Rose City Roundup at Portland Meadows
The Rose City Roundup flooded Portland Meadows Racetrack recently for the annual hot rod and custom car festival in Portland, Oregon. Celebrating its 10th annual event at its new location, the sounds of horse racing were replaced with the rumble of V8 engines. Held by the Driven Dead car club chapters – their choice of a new venue was spot on offering lush grass, plenty of parking and midway facilities and other amenities perfectly suited for a day of celebrating American horsepower.
The weekend launches on Friday night with the A-holes car club sponsoring a drive in theater showing of the Robert Rodriquez cult classic “Roadracers” on the big screen. Around 60 cars viewed the spectacle on the 26ft screen while enjoying adult beverages and food from a taco truck. The night was reminiscent of the good old days when drive in theaters were staples across America. Movie goers were not allowed to camp out, but cars could remain on the grounds until the car show the next morning. Local hotels provided free shuttle service to and from the Meadows for those who opted to leave their rides overnight.
The next morning a wild variety of over 200 cars spread out across the race track’s grassy infield along with over 40 merchandise vendors, food trucks, and adult beverage stations. Live bands entertained the crowd all day from 10am to 4pm with enough variety of punk rock and country. Additional entertainment was provided for both kids and adults with hot wheels races, chariot races, and raffle drawings, just to name a few.
Car clubs show up in force with members present from; The Estranged, The Saints, The Cherry City Bombers, The Disturbed, The Deviants, The Offenders, and The Alley Scrappers. In fact, the Alley Scrappers had 13 cars roll down from Bend, Oregon…not a short drive in any car much less traditional hot rods.
Along with the car clubs came very unique hand built awards were presented to cars by the various clubs they chose personally. This is one of the coolest features of traditional car shows, you can park where you want as there are no classes, and if you win an award it’s actually something cool and worthwhile instead of a plastic throw away trophy. The Driven Dead present five awards as a club along with offerings from the other clubs attending the show. I checked out the unique awards in depth, all of which would display as awesome pieces of art in any garage.
Traditional hot rodders may look like a rough crowd, but they have hearts of gold, and the Driven Dead club proved it with all the proceeds from the show going to charity. This year’s charity focus was the Oregon Youthline which is a teen to teen crisis and help line. It’s always cool to see the proceeds of an event going to charity which in turn allows the focus of the show to be a good time benefiting a community center.
My wife and I recently moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and were surprised by a lack of traditional car shows in the area as we had attended many of them back home. We were skeptical as to what we might find at the Round-Up, but we felt right at home. Traditional hot rod events have a unique feel to them, they are very relaxed, and truly about the culture of the cars and lifestyle. Its grassroots hot rodding at its best!