Marcus Larson / News-Register##Cars cruised up and down Third Street Friday and Saturday nights as part of the annual
Dragging the Gut Festival.
Marcus Larson / News-Register##Cars cruised up and down Third Street Friday and Saturday nights as part of the annual Dragging the Gut Festival.
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Four-month-old Graydin Alexander has a confused look on his face as several classic cars drive by behind him making loud engine noises.
Marcus Larson / News-Register Four-month-old Graydin Alexander has a confused look on his face as several classic cars drive by behind him making loud engine noises.
Marcus Larson / News-Register##Pets and hundreds of people showed up for the annual nostalgia-filled event.
Marcus Larson / News-Register##Pets and hundreds of people showed up for the annual nostalgia-filled event.
Marcus Larson / News-Register##A stuffed white tiger sits back and enjoys the view as several classic cars drive up
and down Third Street during the Dragging the Gut Festival.
Marcus Larson / News-Register##A stuffed white tiger sits back and enjoys the view as several classic cars drive up and down Third Street during the Dragging the Gut Festival.
By Rockne Roll • Multimedia Journalist • 

Cruisers show off goods at the Gut

For many car aficionados, McMinnville’s annual Dragging the Gut is a fantastic car show on the move. For some like Craig Keith, it’s a chance to relive a little of their past.

Keith, who now lives in Dayton, grew up cruising Third Street, whether in his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro or the 1973 Chevy El Camino that followed it. These days not only is he a little older, his cruising machine of choice is, too; Keith’s new ride is a 1924 Ford Model T.

“It was up and down Third Street quite a bit last night,” he said at Saturday’s car show at St. James Church, just a couple blocks east of the cruising route. “I’ve got purple lights in the wheels, there’re underbody lights so it glows purple at night. It goes fast if you want it to, you can pull the front end off the ground pretty easily.”

The show is bigger then Keith remembers.

“It’s a lot of people,” he said. “There’s a lot of people on the curbs.”

There was plenty of eye candy for the crowds to see, from classic American muscle to sky-high trucks to foreign finery. A few participants from the weekend’s Airstrip Attack race at the McMinnville Airport made an appearance, their race numbers still pasted onto their Lamborghinis and Nissan GT-Rs.

Tim Mangum’s car is even rarer then those – his bright orange 1973 Chevy Nova SS Hatchback is one of just 684 produced.

“These hatchbacks are super rare with all the SS options,” he said. “When I got it, it was a bucket of bolts. It was all torn apart, I got it in pieces, but it’s all original.”

The car is three years in the making, and although Mangum is still working on it, “Now that both my sons are out of the house, I need to start showing it off.”

Todd Gimbat’s 1933 Ford three-window coupe took four years, gleaming orange in the hazy late-afternoon sun next to the two-foot long painted sign detailing all the work Gimbat put into the car.

“It’s a true American hotrod,” Gimbat said.

Gimbat came from Hermiston for his first Drag the Gut, and felt more then welcome by the crowds’ reaction to his baby.

“I love to go to car shows where there’s a cruise, you get to drive your car and show your car off,” he said. “A lot of people give me the thumbs-up.”

The annual festival is a fundraiser for the Yamhill Community Action Partnership Food Bank. Event organizer Reuban Contreras Jr., said he didn’t have numbers tallied yet, but expects as much or more than the 4,000 meals generated last year, especially since the McMinnville High School Dance Team, with friends and family, spent both nights this year asking spectators and participants for donations.

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