Car Show: Pietro’s Cruise-In 2022

One of my favorite things to do is to google “car shows near me”. Since it was Labor Day Weekend in Portland, I figured there would be some interesting cars to look at. There were quite a few events to choose from and I decided to check out the annual Cruise-In at a local pizza parlor called Pietro’s.

There is really nothing more American than a car show on a warm, sunny Labor Day weekend in the parking lot of a pizza parlor. It was everything you might expect in a show like this, lots of Corvettes, Mustangs, and muscle cars. Car shows like this are as American as apple pie and baseball.

There isn’t a whole lot of commentary I can add to these photos. These are the cars average Americans have stowed away in their garages. They come out for special occasions, parades, weddings, a nice weekend drive, and for car shows like this one.

Some of them have been painstakingly restored by a talented owner, some have been purchased as a reward for years of hard work and sacrifice. Either way, these folks are proud of their cars and I’m glad there are shows like this one for people like me, that enjoy seeing them.

What would a show like this be without at least one “Tri-Five” Chevy? This nice looking 1956 Bel Air is adorned with a pair of black fuzzy dice. I imagine that 50 years from now they will still have fuzzy dice. It’s become part of the mystique of the model hasn’t it?

A gorgeous 1969 Mustang.

This 1959 Pontiac Catalina convertible received a lot of attention.

A couple of 1930’s Fords. The design is getting close to being 100 years old and these cars still look great.

I thought this 1939 Chevy drag racer was pretty cool.

This is a 1965 Chrysler 300. The more I see of these cars, the more I like them. I really think the interior looks great. Who needs a screen to look at when your dash is this cool?

Speaking of interiors, this 1960 Chevy is a work of art. It must have taken some talented people to make this dash. It’s almost entirely made of metal. There is barely a piece of plastic to be found. Together with the 4 speed manual, this car doesn’t need any infotainment system.

I learned to drive in a 1967 Malibu, but my parents’ car wasn’t anything like this one.

Here is a car you don’t expect to see at most car shows. This is a 1965 Mercury Montclair. Looks like the owner brought along a chair of similar vintage to relax in.

Here is another car I haven’t seen in ages. This is a 1970 Ford XL convertible and as the old saying goes, “They don’t make ’em like this anymore”. This is a huge car with a huge motor. Notice the odd placement of the radio to the drivers left.  This one also has the optional 8 track  player that in true 70’s style, came with fake wood and chrome trim.

If you were a fan of Mopar Muscle cars, these two would probably put a big smile on your face.

This is the kind of car I associate with shows like this one. It’s become kind of a baby boomer cliché, but I really don’t care. These cars will always be cool, and when the last of us boomers is finally gone, the younger generations will keep taking these to the car shows of the future.

1961 Chevrolet Impala bubble top.

Every good car show should have some interesting Volkswagens to look at and this show did not disappoint.

I don’t usually think of Hot Rods when I think of old Willys. I can’t imagine there are many 1916 Overland Roadsters still around and even fewer that look like this one.

Let’s finish up with some more Hot Rods. This is a Dodge from the mid-20’s. This was a typical family car of the day. I’d imagine almost every piece of the car has been modified or replaced by this point. Can you imagine a car show 100 years from now with hot rodded versions of something as mundane as a Camry or a RAV 4. Now that is something I would like to see.

Don’t worry that EV’s will ruin it for car nuts. They haven’t made flat head V-8 Fords since the mid 50’s and they are still a common sight at shows like this. It’s going to take a long time before internal combustion has vanished.

One final thought. While I loved seeing these cars, and you couldn’t complain about the price, because it was free. I wish more of them were displayed with their hoods closed. I know the owners are proud of their machines, but I’d rather see a closed hood to appreciate the total design of the cars. Regardless, the Pietro’s 2022 Cruise-in was a lot of fun and I just might go back for the next one.