Classic cars hit Sisters streets last weekend
Last updated 9/28/2022 at Noon
On an unseasonably warm September day in Sisters, patrons walked down Main Avenue, checking out classic rides at the 2022 Glory Daze Car Show, presented by Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD).
With cars ranging from Chevys to Fords to Corvettes, to MGs and everything in between, car fanatics and everyday spectators were able to take in the beauty and nostalgia of vintage Americana. Car owners from across Oregon brought out rigs old and new, to showcase engines, chrome detailing, and paint jobs.
Classic ’50s tunes by DJ Chuck Boogie echoed down Main Avenue from Fir Street Park. The event was sponsored by the Sisters Rotary Club, and they provided concessions and information about the cars. The event was also sponsored by GrandStay Hotel & Suites and Sisters Mainline Station and Market.
The oldest car in the show was a 1929 Ford Model A Town Sedan owned by Bill Worden. There was a total of 110 cars at the event, which is 35 more than last year’s event.
Al Zemke and Cheryle Bridge were among the entrants, and they brought their 1956 yellow Ford Thunderbird to the Show.
It was one of few “little birds” that Ford produced in that era. Their Thunderbird has both a hard top and convertible top, one yellow that matches, and one black zip- down top that helps contrast the yellow color of the body and chrome accents.
Zemke has had this Thunderbird for three years.
“I always wanted one, and we kept it completely stock and wanted to keep all its parts, the original ones, and then I farm out the parts that need fixing to the professionals,” said Zemke.
Zemke and Bridge were showing off what was under the hood for patrons.
Bridge kept with the 1950s-era theme, wearing a poodle skirt getup that attracted event photographers.
The only thing Zemke upgraded on the Thunderbird was the interior upholstery, but he kept the traditional yellow and black and real chrome theme.
“The design on these is why I love them. The design and fenders really lengthen the car and has a simple, tasteful feel to it,” said Zemke.
A unique feature of Thunderbirds were the side vents on the driver and passenger doors that could be opened down by the feet for more ventilation (cars in those days didn’t have AC).
The 1956 Thunderbird took first place in the Stock Restored (pre - 1960) category in the Show.
Spectators rode bikes and walked down Main Avenue, taking in the view of multi-generational cars, including a unique one to the Show, a Puma GT 1972 Coupe. John Mood, owner of the car, believes his Puma is one of just a few in the United States. The Puma hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Mood picked it up.
“We have maintained it and kept up with the engine, but it is all original paint and windows and interior,” said Mood.
Safron Canja, a Sisters local since 1989, brought his bright red 1932 MG J2. Canja purchased the car in England and had it shipped overseas to Baltimore in 1974 and then trailered to his then-home in Alabama.
“I took it all apart and rebuilt it and put it back together and haven’t done much to it since,” said Canja. “It’s got a very reliable engine, and I don’t drive it much, but it’s the original one.”
Canja believes there are only 12 J2s in the United States.
As patrons walked, you could hear echoes of excitement that the event was happening on a day of lovely weather and good turnout.
“One thing I love about Sisters is when they do stuff like this,” said one spectator.
Event Coordinator and Executive Director at SPRD Jennifer Holland said, “We at Sisters Park & Recreation District love putting on this event. It brings together a great group of people in the idyllic setting of downtown Sisters.”
The 1939 Chevrolet two-door hard top Sedan owned by Jerry Kjensrud won first place for Best in Show.
Next year’s event will be September 23, 2023, and registration will open April 3, 2023. For more information visit sistersrecreation.com/activity/glorydaze/.