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DRIVE WHIDBEY Spring 2014

Whidbey Cruzers share their love of cars... page 3

Your ultimate guide to everything on wheels A supplement of the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record


DRIVE WHIDBEY

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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DRIVE WHIDBEY

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Whidbey Cruzers share love of cars By RON NEWBERRY

T Photo by Ron Newberry

Ed Hammond, who spent 28 years in the Navy active duty and reserves, is president for a third term with the Whidbey Cruzers Car Club. He’s been a member of the club since 1998, a year after the club started. “I’m the only three-term president. This is it. I have to get it right this time,” he joked. Hammond can be seen around Oak Harbor driving his 1967 Buick Electra 225.

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he old guard of Oak Harbor’s most visible car club begins rolling into the parking lot of Flowers Marine around 9 o’clock in the morning. They come for the three C’s that turn their internal cranks: conversation, coffee and cars. Ed Hammond, president of the Whidbey Cruzers Car Club, calls Jimmy Flowers’ boat repair shop on Highway 20 the club’s unofficial meeting place. For the past six years, maybe longer, a segment of the club has met there most weekday mornings to gab and gain insight. “That’s where we keep our library for all of the manuals for just about any car you can think of,” Hammond said. “A lot of trophies sit up there. “If people are looking for advice on how to do things, we have a vast amount of talent sitting up there.” Sharing ideas about cars and tips about their maintenance is part of the foundation of the Whidbey Cruzers. The club was formed in 1997 by a core

group of mechanically savvy car restorers and classic car owners who wanted to spend more time with car enthusiasts. Flowers, a founding member of the Whidbey Cruzers and a 1966 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, saw a need for a club when he moved back to Oak Harbor in 1992. “It seemed there were a lot of older cars in the area here, but nobody had any reason to take them out of the garage,” Flowers said. “There were no cruises, no cruise nights. My motivation for the club was to create a reason for people to enjoy their old automobiles.” And in turn, others have enjoyed them, too. The Whidbey Cruzers are fixtures at community events from parades to car shows to high school homecomings. At Oak Harbor’s community Thanksgiving event in November, club drivers delivered meals in style. On Halloween night, they opened up their trunks with candy in front of Ace Hardware store. In August, there are plans for members SEE CRUZERS, A4

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DRIVE WHIDBEY

Photos by Ron Newberry

Under the hood of Ed Hammond’s 1967 Buick Electra 225 convertible is a 455-cubic inch V-8 engine with a four barrel carburetor. Another feature on the car are lake pipes down the sides.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

CRUZERS

How to join

CONTINUED FROM A3

n The only requirement to join is to have a love for automobiles. n The annual fee is $25. n The club meets the first Tuesday night of each month at San Remo Restaurant in Oak Harbor.

to do a road safety presentation as part of a National Night Out at Windjammer Park. The club, with its shiny classic cars, is constantly visible. “The club we have today is a vehicle for people to come together and have camaraderie,” Flowers said. “Oftentimes, it involves cars, but not necessarily always. It’s really a group of people who like each other and they have cars, too.” Although most members own older cars, the Whidbey Cruzers club is unique in that it isn’t focused on a particular model or make, only the love of automobiles. The club currently has 137 members with about 90 percent based in Oak Harbor and Coupeville, Hammond said. Hammond’s passion is a yellow 1967 Buick Electra 225 convertible once owned by his son. It has ghost flames on the hood and underneath it. He said they planned to sell it until his wife Darlene intervened. “She said, ‘You know what? This is way too much fun,’” Hammond said. Part of the fun of being a Whidbey Cruzers member is taking part in road trips to out-of-town car shows. Members are planning a trip to the Tri-Cities to appear at the

For information on how to join the club, go to www.whidbeycruzers.com Cool Desert Nights car show in Richland June 19-22. Such road trips used to be more common but have become less frequent as members have gotten older, Hammond said. As a third-time president of the club, Hammond has watched membership drop over the years, remembering when it had reached 214 members in 2002. “When we first started out, guys were a lot younger then,” Hammond said. “We did a lot of car shows, a lot of trips. “As we’re getting older, there’s not as much people getting out as we used to. A lot of the younger crowd isn’t interested in the older cars. We’re noticing numbers dropping off. We don’t see the younger group of car enthusiasts. They’re just not into the old classic cars. They’re more into the electronic stuff. We’re used to wrench turning.”

