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Cool cars, sleek boats: 'A show like no other'

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Heritage Council's 17th-annual event is expected to draw 5,000 enthusiasts to Lake Oswego


REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - John Baines (from left), Roger Rollins and Nancy Niland are the driving forces behind the 17th-annual Collector Car & Classic Boat Show, which is scheduled for Aug. 28.Nancy Niland has been going to the Oswego Heritage Council’s Collector Car & Classic Boat Show ever since she moved to Lake Oswego.

“I’ve been going to this since 2005,” says Niland, who is now the OHC’s executive director. “I love vintage cars and beautiful boats. I’ve even gotten to ride in some of the cars.”

Her next ride just might be in a Porsche, because 23 of the classic cars have already registered for this year’s show — including a spectacular Porsche 356 owned by Miles Eshaia of Lake Oswego. The 17th-annual event is set for Sunday, Aug. 28, at three locations in downtown Lake Oswego.

More than 5,000 visitors are expected at George Rogers Park, Lakewood Bay at Sundeleaf Plaza and Foothills Park, where all of the displays will be free and open to the public. Niland says they’ll find more than 200 collector cars and 40 classic boats waiting for them, but it’s the car and boat owners who are the real draw.

“People love talking to the owners,” Niland says. “It’s such an inclusive experience. People coming to see our show never hear, ‘Do not touch or get too close!’”

About 60 percent of the show’s attendees come from Lake Oswego, Niland says; the rest come from outside the city, and about 10 percent come from out of state. “This is a huge draw for tourism,” she says. “We get amazing feedback year after year.”

One of the things visitors say they like is the event’s unassuming feel. Unlike other shows, cars on display in George Rogers Park are not judged — although that doesn’t mean there aren’t awards to be won. The show’s sponsors hand out prizes for all sorts of things, according to event founder and co-chairman John Baines, who recalls that during the early years, Rotarian Bill Warner’s granddaughter used to hand out a prize for the car with her favorite hood ornament.

“It’s a show like no other,” Baines says.

Technically, the car and boat show opens at 10 a.m. on Aug. 28 and runs through 3 p.m., but there’s plenty to see before that happens.

At 10 a.m. on Aug. 27, the only operating PT boat from World War II will arrive at the Foothills Park dock after making the trip from Swan Island. It’s a nice slice of nautical history, similar to the famed PT 109 skippered by John F. Kennedy.

At 4 p.m. on Aug. 27, skippers will steer their classic boats around Oswego Lake before docking at Sundeleaf Park. And from 8-10:30 a.m. on Aug. 28, the Lake Oswego Lions Club will flip flapjacks in George Rogers Park before switching over to hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch.

Cars and boats won’t be the only glamour offered at the show, by the way. At 1 p.m. on Aug. 28, the water skiing team Polka Dot Express, led by 1966 Miss Oregon Lita Schiel Grigg, will speed across Oswego Lake, giving spectators a taste of the water show spectaculars that were once so popular in Lake Oswego.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IF YOU GO

What: 17th-annual Oswego Heritage Council Collector Car & Classic Boat Show

Where: George Rogers Park, 611 S. State St.; Lakewood Bay off Sundeleaf Plaza, 120 S. State St.; and Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 with the water ski show at 1 p.m. (PT Boat arrives at 10 a.m. on Aug. 27)

Cost: Free

More information: http://oswegoheritage.org/car-boat-show-1