The Bridge City Cruisers, Valley City’s car club, will be hosting its 14th annual car show on Central Avenue and Main Street in Valley City on Saturday, and club president Terry Johnson said they’re hoping to fill downtown this year.
The club, which started in 1998, has grown from 15 members to more than 100. Johnson said, “A few guys got together and put together a club and it has kind of evolved.”
The car show will feature unique and classic vehicles belonging to residents from all over North Dakota as well as the entire upper Midwest.
Not every vehicle be-longs to a car club member, and not every car club member owns a vehicle.
Vehicle enthusiasts who don’t have a car to show can still become members of the Bridge City Cruisers. “You don’t need to own a special interest vehicle,” Johnson said, “just have an interest in unique vehicles.”
Membership is kept low at only $20 per year, and the club holds meetings every first Friday of the month.
Last Friday, the Bridge City Cruisers held their last monthly meeting before the big show this weekend at Van’s Classics and Customs. Members enjoyed a potluck dinner and had an opportunity to show and discuss their projects.
Van’s Classics and Customs shop owner and Bridge City Cruisers member, Eldwyn Van Bruggen, uses the shop for his personal hobby but also opens it for fellow car club members. Eldywn supports the community and car club, and he wants to provide his fellow car fans with a place to work together and build relationships.
While the building is used primarily as a shop, it is also home to a “man cave,” which Eldwyn says is a place for people to hang out and talk cars.
Eldwyn, along with his son Myron and their family, restore vehicles and show them in various shows, having even received national recognition.
The Van Bruggen family has had many restoration projects over the years--from antique tractors to a convertible Chevy Blazer. While each car club member has different reasons for restoring and showing vehicles, Eldwyn and Myron are not wedded to a specific brand; rather, they restore cars that have personal meaning to them.
“We get together periodically as a family and take time to work on projects together,” Myron said.
Eldwyn’s 1953 Ford is special to him because that is the car in which he said “I Do” to his wife. His completely original 1969 Chevy Impala that boasts a modest 59,000 miles belonged to his aunt until she was 94-years-old.
Special to Myron is his 1979 Chevy Nova, which was the very first car he bought back in high school. The car has remained unrestored. Myron said with the all-80’s high school reunion this weekend, he and his wife are excited to bring out the Nova and give rides to his old high school friends.
Myron also takes pride in his Volkswagen Beetle, which he calls a relationship builder between father and daughter, because the bright orange car was a project Myron worked on with his daughter when she was a senior in high school.
Whether there to see a specific car or just hear the story about the vehicle, the Bridge City Cruisers encourages locals and visitors to come out and enjoy the show.
The car show is the main event the club will host for Rally in the Valley, there will other car-related events all afternoon, including a NASCAR tire changing contest, a motor blow up and a burnout contest.