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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DRIVE WHIDBEY

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What to know before acquiring a vehicle

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Buying or leasing a vehicle is an exciting decision. For many consumers, it’s the first, big ticket item they acquire. Knowing what to expect before making this important financial commitment will help you feel confident about your decision for years to come. To make wise decisions, it pays to understand the tools available to educate yourself on financing a vehicle, says Mike Kane, vice president of Consumer Credit Operations at Ally Financial. “The internet has made it easy for shoppers to access these tools, which can help you get the most for your money during the financing process.”

that works best for you. Visiting different dealerships is a way to learn more about the options available. n What to look for. When financing the purchase of a vehicle, the total amount you pay during the term of the retail contract will depend on several factors including the price of the vehicle, the amount you finance and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

Tips to help you make sense of the process:

n The length of your retail contract matters. Retail contract terms typically range from two to six years, or longer. The longer you take to pay, the lower your payments will be, but your total cost to finance will increase. The length of your retail contract may also impact your options to trade in your vehicle, should you have an outstanding balance. Choose the terms that best fit your financial situation.

n Ways to Pay: There are a few different options when it comes to buying or leasing a vehicle, such as paying cash, getting a loan from a bank or credit union, or negotiating a retail contract or lease through a dealership. It’s important to choose the option

n Negotiation may be part of the transaction. The terms of the financing — such as the APR, vehicle selling price, down payment, monthly payment amount and term — may be negotiable with the dealership. Ask about any incentives the dealership offers,

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n Do your homework. Using free online tools like payment calculators or vehicle valuation guides will give you the information you need when it comes to negotiating with the dealer. n Stick with your budget. There are ways to stay within your budget after all the negotiations are over as well. For example, once you have your vehicle, you’ll need insurance. To get a lower premium, consider increasing your insurance deductible, should it fit your financial situation. For more auto-related financial advice and for free resources, visit www.allywalletwise. com Remember, there is no one, right, way to finance a vehicle; only a series of choices you can make to get the most for your money. If you’re planning to finance or lease a vehicle in the near future, improve your financial knowledge to better understand the process. — Provided by StatePoint

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DRIVE WHIDBEY

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Listen! Your tires are trying to say something

It might sound a bit strange, but the tires on your vehicle are talking to you. It’s true; you just have to listen. How? By performing a visual inspection of your tires and by touching their treads. More specifically, a visual inspection will tell you if the tires are under-inflated. By looking at the treads you’ll also see if there are any signs of premature or unequal wear and tread. But that’s not all your tires have to say. Can you hear your tires? If they seem to make more noise than usual, or if they start to sound like those old, aggressive winter tires that were used years ago, your tires are definitely telling you that its time for closer inspection. Thankfully, this is something you can easily do yourself. Simply run your hand over the treads.

You’ll most likely feel some imperfections, which is normal in most cases. However, if these imperfections are significantly more noticeable on one side or the other, or if they are spaced out regular distances, chances are you’ll have to get your tires aligned. The suspension might also have a problem. If you don’t trust your ability to detect such imperfections or want to rely on an expert just to be sure, bring your vehicle in to your regular mechanic or to a tire specialist. If the experts tell you to replace certain parts, follow their advice. It will save you additional time and money down the road—and perhaps even your life. — Provided by Newspaper Toolbox

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You can learn a lot about the state of your tires by running your hand along the treads.

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DRIVE WHIDBEY

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eds to ! r d n u H se from choo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Best selection of Used Vehicles In the County at Skagit’s Used Car “SuperStores” Inventory on 3 lots!

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DISCLAIMER: All cars are one and only and subject to prior sale. All prices exclude tax and license. A NEGOTIABLE DOCUMENTARY FEE OF $150 MAY BE ADDED TO THE PRICE. Ad expires 05/30/14.

Automotive - Drive Whidbey 2014  

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