While antique rides, muscle cars, low riders and trucks might hog the attention at the annual Cool Bayview Nights Car Show, Maxwelton Valley resident Bob Brown looks forward to seeing a different kind of vehicle: motorcycles.
The question for Brown is just how many bikers are willing to show off their toys like he is.
“I just entered it for the fun of entering, and I’m mostly looking forward to seeing what bikes are there,” Brown said. “That’s the thing, I just love motorcycles. But motorcycle riders are kind of strange; they’re a cheap bunch that don’t like to spend money, so I’m curious who will come out.”
Motorcycles and a smorgasbord of cars are only a portion of what’s on view at the 2017 Cool Bayview Nights Car Show. This year is expanding to add a bit of rural flavor with the inclusion of a tractor show, which will include antiques and a modern pull tractor. The 2017 show will also be larger than previous years, with organizer Brian Grimm planning to add kids’ activities, live music and “double” the food from previous years. Attendees can also sift through parts at the parts swap meet, which will continue throughout the show.
The car show is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the fairgrounds in Langley.
The mixed vehicle car show’s name is a bit of a misnomer. It’s traditionally been held at Bayview Corner, but was relocated as part of the Port of South Whidbey’s effort to host a wider range of events throughout the year. With the additional space and numerous buildings, Grimm said it was a good opportunity to expand the show. Overall, the event is more quintessential South Whidbey than it’s been in the past as the rural character from the tractors blended with beautifully restored muscle cars and exotic roadsters encapsulates the different communities on the island.
“We’re hoping the new venue will bring together as many regulars as possible, but also bring in some people with a different interest in mechanics,” Port of South Whidbey Commissioner Ed Halloran said. “If you’re a motor head, you just like playing with all kinds of vehicles.”
Brown shared similar sentiment to Halloran as far as being a motor head. His garage is filled end-to-end with motorcycles made by BMW, Triumph, Suzuki and more. This year he’ll enter his 1973 three cylinder black and red Triumph Trident, “one of the earlier three cylinder models.” Like many entrants in the car show, Brown says he’s more interested in seeing other vehicles than winning accolades.
At the very least, he’s hoping to score some parts at the swap meet. He’s been on the lookout for pieces for his 1959 Simca, a classic French-made car that Brown says nobody has parts for these days. He may be in luck, as some rare and recently restored classics are expected to be shown, such as Halloran’s black-on-black 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500.
“It’s quicker than anything that ever was,” Halloran said. “I purchased it almost 40 years ago for $7,000 and it was a basket case. For several years, we did a full restoration from the ground up.”
This year’s car show is full circle for Grimm. The move to the fairgrounds is a step that means a lot to him as a lifelong Whidbey Islander. To him, the fairgrounds is “the big stage,” and organizing an event there that will pull people from Moscow, Idaho to Marysville is the stuff of dreams.
“I’ve been going to the fair since I was 6 and I’m 61 now, and here I am renting out the fairgrounds and we’re going to throw the greatest car, tractor and bike show that’s been on South Whidbey,” Grimm said.
Proceeds from the car show’s entry fees benefit South Whidbey nonprofits, such as Safe Ride Home and organizations later to be announced. It costs $20 to enter a vehicle ahead of time and $25 the day of the event. Admission for spectators is free, although Grimm suggests donating a can of food to Good Cheer Food Bank.