Jay Leno loves classic cars as his Jay Leno’s Garage website will attest. From a 1906 Baker Electric to a 2006 Corvette, Leno has amassed a collection any serious car buff would covet.
So what would he say about this weekend’s Oswego Heritage Council’s 12th Annual Collector Car and Classic Boat Show? Crank up the engine of whatever drives you and show up! Drawing from his auto-ology, here’s a guide for how to get the most out of the Lake Oswego, Oregon show.
1. Cars (and wooden boats) are to be enjoyed. Leno can often be found driving one of his prized possessions down the streets of Southern California, because, as he says on his website, his collection is not a museum. One of the things 1949 Chris Craft Custom Runabout owner Karl von Tagen loves about the Lake Oswego wooden boat show is that, “It’s not just a show where we park our boat and leave—we get to go out on the lake, take people for rides, talk to people.” If you want to feel what it’s like to cruise around (on the lake) in a bit of history, here’s your chance. In-the-water boats will be docked at the Lake Oswego Corporation Docks in Lakewood Bay and at Foothills Park on the Willamette.
2. Sure looks count, but so do memories. In the midst of his Duesenbergs and Stanley Steamers, it’s a 1955 Buick that holds a special place in Leno’s heart, partly because it became his home on wheels while he was a struggling comic.
Philip Hoefer finds that his 1951 Ford Woody Station Wagon which won the Oswego show last year has that same effect on people. “All kinds of folks come up to me and talk about the car,” he explains, “remembering things like the first time they kissed a girl in the backseat of a car like that.”
Memories are what spurred von Tagen into purchasing his Runabout. As a child growing up in Northern California, he remembers inboard boats on the lake he’d visit every year with his parents. “They made a terrific sound and were so elegant,” he recalls.
3. Car (and wooden boat) owners are to be enjoyed. If you visit Leno’s website, you’ll see he loves to talk about…cars. Talk to von Tagen or Hoefer and you’ll see that they love to talk about…boats and cars. At these shows, they have an audience and they make it worth your while.
“We’re kinda nuts,”admits von Tagen, in describing the collector community to which he belongs. “We look at ourselves as caretakers—we own the boats and enjoy them but they represent a bygone time.” They are more than willing to share that perspective with you.
4. In a world of mass production and fiberglass molds, it’s nice to stand out in a crowd. Leno says there are real advantages to driving around in a classic car. Besides getting noticed, other drivers are more willing to cut you some slack. He proposes that driving would be less automatic and safer if people drove unique cars instead of the clones we see on the freeway today.
Unique is what you will find at the Oswego Heritage show. While Hoefer has participated in much larger car shows like the Concours d’Elegance, he likes the Lake Oswego show with an estimated 250 entries because it offers “a very high class showing of cars.”
Besides being a winner in last year’s Heritage show featuring around 40 boats, von Tagen’s boat placed second in the Marque class in the prestigious Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance and was voted best Chris Craft in the Portland show.
In addition to Jay’s guide, here are some other details to help you enjoy the show:
- Sunday, August 21, 2011
- 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- George Rogers Park, Foothills Docks and Lake Oswego Corporation Docks
- Complementary shuttle will be provided by First Student to take visitors to the three venues.
- Food available at George Rogers Park
- Other special events include a welcoming ceremony for PT 658–the only fully restored WWII PT boat–at Foothills Docks at 10 am on Saturday, August 20 followed by a vintage water ski show in Lakewood Bay that afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and a boat parade from Lakewood Bay to Lake Grove Park at 4:00 p.m.
- You can tour the PT 658 on Sunday, August 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more details, visit the Oswego Heritage Council Events site or call (503) 635-6373.
Photo: Taken by John Turchi