Not only was the fourth annual Clifton Cruise-In a slice of paradise for vehicle aficionados, it was also the one raising the most money for its two sponsors and the charitable events they support.
Held during Monday's Labor Day holiday in the Town of Clifton, it drew a whopping 2,000 attendees to a gleaming and colorful showcase of street rods, custom and antique cars, muscle cars and true classics. And neither the 95-degree heat, nor the threat of rain, kept the fans away. They admired each other's vehicle, compared notes and enjoyed the music played by a deejay in front of the Clifton Store.
There were 160 show cars, plus 12 dealer cars, a Winston Cup car, a pace car from the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas and a NASCAR racecar. And the show raised nearly $10,000 for charity.
"It was amazing and wonderful," said Clifton Mayor Jim Chesley, a member of both sponsoring entities — the Custom Cruisers of Northern Virginia and the Clifton Lions Club. "It was a tremendous show. The weather and the people came through beautifully."
Proceeds from the car show go to the charities supported by Custom Cruisers of Northern Virginia and the Clifton Lions Club and aid the hungry, the homeless, the sight- and hearing-impaired and abused women in the local area.
It costs some $2,000 to put on the Cruise-In and, until now, most of the costs were funded by the vehicle registrations. But that only left about $500 for each sponsor to donate to their charities. So this year, Chesley — who organized the car show — tried raising some money beforehand, and contributors responded generously.
As a result, 20 trophies and 20 plaques were awarded, and all vehicles registered received dashboard plaques. But the most important thing was that the proceeds yielded $9,800 for charity. The Lions Club received $5,800 (because it also sold food, held a raffle and solicited donations during the day), and the Custom Cruisers received $4,000.
"I'd love to make it $10,000," said Chesley. "So, if anyone wants to make a $50 or more, tax-deductible donation, I'll give them a commemorative, event T-shirt worth $15, for free."
Donations, payable to the Clifton Lions Club, may be sent to Jim Chesley, 7207 Main St., Clifton, VA 20124.