State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

29th Annual 'Last Cruise' Unites Car Lovers For Good Cause

by on July 28, 2014 12:45 PM

The sound of roaring engines filled downtown State College Sunday evening as more than 70 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles cruised downtown for the last time for the 29th year in a row.

The annual Last Cruise car show – so named because it represents an exception to State College’s anti-cruising ordinance – is held every year to raise money for the Centre County Youth Services Bureau, which provides social services for disadvantaged youth.

Chris Hollingsworth didn’t plan on being a part of the cruise on Sunday. The Clarion, Pa. native only planned on getting gas while passing though State College while driving down to Chesapeake Bay earlier this month.

At the next pump over, Dave Dix – owner of Dix Honda and one of the co-chairs of the annual show – saw Hollingsworth’s 1964 BMW R60/2 motorcycle. When the two got to talking, Dix asked him if he wanted to be in the show. Though sudden, Hollingsworth understood his interest in the bike.

“It has real soul to it,” Hollingsworth says. “It feels like it’s going along on its own, and you’re just lucky to be going along with it.”

Karin Spangler also got a surprise when her husband Charlie Faris – himself an employee at Dix Honda – convinced her to enter her 1985 Honda CRX to appear in the annual show. Though Faris’ submission was denied, Spangler’s was accepted.

“It’s a fun and cute car, but I never thought it could be in a car show,” Spangler says. “People like it – I keep having people that walk by and say, ‘I used to drive that car!’”

Dave Vactor, at stewardship coordinator with the YSB, says the annual show plays a major role in funding their services, which includes finding housing and employment opportunities and operating the local Big Bothers Big Sisters program.

Vactor says the event raised over $15,000 last year. With an expanded lineup of over 70 cars – compared to last’s years 50 – he hopes that total will also increase.

“A lot of the families that come to us look like these cars might have looked once, abandoned and abused,” Vactor says. “Now, thanks to these people’s time and effort, they’ve been restored and look beautiful. We hope we can do the same.”

For Tom Buyan, who “got roped into being a judge by a friend of a friend,” the event was also a chance to drive down memory lane. Though he hadn’t planned on judging, he calls the opportunity “an honor” and says seeing cars from throughout his lifetime takes him back to his youth.

“Many of the cars out here are the ones you wanted and couldn’t have as a kid because they were too expensive – and now that they’ve been restored, you still can’t afford them,” Buyan says with a laugh.


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Photo Gallery - The Last Cruise 2014

Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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