Event benefitting Shrine Hospital's transportation fund brings nearly two dozen '32 Ford hot rods to Prineville

JASON CHANEY - A collection of '32 Ford hot rods line the fictitious town of Hooterville, created by property owner and Prineville businessman Rick Becerra. He remarked that so many '32s in Prineville is an amazing sight.

Rick Becerra's property, tucked away at the end of Happy Hollow Road, has a way of capturing people's imaginations.

Home to his Ricky B's Restoration and Supplies business in Prineville, the spread features numerous cars, hundreds of collectibles, and it's hard to miss the pretend town that greets visitors.

Through the years, he has hosted many get-togethers, some that drew 200 to 300 people, but Friday evening, a group enjoyed a tri-tip dinner there that ultimately left Becerra amazed.

The Deuce Day Rod Run was organized 18 years ago by hot rod enthusiasts in the Medford area. The annual three-day event raises money for the Hillah Temple Shriners Transportation Fund, which pays the travel expenses for children who need to visit the Shriners Hospital in either Portland or Sacramento.

"It covers the area from Eugene to Redding, California, and from the Oregon eastern border to the ocean," said Scott Ivers, who coordinates the run each year with his wife, Diane.

Scott, who has been a Shriner since 1989, said the Deuce Day was launched when he and his wife realized that the majority of their car club friends owned iconic 1932 Fords hot rods. He explains that the '32 Ford is what hot rod collectors aspire to own because they essentially started the hot rod revolution.

"A '32 is their goal," he remarked.

A group of people with such iconic automobiles ought to be doing something, the Ivers thought, so they decided to raise money for the Shriners Transportation Fund. Since its inception, the Deuce Day has brought in nearly $37,000.

To participate in the annual hot rod run, you have to have a '32, Scott said. It doesn't have to be a Ford.

"We don't care if it's a Plymouth — that red one right there is a Plymouth," he said, gesturing toward a shiny hot rod parked alongside Becerra's mock Texaco station. "We have had Dodges and Chevys. Most of them are Fords."

Though the '32 is rare in the hot rod world, there are apparently enough of them that the Deuce Day has to put a cap on how many people can participate in the event each year. Historically, they had limited it to 25 cars, but Scott said they bumped it up to 30 this year. When they drive all lined up down the open road, it creates quite the spectacle.

"It looks like a bunch of Easter eggs," Scott says with a chuckle. "You can look in your rear view mirror and all you can see is colored eggs going down the road."

This year, the group decided to make Madras its central hub. On each run, they try to visit new locations and explore previously unvisited attractions. This time, Ricky B's made the list.

"We were on Cruise Oregon (another hot rod run), and we happened to come here 5 or 7 years ago, and we remembered it," Scott recalls. "I said, let's contact Rick and see if he will let us come up and see his cars."

Becerra did them one better and invited the whole group to his place for tri-tip dinner. The hot rod enthusiasts ate, mingled and marveled.

"If you are a car person, this is like a feast for them to see all of these cars," Diane remarked.

But Becerra was just as impressed as he looked out at the long line of '32 Fords that colored his property.

"The street rod revolution started with '32 Fords," he said. "To have this many '32 Fords in one place, especially in Prineville, is pretty amazing."

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