2008 Car-Boat event ad shows a beautiful blast from past
That is what observers of the poster for Lake Oswego's 2008 Collector's Car and Wooden Boat Show must think when they view Mike Mayer's 1929 Chris Craft and Mike Eshaia's 1929 Mercedes.
Of course, 1929 was that not so wonderful year in which the American economy took an unceremonious nosedive into the Great Depression.
But it was still a great year for classic cars and boats. Especially when someone has taken as much care to restore and maintain them as Mayer and Eshaia, both of Lake Oswego, have done.
'Hair-raising and expensive' is the way Mayer describes the process of getting his wooden boat ready for exhibition in the first boat show in 2007.
'There were the hull, sides and bottom, and then all the detail work,' Mayer said. 'Now it's sound and safe and Coast Guard approved. This is something I've always wanted to do.'
Mayer has gratefully learned that the first year for restoring a classic wooden boat is the hardest.
'Once you've done it, it's relatively easy to stay on top of it,' he said. 'Keeping it that way is pretty easy.'
It was in May of 2005 that Mayer bought the '29 Chris Craft from a friend in Connecticut. He then took the boat to North Carolina, where 85 percent of the restoration work was done, then moved it to Lake Oswego last year.
While it was a huge task to get the boat ready for exhibition, it was also a dream come true.
'I'm a long-time wooden boat lover,' Mayer said. 'I've been doing this for 20 years. My dad was a lifelong woodworker. It was the movie On Golden Pond that sparked my dad's interest. He found an old Chris Craft that had never been finished.
'Since then we've bought every one we can find. At one point we had a lot of boats and none of them worked. But now we're making momentum. I estimate we have 15 total boats.
'I love everything about them - the sight, the smell, the sound. They have a lot of dimensions that will keep me coming back for more.'
Eshaia has just as much love for his 1929 Mercedes, a gray two-door convertible that has many fine qualities: six-cylinder super charge, twin ignition, overhead cam, body by Sindelfingen, etc.
Eshaia has had a few headaches in getting the car ready. That is what happens when alcohol is used as fuel.
'Alcohol knocks everything loose in the engine,' he said.
But the 79-year-old gray Mercedes still epitomizes what the Car and Boat show is all about.
'I have a long-time interest in supporting the Heritage Show,' Eshaia said.
In past Heritage Shows, Eshaia has exhibited a 1955 Porsche Speedster, a 1934 Cadillac, and a 1953 Jaguar Mark 7.
Patrons of the show on Aug. 24 will get to see a lot more than a beautiful poster. They will view up to 250 classic cars and 30 classic wooden boats.
Car-Boat show set Sunday in Lake Oswego
The 9th Annual Collector Car and Wooden Boat Show will be held on Sunday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lake Oswego at two venues.
This event is a major fundraiser for the Oswego Heritage Council.
The car show will be held at George Rogers Park, at the corner of Ladd and South State Street. The boat show will be held at the Lake Oswego Corporation docks (behind the Oswego Lake House restaurant at 40 N. State St.).
Preceding the big show will be a boat parade on Saturday, Aug. 23, around Oswego Lake starting at 4 p.m. Leading the parade will be Mike Mayer.
The boat show was a big success in its first time last year, and event director Kristen Winn is expecting an even better show this year. At least 30 beautiful, classic wooden boats are expected to be on exhibit.
As for the cars, event director Steve Dietz says that up to 250 cars of a huge variety will be on display, from hotrods to Mercedes.
Dietz says even he is unsure of what will be on display, since 'you never can tell what will drive through those gates.'
Show sponsors will award trophies to their favorite cars and boats, and three $600 gift baskets with items contributed by local businesspersons will be raffled.
Fine cars and fine boats deserve fine food. The Lake Oswego Lions Club will be serving a pancake breakfast in the morning and a hamburger lunch at noon at George Rogers Park. In addition, Oswego Lake House restaurant will offer a special menu on Sunday.
A huge crowd is expected on Sunday, possibly exceeding the 2,000 people who attended last year's extravaganza. Complimentary bus shuttles will be available to show patrons.
For more information, go to the Oswego Heritage Council website at www.oswegoheritage.org .