Downtown Cruise, which takes place from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
The public can view cars for free during the Show & Shine, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Live music will be provided by The King Brothers, a band from Kelso, Washington, that plays rock n’ roll oldies from the ’50s through ’70s. They will perform on the street outside Dundee’s Bar & Grill.
The organizers feel several various components create the car show people have come to know and love.
“You got the setting in downtown, which is fantastic; you got some spectacular cars; and what I like is listening to the crowd,” Chandler said, adding, “There is a lot of reminiscing going on … It’s just a fun time, a friendly atmosphere, and at a very reasonable price.”