When the 45th annual Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance takes place this Sunday, Lincolns, Woodies and classic Minis will take center stage, but auto enthusiasts will find a wide variety of classic and sports cars, thanks to people like Clifford Stranburg.
Stranburg, of Beaverton, is bringing four cars to the show: a pair of 1930 Franklins; a 1935 Lincoln LeFaron Roadster; and a Nash-Healey, a two-seat sports car that was manufactured between 1951 and 1954.
"I vary them and mix them up, and try to keep the show fresh," Stranburg said about how he selects the cars to show each year.
Stranburg has been participating in the Concours d'Elegance for longer than he can remember — he said he thinks he may have even been at the first one. For Stranburg, participating in local car shows now is more important than ever, as car shows in places like Seattle and Scottsdale, Ariz. are shutting down due to lack of interest and volunteer effort.
"They try to keep it going at a time when these car shows are having a hard time," he said. "I've always admired all the volunteer work people put into it to keep the show going... The younger group, I don't think they appreciate automobiles and the history of it as much as the older generation does."
Over the past 44 years, the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance has drawn thousands of car buffs to Pacific University's shaded campus to fawn over meticulously maintained Maseratis, Bentleys and Ferraris and admire pristine Packards, Chevys, Fords and Buicks.
The show is run completely by volunteers, and has raised more than $1 million for more than 700 student scholarships and youth and community service projects funded by the Forest Grove Rotary Club.
This year's show will honor a Century of Lincoln Motors cars, featuring pre-war and post-war Lincoln automobiles. Special classes include Mini from 1959-2000 and wood-bodied station wagons.
The 300-plus entrants for 2017 include a 1941 Lincoln Continental, owned by Charles Humphreys of Ridgecrest, Calif., that served as this year's poster car. And in a nod to 'rods, the show will offer a rare up-close look at the hand-crafted custom Renaissance Roadster, which recently won the prestigious Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama custom car show.
Other notable entries include a 1896 Riker Electric, 1947 Ford Woodie, 1960 Austin Mini and 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster.
When asked why he participates in classic car shows, Stranburg answered that "it's the history of it." For him, trophies and prizes don't matter nearly as much as the chance to explore American culture and history.
"If I could live another life, I'd probably be a history teacher," he said. "I've always really liked American history, and these cars have been a big part in American history and the development of our country."
IF you go
The 2016 Forest Grove Concours d' Elegance
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 16 at Pacific University's Forest Grove Campus, 2043 College Way.
Street parking and free public lots will be available. Follow the signs.
Advance tickets: $5-$17. Gate tickets: $7-$20.
For advance tickets or more information, visit forestgroveconcours.org or call 503-357-2300.