By Jordan Wolfe
Vehicles of all shape, size and age are gathering at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, on Saturday TillaWheels, the local car enthusiast club, will host the 18th annual Torch Run: Show and Shine at the Tillamook Cheese Factory parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Gary Brunmeier, president of TillaWheels.
“Everyone is invited to come experience cars from the 30s to present day,” Brunmeier said, “Proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics.”
Friday at 6:30 p.m., TillaWheels will also host their annual Cruise-In on Front Street in Tillamook, Brunmeier said, where many of the members will bring their classic cars.
“We gather, B.S. and walk around town.”
Brunmeier added that Peter Papp, director of guest experience and retail business operations for TCCA, will donate a portion of their Visitor Center retail sales to Special Olympics during the event.
The Torch Run was brought to Tillamook by Terry Wright, Tillamook’s chief of police, after participating with police departments he had previously served with.
“I did it in California and Myrtle Point. It brings awareness and funds to Special Olympics. It was something started back in Kansas by a police department there and has grown to be an international event,” Wright said.
Those interested in showing their car will pay a $10 registration per vehicle and are welcomed to show up between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. with no pre-registration needed, according to Brunmeier.
“The neatest car we’ve had show up is from Tom Miller. He has a ’32 Ford with flames on it. He got best of show last year.”
Miller, whose 1932 Ford Deuce Hi-Boy was built in 1996, said he does not particularly care to win two years in a row, and hopes someone new can get the award.
“We are very thankful to the local businesses who donated items to be raffled during the event and the goodie bags we’ve made for the entrants,” he said.
The original TillaWheels Car Club began in the early 70s, according to Brunmeier, and eventually faded out in the 90s.
However, a new car club was born on the anniversary of the Ford Mustang’s April 17 debut at the 1964 World’s Fair, he said.
Linda Kay Marshall wanted to start a Mustang and Ford club on April 17, 1999.
“I decided to start a Mustang club, so I put an ad out,” she said.
The club TLC Mustangs and Ford was formed. Six years ago, membership had fallen and the club officers had grown bored, so the club opened up to all vehicles to help generate interest and changed to TillaWheels to pay homage to the original club, Brunmeier said.
When he became president, Brunmeier said he wanted to bring more fun and stability to the club.
“We’re pretty blessed with Tillamook Motors,” Brunmeier said of benefits that come with membership, “TillaWheels members get 15 percent off parts and labor.”
He added, “This club gives a chance for vehicle enthusiasts to get together and chat. It’s nice to have a little group to talk with and go to events together.”
TillaWheels meets on the second Thursday of the month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dutch Mill Diner.
For more information, contact Randy Lamkin at 503-812-2072, Cindy Harrison at 503-842-8320, or email@example.com.