In the late '50s, Don Squire purchased a 1951 MG TD — a British sports car he had long admired — for $4,000 from a lot on Central Avenue and Jackson Street.
"We took it home, jumped in it, put our driving caps on and away we went," says Squire, 84.
Friday, June 14
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. — Poker run
Noon - 5 p.m. — Shelby Cobra time trials at Jackson County Sports Park
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. — MOPAR Show 'N Shine car show in Hawthorne Park (all makes and years)
5 - 8:30 p.m. — Stoplight Drags at the sports park (1972 and older)
7 - 8:30 p.m. — The Duquanes concert in the park
9 - 10:15 p.m. — The Lovin' Spoonful concert in the park
Saturday, June 15
7:30 - 10 a.m. — Breakfast in Hawthorne Park
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Show 'N Shine car show in the park (1972 and older)
5 - 8:30 p.m. — Medford Cruise on Central Avenue
5 - 8:30 p.m. — Stoplight Drags at the sports park (all years)
Dusk — Drive-in movie in the park ("Grease")
Sunday, June 16
7:30 - 10 a.m. — Breakfast in the park
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. — Unlimited Show 'N Shine in the park (cars, motorcycles and bicycles)
Squire and his wife called it their "fun car" and drove it for about three years until it was time to renew the vehicle's registration. The car had a small oil leak, so Squire put it in the garage until he could fix it, and there it sat for 53 years.
Two years ago, Squire, along with his son Mike and grandsons Scott and Brad, got to work restoring the car to its former glory.
Squire says he's owned, restored and sold dozens of classic and sports cars — mostly British and German models — but this one was a keeper.
This Father's Day weekend, the "family car" will make its debut at the 28th annual Medford Cruise. Squire and hundreds of other proud owners of immaculate cars, 1972 and older, will participate in the Show 'N Shine, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Hawthorne Park.
"Each car has a story ... and sometimes the story is as fascinating as the beauty of the car," says Alex Pawlowski, president of the Medford Cruise Association.
More than 500 cars are registered to show on Saturday, including hot rods, Corvettes, Model Ts and "regular ol' blue bloods — the Chevys, Dodges, Buicks and Packards," Pawlowski says.
A MOPAR Show 'N Shine for all makes and years will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, and the Unlimited Show 'N Shine, which will include motorcycles and bicycles, will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in the park. Admission to the Show 'N Shine is free.
At the Jackson County Sports Park, drivers can let loose. Stoplight Drags will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday (1972 and older) and Saturday (all years). Admission is $10, and free for children ages 6 and younger accompanied by an adult.
"Oftentimes, there's a grudge match, a Corvette against a Mustang and such, and many times it's the luck of the draw," Pawlowski says.
On Friday, more than two dozen qualified Portland drivers will take "hairpin turns at high speeds" in the Shelby Cobra Time Trials, held from noon to 5 p.m. at the sports park. A ride in one of the cars will cost $25.
More leisurely events include a poker run to six wineries along the scenic Upper Rogue and as far south as the new Belle Fiore Estate & Winery near Ashland. The first poker hand is free. Additional hands cost $5. Drivers can leave from HomeTown Buffet, near the south Medford Fred Meyer, around 9 a.m. The poker runs ends at 2 p.m. at Red Robin.
The hallmark of the weekend will be the annual Cruise. More than 700 cars 1972 and older will roll, two at a time, down Central Avenue to Main Street and through downtown Medford before looping back around.
"It used to be called 'cruisin' the gut,' and after a football game on a Friday night, you would cruise Main Street and go from one old fast-food place to the next," Pawlowski says. "The guys would check out the girls. The girls would check out the guys, and everybody would check out the cars."
In the spirit of the '50s and '60s, Santa Barbara's The Duquanes will perform songs by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and Elvis at 7 p.m. Friday in Hawthorne Park. Later that evening, popular American rock band The Lovin' Spoonful will play early hits, including "Do You Believe in Magic?" "Daydream," "You Didn't Have to be So Nice" and "Summer in the City." The band, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, features two of its original members, Joe Butler and Steve Boone, as well as Jerry Yester, Mike Arturi and Phil Smith.
On Saturday night, families are invited to park their cars on the Hawthorne Park lawn, drive-in style, for a free screening of "Grease."
For a complete list of Medford Cruise events, see www.medfordcruise.com. Over the past 27 years, the Medford Cruise has donated more than $337,000 to local youth programs, such as the Boys & Girls Club and Kids Unlimited.