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Scholarship Fund - Lions Kick It Into Gear
No matter which way you turned on Saturday, there was something to catch your eye.

Whether it was the sun shining off a chrome bumper, a sleek looking road hog motorcycle or a slightly less than classic 'work in progress' car, the 19th annual Escalon Lions Club Autumn Cruise brought in auto enthusiasts for a day of fun and fundraising.

Proceeds from this annual event put on by the Lions go toward scholarships for Escalon High School seniors and thousands of dollars have been given away over the years.

A series of Friday night 'pre-cruise' summer events at Hula's keeps interest going as the days lead up to the downtown cruise and Lions Club officials said they met their goal in terms of registered vehicles, which they had set at 285.

"My car just got done a week and a half ago," said Steve Wirfs of Ripon, who was busy polishing up the interior of his 1957 Chevy. "It has been apart for over two years."

Wirfs, like many auto enthusiasts, was excited to bring his classic to the city's Main Street Park for the day on Saturday, soaking up the sunshine and the attention.

"It's a family thing," he added of the fascination with cars. "Our whole family does hot rods, hot rodding and boating."

While the cost of those hobbies can be steep, Wirfs said if it is something you enjoy, you do your best to find a way to keep going. He also said the car shows are fun to attend.

"The people, I enjoy meeting the people," he said.

The pristine motor from a 1939 Ford two door owned by Leo Blevins of Modesto reflected the rays of the sun; a majestic hood ornament adorned the 1937 Packard displayed by Vic Stencil of Modesto.

Among the rows of carefully detailed and restored classics, Escalon High student Alexandra Peters had her 1980 Datsun 280 ZX on display.

Labeled as a "work in progress," Alexandra said the work actually has gotten "not very far" as of yet.

"I'm sort of learning as I go," she admitted, with dad Laurence Peters offering some instruction and moral support.

"The first priority is to stop it from leaking," Laurence said, chuckling.

Only in the family a few months, the dad and daughter duo plan to keep working on the car and bring it back to display in the show next year, when it will be decidedly more presentable.

Some members of the Central Valley Cruisers car club out of Stockton were there, the half dozen attending the Escalon cruise for the first time.

"So far it's great, it seems to be well organized," said Barbara Earley.

Dave Perez was displaying a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner and said he has had that at shows for the last six or seven years.

"Obviously, the best in show," he said of his classic.

And as to how he got involved with the club and collecting classic cars?

"I'm old, I have the money now, the kids are gone ... mostly ... and it's my turn," he said.

Club members Joan Duff added that she enjoys meeting people and seeing the different cars at the shows the club attends around the region.

Ed Lee of Manteca had his '51 Ford there, a car he has had for just four months.

"This seems like a good show," he said, noting that he attended a Friday night pre-cruise over the summer and wanted to come to the main show as well.

"It takes a lot of time and effort," he said of the hobby. "But I just enjoy the cars."