When Ron Fought retired, he probably never thought his classic 1967 Chevrolet Nova would become such a focal point living in the Coachella Valley.
Fought joined the Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association, thinking the car club would help he and his wife, Joyce, meet people and settle into the desert lifestyle.
The association provides many of the social perks the Foughts expected, like the monthly cruise nights, and breakfast “car chats”. In fact, the initial cruisin’ event opens the 2013-14 season from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 5 with car enthusiasts meeting at Westfield Mall’s north parking lot in Palm Desert.
The cruisin’ events continue the first Saturday of each month through May.
What You’ll Find:
• More than 150 street rods, corvettes, custom and antique cars on display.
• Vendors offering everything from food to car wax.
• Cruisin’ music from the 1940s and ‘50s.
• Hula-hoop contests and a coloring booth for kids.
What You May See:
• 1932 Ford Roadster, known to travel 150 mph
• 1955 Chevy Classic with a $10,000 paint job
• a Hudson
What You Could Win
More than 30 trophies are up for grabs including distinctions for “Best of the Best” vehicles in various categories such as “Best Ford, “Best Pick-Up” or “Best Motorcycle”. A $5 registration fee will qualify any car, truck, or motorcycle.
“It doesn’t even have to run,” Fought says. “You can tow it in. If you think it’s worth your $5 to enter your car, you might just win a trophy and it goes to a very good cause.”
The Good Cause
That cause is the association’s primary charity, Desert Cancer Foundation. The foundation has become even more special to Fought, who serves as the association’s cruise night director and chairman of the board, and is struggling with cancer himself.
“I love the charity aspect of this organization,” he says. “It’s fun to be a part of all that goes into the events, and it makes you feel good.”
The bulk of the fund-raising is done during the association’s biggest event of the year – the “Dr. George Charity Car Show” in February, which attracts more than 8,000 spectators and showcases more than 1,000 cars. Since the show's inception 11 years ago, the association annually donates nearly $50,000 to the Desert Cancer Foundation.