Thousands of classic cars “cruizin” to the Emerald Coast

Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — If you like classic cars and meeting new people then ‘Emerald Coast Cruizin’ is the place for you. 

Locals like Robert Beck come out every year. 

“I have fun meeting more and more people every year,” Beck said. “It’s the joy of interacting with all the different personalities that just make it so much fun.”

Thousands of other car enthusiasts travel from more than two dozen states for the experience.  

Cars of all makes, colors, and ages are out on display. With proud car owners ready to show them off. 

Beck is the owner of a 1940 Oldsmobile four-door sedan. His father convinced him to buy it and he said it was a good choice. 

“This car as I said is a 1940 so it’s 81-years-old,” Beck said. “And for an all-steel original car to last for 81 years I challenge many people to find one.”

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All of them are rare finds but in their own way. Jim Crocker travels from Alabama each year for the show.

“This is a 2017 sterling blue metallic C7 Corvette they only painted like 900 that color in 2017,” Crocker said.

Crocker was at the event with some friends he met at ‘Emerald Coast Cruizin’ a few years ago.

Some of the cars like Crocker’s are just for display at shows. While others like Bruce Johnson’s 1963 ½ Falcon Spirit are driven every day. 

“It’s very enjoyable to drive an old school good cruiser,” Johnson said. 

Throughout the weekend around 2000 cars will be coming to the emerald coast from across the country, some as old as 1918 ranging up to present-day models.

There will be concerts at the event stage each day and attendees will have the opportunity to see different vendors. 

One vendor is the Optimist Club of Panama City Beach who will be auctioning off an LS3 motor and handmade spider carts to raise money for kids with cancer. 

“We try to stand in where there are financial problems where kids can’t get to their treatments,” said Optimist Club member Ron Bryan. “We make sure that the mom and dad can go with them.”

The optimist club attends this event each year to raise money for this cause. They said it is a unique event with a lot of opportunities. 

Event Coordinator Robert Parish said he’s hoping for the biggest turnout ever. 

“It’s like a big family reunion,” Parish said. “They all get to see each other once or twice a year and they come here and hang out, enjoy the beach and eat at the restaurants, mingle and talk about car stuff.”

A full list of the events, dinners, and concerts can be found on the Emerald Coast Cruizin Facebook page. 

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