Every year, the small North Sound communities of Warm Beach and Stanwood welcome a raucous pack of high-revving vehicles to kick off the spring season and lift the spirits of all in attendance. The Cool Machines car show is an annual event tied to a faith-based event and hosted by four organizations – the Men’s Advance Camp, the Twin City Idlers, the Stangpede Washington Mustang Club, and the PNW Coupes and Sedans group.
“They like us to come out, give the guys something to look out on their breaks,” said Les Anderson, President of the Twin City Idlers Car Club and owner of a one-of-a-kind 1948 Custom Cabover. His truck is mid-engine and packed with 460 big block, and is painted in Mercedes and Toyota dual greens. “We like to support local things, when people ask, we try to help out.”
The Twin City Idlers also hosts the Stanwood Car Show in the first week of June, an annual gathering of several hundred cars of any make or model. Money from the Twin City Idlers membership dues goes toward community scholarships and is open to anyone with any kind of car.
“The Twin City Idlers was a car club in the 50s, and we resurrected it in 2000-2001,” Anderson said. “We have all kinds of cars, anything goes. Anything from brand new cars to old cars. People can come from wherever.”
President of the local Stangpede Washington Mustang Club comes out to the Cool Machines car show to kick off the club’s show season. He also sees Cool Machines as an opportunity to expand knowledge of the group and strengthen the car community.
“We like to pull in other car clubs and groups to take part,” Elliot said. “It’s a great time for all ages.”
The Stangpede Washington club hosts many local events, but their biggest is the charity car show, the “Summer Gallop” in Plain, WA. Proceeds from the show go to the Cocoon House, a non-profit that provides housing and outreach to at-risk or homeless youth.
Thomas Owens, founder of the PNW Coupes and Sedans (PNWCS) Facebook group, had been invited out to Cool Machines by the Stangpede Washington Car club. He checked the weather daily to see if mother nature was going to throw a curve ball at the Puget Sound area, thankful it was just right to bring out his 1998 Ford Escort Zx2.
“When I woke up on Saturday morning to find the sky full of blue, and little clouds, with that bright nice sun shining down upon the area, I knew it was [a perfect day] to attend the event,” Owens said.
Owens had organized a Cool Machines pre-meet through the PNWCS page and more than 20 cars traveled their way north. He’s attended events with “crazy engine revving people” lately and doesn’t see that from the groups that went.
That being said, the North Cascade Harley Davidson retailer definitely had engine revving on lockdown during the Cool Machines car show. They trailered out a motorcycle dyno to showcase to show two-wheeled Cool Machines to attendees.
“It was awesome to see the variety of approximately 30 cars show up at the event,” Owens said.
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There was a Ford F-150 truck and a Ford F-250 with a Viper exhaust, a Roadrunner driven by Al Young, three Toyotas (a Cressida, an EXY10 Sera, and our own MR2 Turbo), older Corvettes and newer Corvettes, Harleys, and — of course — plenty of Mustangs. Some very ‘Cool Machines’ indeed, but more than just cool machines, there’s cool people.
“We’ve taken it to Europe three times and across the US four times,” Al Young said. “I tried to blow it up, so I put 220-lbs of nitrous in it, I raced at least 20 times, and every time it went. Tried to blow it up, couldn’t do it, so I said ‘Perfect’.”
Al Young is a World Champion Drag Racer who saved, restored and modded a 1973 Plymouth Roadrunner and has since taken it racing and grand touring through 37 countries across the globe. He bought it for $500 around 12 years ago, and it had been beaten by the previous owner. It now has a new 318-engine, redundant essential systems for touring, seats from a Mercedes-Benz, Bluetooth, and more.
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His next trip will take him to the largest car show in Georgia (where every car is for sale) and beyond to an epic road trip through Texas for Cars and Stars car shows at the Largest Town Square in the USA (complete with dance and drive-in movie screening).
“We decided to take it around the country. When I professional drag raced, we’d go to places and never see anything,” Young said. “I build this car because I knew I could fix it myself. All the parts on this car can be fixed with a stick welder.”
Of course, no one would be there without the Men’s Advance camp held at the Warm Beach Convention Center. Each year, the gathering of men commune with each other, faith experts and God before bringing what they’ve learned back to their families and communities. The Men’s Advance event is organized by Stangpede Member Jeremy Holm.
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“He does a great job entertaining the gentlemen of his church with the event,” Elliot said.
The Cool Machines car show is but one aspect of their annual event that also includes archery, engaging worship and faith-building seminars, life-size Angry Birds sling shot, a high-rope course, and “Mouth-watering meals”. Men’ Advance is about bringing men from different religious background, churches or communities together to grow their faith and then improve their communities through their faith.
“Men getting together to support one another and worship God,” said Larry Gulke, member of the Men’s Advance leadership. “One of the guys on our board is a car show guy, so he invites them out here every year.”
And for Men’s Advance event, they have achieved one of their goals – strengthening communities. Three very different car groups coming together with a faith-based event to improve the lives of all involved and for those who attended on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. There were also some mighty fine hot dogs available for free, though donations for Men’s Advance scholarships were accepted and appreciated.
“Cool Machines out at Warm Beach is a great event and we hope to help make it bigger and better in the coming years, so if you’ve never been, we hope to see you out there next March,” Elliot said.
Video courtesy of Dane Angel, Stangpede Washington club member.