Sept. 8, 2021 — Florence is revving-up for both the annual Rods N Rhodies Invitational Car Show and Benefit and the Community-wide Garage Sale. This year’s edition takes place primarily in and around Historic Old Town Florence on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11. The Community-wide Garage Sale continues through Sunday, Sept. 12.
“At Rods N Rhodies, you know you’ll see some of the West Coast’s most gorgeous, amazing, awe-inspiring hot rods all around town,” said organizer Gary Cargill. “Up to 125 of the west coast’s best high-end hot rods, rat rods, and custom cruisers from 1976 and earlier will be in town. Some are worth up to a quarter-million dollars.”
Though known primarily for the annual September event, Rods N Rhodies became its own local volunteer-led nonprofit in 2018 with a renewed vision to provide automotive assistance to locals in need. This year’s event will be a benefit for their mission and goals.
“It’s a high-octane weekend at a spectacular time of year here in Florence,” said Florence Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Bettina Hannigan. “We can’t know for sure right now what the COVID-19 regulations are going to be, but we expect all visitors and locals to abide by the Oregon Health Authority’s guidelines in effect at the time, and to bring their patience and good manners when attending, dining or shopping.”
Friday starts with an all-comers “Kool Car Stand-Around” show-and-shine at the Port of Siuslaw parking lot at the east end of Bay Street There will be food, music and 100+ cars on display, including the 2019 event winners. Owners of any classic car are welcome to exhibit along with the invited vehicles.
Rods N Rhodies’ main event takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Bay Street. The event also includes a classic Saturday night cruise in and around Old Town, a poker walk and raffles with lots of prizes and awards for the exhibitors.
Music from the 1950s to the ’70s will be provided all weekend by Russ Strohmeyer, a popular DJ on the car show circuit.
“He’s a master, a car enthusiast, and his DJ equipment is to die for,” said Cargill.
Bargain hunters can pick up a guide to the Community-wide Garage Sale at the Siuslaw News office, 148 Maple St., at TheSiuslawNews.com and in the Saturday edition of the newspaper that week. Maps will also be available at FlorenceChamber.com.
People can then cruise the bargain trail all weekend to stop by dozens of commercial and private sales all over town.
On Saturday, Bay Street will be blocked to regular traffic beginning at 7 a.m. for exhibitors to enter at the west end at Kingwood.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. cars will be on display along both sides of the street, there will be themed music, and raffle tickets for sale with a different winner’s name drawn every half hour.
The awards presentation begins at 4 p.m. with exhibitors vying for the Merchant Award, Children’s Choice Award, Peoples’ Choice Award, and Best of Show Award. Visitors are invited to vote for the Peoples’ Choice by obtaining a ballot in Old Town and returning it by 3 p.m.
According to Cargill, “Rod” and “Rhody” — retired teachers in blue and pink overalls like mechanics wore back in the day — will help kids with a special ballot for the Children’s Choice Award. Kids who vote receive a small goodie bag.
“The couple will also inform the public about the Rods N Rhodies, Inc.’s Transportation Solutions Project, which assists local families in need with transportation solutions,” Cargill added.
At 4:15 p.m., immediately following the awards presentation, cruisers will begin the annual classic car cruise in and around Historic Old Town.
“The cruise is one of the public’s and exhibitors’ favorite events during the weekend,” said Cargill. “Low and slow is the goal.”
Rods N Rhodies uses this annual event as a benefit to highlight Rods N Rhodies, Inc. and its Transportation Solutions Project.
“Most of us go through day-to-day activities without even thinking about how we will get to where we want to go,” Cargill said. “We have the means of transportation that is reliable and comfortable. However, within our community, there are those who struggle to make ends meet and don’t have that luxury.
“Many families who do own transportation may not have the means to properly maintain the vehicle for safety and reliability. Sometimes it comes down to a choice between the car or food, clothing, or housing. An unexpected flat tire has been known to cost a person a job for making them late. A burned-out headlight or taillight yields an expensive citation. Worn out windshield wipers can impair vision leading to an accident. We want to change that for as many as possible.”
Get involved with Rods N Rhodies by contacting Rods N Rhodies President Gary Cargill at 541-999-6513 or