Cool Bayview Nights revs up the classics to benefit the hall

A variety of vintage cars are lined up near Bayview Community Hall for the Cool Bayview Nights car show. - Photo courtesy of Joe Huden
A variety of vintage cars are lined up near Bayview Community Hall for the Cool Bayview Nights car show.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Joe Huden

Roll back that ragtop and put the pedal to the metal, Cool Bayview Nights rolls into town this week.

The sixth annual summer car show will take place as usual at Bayview Corner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9 in a benefit for Bayview Community Hall.

“It’s a pretty serious broad-based community effort,” said longtime supporter and cool car owner Ed Halloran, noting that the poster for the event was created by Gene Koffkin’s graphic arts class of South Whidbey High School.

Halloran will show his classic sea foam green 1995 Jaguar XJS, which really belongs to “the boss,” he said, referring to his wife, Chris.

“The top will be down and we will get a little sun,” Halloran added optimistically.

“We have a great time and Bayview Hall is a great site for families, with the farmers market going on and Choochokam in downtown Langley,” he said.

He even suggested a family friendly itinerary for the different strokes.

“Mom can shop in downtown, while the kids can come out here with dad to look at the cars,” he added.

Indeed, folks can hop on an Island Transit bus which runs every hour from downtown to Bayview.

It looks like the buses will be needed this year.

“Our show started with about 25 cars the first year and has steadily grown,” said Brian Grimm, car show committee chairman. “We expect 100 cars this year.”

“You will see a wide variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles, from stock to wild hot rods and the community gets to vote on their favorites,” Grimm said.

Trophies will be awarded to the best of the best.

One of the most dedicated of the car showoffs is Rich Clyde, who was the first to register for the show this year and in previous years.

“I enter to support it, and not to win,” Clyde said.

Clyde entered his 1931 Plymouth.

“It is a beautiful car and I’m tired of lookin’ at it because I’ve been eight years restoring it,” he said.

Clyde owned and operated one of the first car maintenance shops in Langley and has worked on cars ever since.

“My interest has always been in old cars,” he said.

Though he thinks the Plymouth a fine car, Clyde said he is mostly a Chevrolet kind of guy, and is a member of the Vintage Chevy Car Club. He likes Chevys made before 1967, which is as about as old as the dune buggy he just sold, replacing it with a yellow 2009 Volkswagen Beetle he picked up.

“There are two other yellow ones, and that’s how I like it because no one’s gonna know who it is drivin’ it. I’m gettin’ so I like dogs better than humans,” Clyde said.

Clyde won’t be showing his old wrecker, which he explained is a kind of tow truck, and with which he used to get many a stranded car out of a ditch back in the day.

“I might have been anywhere on the island with that wrecker to get some joker off the beach,” Clyde said.

But, Cool Bayview Nights is not about old Whidbey wreckers, but more about the Model As, classic streamlined beauties and funky hot rods one dreams of driving on scenic highways.

The $15-$25 car registration fee will benefit the restoration efforts of the 84-year-old Bayview Community Hall, which is owned by the community and relies on the public for maintenance and renovations.

In addition to the cars, folks can also enjoy music, a barbecue, dash plaques and raffle prizes, as well as kids activities including a coloring contest and slot-car racing.

Admission to the show is free.

“Be sure to come by, see the cars and share the experience with car enthusiasts and your friends and neighbors,” Grimm said.

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