Smokin’ hot rods


Rods N Rhodies brings classic cars and hot rods to Florence

Sept. 20, 2022 — The 14th annual Rods N Rhodies Invitational Car Show took place Sept. 9 and 10 in Historic Old Town Florence. The weekend’s heavy smoke from eastern wildfires couldn’t dim the enthusiasm of those who were able to attend, including thousands of people who came to admire the sleek and shining classic cars.

Showstoppers from the weekend included 45 winners. The Best of Show went to Peter Bradford’s 1935 Hupmobile J. People’s Choice was Tim Sproul’s 1940 Chevrolet Pickup, and Children’s Choice was Paul Potter’s 1936 Auburn Speedster.

Sept. 9 was the day the classic cars and hot rods rolled into town, pulling into the Port of Siuslaw parking lot to register and attend the weekend’s first event. The Pre-Show Stand-Around started about five years ago when organizers realized people wanted to admire the cars as soon as they arrived.

“That's when we'd gather, and then it just kind of grew from there,” said Rods N Rhodies Inc. President Gary Cargill. “It became an event.”

The Siuslaw River, Port of Siuslaw Boardwalk and Nopal Street businesses were part of the backdrop for the event, which saw many of the more than 100 cars lined up, showing every era of car since about 1930.

“The smoke was pretty heavy Friday,” Cargill noted.

The smoke and wildfires did affect attendance for about 25 car owners.

“We also had people that didn't want their car subjected to the ash in the air,” Cargill said. “That was an issue, plus the fact that it's not good for breathing.”

With the City of Florence’s expansion of outdoor dining areas into the street in front of some restaurants, Bay Street was still packed with the classic cars and hot rods on Sept. 10.

“Voting was tight and there were several good options for the best of show,” Cargill said. “There were some good cars this year.”

Since this is an invitational car show, members of Rods N Rhodies and local car owners search out people to invite.

“We have people that go to car shows inland and are car owners themselves, so they know what they're looking for,” Cargill said. “When they pick vehicles, they'll give an application. And of course, I'll go out to shows as well and pick cars as well.”

Besides Rods N Rhodies in September, the group also organizes the Rhody Days Show N Shine the third weekend in May. On top of that, Rods N Rhodies is a nonprofit with a “Transportation Solutions Project” to “provide safe and reliable transportation for those families who work, go to school and even volunteer in our community.”

Rods N Rhodies is also looking for volunteers, for both its car shows as well as its other projects.

“It’s always tough getting volunteers, but we're getting better at it,” Cargill said

He said there are several committees they would like to form and are ready to start planning for the next car show if people do want to get involved.

Other groups were also part of the car show this year, including event sponsors Beachcomber Pub, Bridgeport Market, Coast Radio KCST/KCFM, Finance of America Mortgage, Florence in Bloom, Les Schwab, Shorewood Senior Living, Siuslaw News and Valvoline Instant Oil Change. Additional sponsors included 1285 Restobar, Bay Street Grille, Florence Motorsports, Johnston Motor Company, RC Nuts Hobby Shop, Scott Ryland Plumbing, Seabreeze Motors, Siuslaw Glass & Mirror, Stich & Sole and Tony's Garage.

Other people also set up booths during the event, including the Florence-Siuslaw Lions Club, Helping Hands Coalition, Oregon Coast Humane Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Florence Veterans of Foreign Wars, Spin-X Tackle and Design and more.

For more information, visit or contact 541-999-6513 and [email protected].