Car Club Spreading Joy to Valley Communities
Street rods, rat rods, stock cars and more line up in parking lots twice a week for car enthusiasts to look at, but celebrating cars is not all that they are about.
“We have everything from the plain vanilla to the radical,” said Bob Meyers, the Remember When Cruise Association newsletter editor.
The Remember When Cruise Association started 25 years ago and is still going strong with more than 100 members. The club meets every Friday night at 35th Avenue and Northern and Saturday nights at 83rd Avenue and Beardsley. The shows draw 200 to 300 cars each week.
Each year the club holds a big fundraiser, Toyz for Totz where it auctions off a car and the proceeds going to help buy toys for families living in the Wickenburg area. The RWCA has been holding the fundraiser for 22 years. The next Toyz for Totz cruise is December 3, 2006. The group will meet at 9 a.m. at the Honeywell parking lot, Interstate 17 and Union Hills. The ride leaves at 10 a.m. in groups of 10 to 20 at a time. Anyone is welcome to join the cruise, but admission is an unwrapped new toy.
Last year more than 400 cars participated in the cruise that traveled from Phoenix to Wickenburg where they met at the town’s community center for the car show.
This year the club is auctioning a 1966 Mustang donated by club members for $1 per raffle ticket or seven tickets for $5.
Meyers said last year’s raffle car was a 1959 Chevy station wagon that a father and son team from RNR Performance in Phoenix built in four and a half months.
“We went over the top with that–it was unbelievable. We sold more than three times more tickets on that car,” said Meyers. “I even sold tickets to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had taken the car up to Williams and there were people on the train that were buying tickets for the car and they were from all over the world. The person who won that car actually worked right around the corner from RnR and ended up buying about 100 tickets and he won. It’s now his everyday driving car.”
The group is currently building a 1971 Chevelle for next year’s auction.
Dick Sellers, owner of Ace Auto Repair at 5010 S. Central Avenue is a longtime member of the group and is currently its vice president.
“I like the cars and working with the kids for Toyz for Totz—being involved
with the Wickenburg community itself,” said Sellers, who added that he got involved with the club shortly after it was founded, at a time when cars cruised on Central Avenue every weekend.
And Sellers is no stranger to classic cars. He maintains a 1926 roadster pickup—a hotrod with 88,000 miles; a 1929 AA flatbed truck with 106,000 miles, a 1946 Chevy pickup that he drives everyday and he’s currently working on a 1928 Phantom, a four-door roadster.
Meyers said when the club was the only one in town they had about 400 members. Many of those original members have gone off and started their own specialty clubs. He said anyone is welcome to join, but they try to keep it a family affair.
“The club was started by a half dozen people. I didn’t join until two weeks after it started,” he said. “It just started in someone’s living room with this idea. I was the only one at the time that had a computer and they wanted me to join because I would be a real asset because I had a computer and could do a newsletter and keep a database of members. Now I do the newsletter, website, membership and take the (auction) car to all the functions.”
The club also does a cruise every February to the South Mountain activity center where they supply the food to thank everyone for helping with the Toyz for Totz drive.
Meyers said last year the car club asked seniors at the South Mountain Senior Center to make a list of things from $10 to $20 that they needed but didn’t have.
“We got a whole list of things and we went out and bought things for them. One person listed coloring pencils and one guy wanted a diabetic apple pie. I think Marie Callender’s even donated that to us,” said Meyers.
Meyers said his favorite part of the club is going to Wickenburg to see the toys and boxes of food being handed out to the families with help from the Community Action Program a week before Christmas.
“Several of the Wickenburg city employees dress up as Santa and they take turns up on stage and the family and kids come up,” he said.