XXX showcases the classics — old and new

February 11, 2014

By David Hayes

José Enciso has owned The XXX Rootbeer Drive-in since 1999, and it has turned out to be one of the most popular destinations for car buffs to gather.

Even though his growing schedule of shows is filled throughout the year with classic car clubs, and his own garage is packed with a variety of classic rides, Enciso knows the future of car clubs belongs to the newest aficionados who drive imports.

C0ntributed The 2013 NWCCC meetup  featured 150 classic 1955, 1956 and 1957 Chevys. The Tri-Five, as it’s known, is the longest-running car show on the XXX Rootbeer Drive-in’s schedule.

C0ntributed
The 2013 NWCCC meetup featured 150 classic 1955, 1956 and 1957 Chevys. The Tri-Five, as it’s known, is the longest-running car show on the XXX Rootbeer Drive-in’s schedule.

Enciso said The XXX became a destination for spontaneous meetups, or flash mobs, of like car owners, especially car clubs for imports, like Hondas and Subarus.

“I’d be out here minding my own business when all of a sudden we hear zchoom, zchoom, zchoom,” Enciso said, while imitating car sounds pulling into the parking lot. “All of a sudden there are cars all over the place.”

To accommodate the growing membership in import cars clubs, Enciso added an Import Car Meet to his 2014 lineup, on Feb. 23. Last year, he hosted a special meetup for the group, which promised about 300 would show. Enciso always prepares for large meetups, ordering enough supplies to cover the official tally plus half. The import club showed up with 1,500 cars.

“I-90 was backed up in both directions 2 miles from both Issaquah exits,” Enciso said.

They were barely able to cover added hungry mouths that day. This year, he’s planning way ahead again, as the club has already registered 2,000 cars for the Feb. 23 event.

“Running out of stuff is not an option,” he said. “The imports took us off guard.”

Enciso doesn’t plan to be surprised by the imports again.

2014 show schedule

  • Feb. 16 — Eighth All Swedish Car Cruise In, 9 a.m.
  • Feb. 23 — XXX Import Car Meet, 9 a.m.
  • March 16 — VW Family Cruise Spring Fling, 9 a.m.
  • April 13 — Vintage Military Vehicle Show, 9 a.m.
  • April 20 — All Italian Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • April 27 — All Porsche Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • May 4 — Pre-1970 Vintage Travel Trailers, 9 a.m.
  • May 11 — Plug-In Electric Car Show, 9 a.m.
  • May 18 — Spring Opener/Sunset Highway Cruizers, 8 a.m.
  • May 25 — M.G. Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • June 1 — Burgers and BMW, 8 a.m.
  • June 8 — All Convertibles Cruise In, 8 a.m.
  • June 15 — Fenders on Front Street, 8 a.m.
  • June 22 — Fenders & Fins, 9 a.m.
  • June 29 — Cadillac & Lasalle Show, 9 a.m.
  • July 1 — Early Ford V-8 Meeting/Show, 6 p.m.
  • July 6 — PNWCC All Camaro Chevy Show, 8 a.m.
  • July 13 — Burgers, Bikes & Babes, 8 a.m.
  • July 20 — Classy Chassis Show, 8 a.m.
  • July 27 — Cascade Cougar Club Prowl, 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 3 — Fifth Old Rides Club Roger Jackson Classic, 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 5 — Miata Club Meeting/Show, 6 p.m.
  • Aug. 10 — NW GTO Legends Muscle Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 17 — 15th NWCCC 55, 56, 57 Chevy Show, 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 24 — Corvette Marque Club of Seattle All Corvette Show, 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 25 — Vintage Chevy of America Meeting/Show, 6 p.m.
  • Aug. 31 — Oldsmobile Club of America (plus Buicks and Pontiacs), 9 a.m.
  • Sept. 7 — Ninth All Ford Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • Sept. 14 — Draggin’ Into Winter/No Regrets Custom Truck & Car Show, 8 a.m.
  • Sept. 21 — Plug-In Electric Car Show, 9 a.m.
  • Sept. 28 — VW Fall Fling, noon
  • Oct. 12 — Magnums, Chargers, Challengers & 300s, noon
  • Oct. 25 — PT Cruisers Pumpkin Bash, 10 a.m.
  • Dec. 7 — 13th Jingle Bell Cruz/Toys 4 Tots, 10 a.m.

“Imports are the new generation. It’s here. Better prepare,” he said. “We’re becoming the Model Ts of my generation and they’re now the really cool kids.”

The other growing trend Enciso has made room for in his schedule is the electric car clubs. The Seattle Plug In club has been around since 1979, duking it out with Silicon Valley for the biggest electric car club in the United States, according to club president Stephen Johnsen.

Johnsen, who drives a converted electric 1988 Pontiac Sierra, said many of his members had gone to shows at The XXX. They decided as a club, it was time to get added to the official schedule.

“We got two shows for more of an opportunity to get our cars in the public consciousness,” Johnsen said. “There’s still a public misconception that electric cars are like golf carts. Many never thought how much torque these cars can have.”

For example, his members have converted to electric everything, from classic Alpha Romeos to 4×4 long-bed F-350 Ford trucks.

To attract more electric cars to The XXX, Johnsen has been working with Enciso to help get installed two level 2, 80-amp charging stations. While the original plan didn’t come to fruition in December, the two hope to have something in place by Plug In’s first meetup May 11.

 

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