Quality Cars on Bad Air Quality Day

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(David Dierks, Photographer)
Richard Lane’s 1954 Chevrolet 210 leads this group of classic cars (including a 1963 Buick Riviera, 1967 Ford Thunderbird, 2018 Ferrari 488 Spyder, 1973 Porsche 911 and a 1965 Porsche 356) waiting at Orinda Motors to begin their tour.

    With all the pomp and circumstance of race day at the Indy 500, the Orinda Classic Car Tour got underway Saturday, Sept. 12, with black and white checkered flags, pilot cars and a police escort. Notwithstanding smoke-filled skies and bad air quality, more than 60 classic, muscle and vintage cars wended their way through Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga and the Berkley Hills/Grizzley Peak before returning to base in front of Orinda Motors.
    Bystanders along the route, safely distanced in cohorts, were entertained with horns blaring, lots of waving from drivers and passengers and one long, musical “oogah” emanating from under a hood, which brought guaranteed smiles.
    The livestream broadcast via Zoom was a huge hit with most Car Tour viewers attending online. Hosted by Steve Harwood and Jay Ward, the two and a half-hour broadcast highlighted real-time car and driver entrants along the route, classic film clips, video from previous car shows and hot rod music. Impressive were the views from drones, strategically placed along the 30-mile course. The overhead view as the cars departed from Orinda Way was especially popular.
    Online viewer Leo offered his congratulations: “You did a wonderful production, the explanations of car and owners, the conversations between the two hosts and the movie trailers, wow, what a nice touch. I saw my friend Ed Benson with his classic car Gunnie. Congrats.”
    Volunteers met at the Car Tour headquarters at 7 a.m. to place tables, chairs, road closure barricades and signs and to hang flags and handle COVID-19 protocols for sanitation. “Everything was so different this year,” said Diane Lautz, co-chair. “Our volunteers were essential, from master parkers, to the video team. They quickly adapted to last-minute changes from the original plans.” She particularly noted the 10 mother/daughter teams from the National Charity League, Acalanes Chapter, who pitched in and were willing to do anything. “They were great,” she said.
    Co-chair, Bill Waterman, provided an impassioned shout-out to hosts Harwood and Ward: “Congratulations for the outstanding and unprecedented broadcast on Zoom today. We received several emailed comments thanking you so much for the wonderful production you put together – bringing happiness to many people who otherwise would’ve missed out on the joy of everything ‘Car.’”
    As the major annual fundraising event for Seniors Around Town (SAT), an Orinda Association free, non-emergency supplemental transportation program, Car Tour viewers were invited to make donations to support the program online.
    “The Car Tour committee went beyond dedication to create the car show/tour,” said Kate Wiley, SAT Director. “They kept their eyes on the real intention, which was to support our ride program for Orinda seniors this year.”
    An online viewer did end with the perfect summary and follow-up question for the event: “Zoom-zoom indeed! Thank you, Steve and Jay, for a wonderful Zoom version of this year’s car show. What’s the best way to make a donation to your cause, Seniors Around Town?” Wiley said donations, which may be made at http://www.OrindaAssociation.org, are still welcome and needed throughout the year. To view the Orinda Classic Car Tour live video stream, go to https://youtu.be/xKxS81J0Wms.

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