by: COURTESY OF SIERRA DONAHUE  -  Best of Show winner Gene Baxter poses with his son, Mat, in front of their 1934 Chevrolet 3 Window Coupe. Gene Baxter’s love for cars started at a young age.

     “My dad owned a body shop in Newberg,” Baxter said June 14 at the 24th annual Cruisin’ Sherwood Classic and Custom Car Show. “And that’s where I got my start.”

     The love and hard work he and Sandy Baxter put into their 1934 Chevrolet 3 Window Coupe was rewarded when he took home the Best of Show award. This achievement completed the vehicle’s untarnished record: winning all three shows it’s participated in. The yellow flamed automobile claimed Best of Show in 2009 at both the Portland Roadster Show and the Boise Roadster Show.

     Family weaves throughout the Cruisin’ event, from Baxter’s beginnings in his father’s shop to the bright blue 1956 Ford Thunderbird Jim Peterson bought on his honeymoon. At the show, a sign beside the vehicle explained this unusual acquirement.

     “I’ve always been in love with the ‘56 Thunderbird,” said Peterson. Opportunity struck during the Petersons’ honeymoon in 1964. A pro golfer before retirement, Peterson won $1,700 playing in the Seattle Open. When Peterson offered to buy the Thunderbird for $1,650 the owners turned him down.

    by: COURTESY OF SIERRA DONAHUE - Attendees admire Chris and Trina Penno's Transformers themed 2010 Chevy Camaro.“But they took my phone number,” said Peterson. “And two and a half weeks later they called me up and said they’d deliver the car to Portland.” Still happily married, Peterson has participated in the Sherwood Cruisin’ show for approximately nine years and plans to return next year.

     Classics aplenty crowded the scene, including Orian Wiese’s 1941 Ford Pickup. The truck has earned Wiese numerous car show trophies throughout his 48 years of ownership. Wiese enjoys participating in Cruisin’ to admire the cars and taste the strawberry shortcake. This year was likely the truck’s last Cruisin’ attendance, as Wiese plans to sell the car to give his wife room to park in their garage. “She doesn’t like to scrape the windows in the winter,” said Wiese with an understanding smile.

     Other participants set their stakes on newer hot rods, yet few can boast the crowd pleasing style of Chris and Trina Penno’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. This alien robot – ahem, vehicle – plays the part of the famous yellow and black Bumblebee transformer, right down to an audio recording from the movie and the “Autobots” insignia.

     Penno enjoys delighting children and adults alike with the themed Camaro, attempting to attend as many car shows as he can. He said, “My wife and I went and saw the first Transformers movie and I leaned over to her and said, ‘I’ve got to get this car!’”

     His wife’s reply? “Buy it. You’ve got a job.” The hobby was born, and Penno has attended Cruisin’ ever since.

     Thanks to the participants, sponsors, vendors, performers, and over 100 volunteers, this year’s Cruisin’ Sherwood was a booming success. In addition to admiring the cars, attendees meandered through Cannery Square, the food vendor’s pavilion, beer garden, and over 70 vendor booths.

     The event invites the community to join in on the car showing hobby. Baxter’s favorite part of car showing? “Meeting new people and just looking at all the different dreams that people have,” he said.

by: COURTESY OF SIERRA DONAHUE - Jim Peterson stand next to his 1956 Ford Thunderbird during Saturday's Cruisin' Sherwood Classic and Custom Car Show

There were 378 vehicles at this year's event, along with a full variety of food and nonfood vendors to keep attendees busy.

"We were thrilled with how the event went," said Lana Painter Cole, executive director of the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce. "We're looking forward to Cruisin' 2015."

Next year's car show will be held June 13.    

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