Rural Missouri - June 2017 - 22
Cruisin' For Community
Based in Waynesville, the Cave State Cruisers Car Club has been celebrating camaraderie and helping the communities in which they reside for 30 years.
by Paul Newton | email@example.com
topping for gas is no fast feat for this group.
Hosts of inquisitive minds, nostalgia buffs
and onlookers want to see the 1954 Oldsmobile 88 which is an out-of-service highway
patrol car, the 1969 Pontiac GTO, the 1954 Hudson Hornet Club Car, the 1954 GMC Scenic Cruiser
Greyhound or any of the other beauties driven in by
this car club from south-central Missouri.
For 30 years, the Cave State Cruisers Car Club
has been promoting the communities in which
members reside by hosting shows, volunteering
their services, donating money to worthy projects
and offering a source of fellowship for members.
Club president Mac Myers says the group is a
place to enjoy each other's company as well as a few
activities to maybe try and make the Earth spin just
a little bit slower.
"We all like to cruise," says Mac, who will happily pull out his cell phone to show you pictures of
his 1949 Chevy 3100 5-window which was restored
this past year. "Years ago, life was a lot slower. People would go out for Sunday afternoon drives. They
would get in a station wagon, drive down Route 66
and stop at a roadside park to eat a sandwich."
The group has a handful of annual cruises to car
shows in neighboring states, but the competition at
the show isn't what they're after. "We go to Nauvoo,
Illinois every year," Mac says. "It probably takes two
extra hours to get there. We usually end up stopping and visiting with people who stop by and congregate around the cars. We care more about doing
that than the trophies at the show. That's the fun of
being around your friends."
The club's premier event is their annual car
show which is held in conjunction with the Route
66 Festival in downtown Waynesville. This year's
Cave State Cruisers Car Show will be June 24 and
25 at Roubidoux Park.
"There's thousands of people that walk through
the whole weekend," Mac says of the event. "It's
free for people to come look at the cars and walk
around. We want it to be a family affair."
The community gathering typically features
more than 125 cars and has participants from all
RURAL MISSOURI | JUNE 2017
across the country. It also includes a cruise on
Route 66. Being the 30th year of the event, the club
has planned some notable activities as well. There
will be a $30 giveaway every 30 minutes for festival
goers and all the trophies will be a throwback to the
club's early days.
"We didn't have any money the ﬁrst year we did
the show," Mac says. "So club members came up
with homemade trophies for the type of car they had
and awarded those to the winners. So, we've got a
Missouri-shaped trophy that will be homemade for
all the winners."
While club dues and 50/50 rafﬂes at their
monthly meetings provide some income, the summer show is where the club gets the majority of its
funds to dole out to community members or organizations in need.
"We get requests from all around the area," says
club secretary Tom Breazalle. "Whether it's going
Caleb Tyre and his 1964 Chevy Bel Air were recently gifted a
lifetime membership to the Cave State Cruisers Car Club.
to a show, donating money, volunteering our time
to clean up, taking our cars to a nursing home or
veterans home, we support our community."
Most members of the club live between Rolla and
Marshﬁeld and Mac says it's important for the club
to stay active in those cities to help those in need.
"A lot of people in the club are church members,"
he says. "So someone usually knows if there's a
family who had a house burn down or someone who
has cancer and may need help with gas."
One recent philanthropic effort of the club was
for 16-year-old Caleb Tyre who has been ﬁghting
leukemia. Through Make-A-Wish, Caleb had his
1964 Chevy Bel Air restored. It was presented to
him on his 16th birthday, with club members present, along with a lifetime membership to the Cave
State Cruisers Car Club.
"It was better than I ever thought it was going to
be," the Richland teenager says just a week after
getting his driver's license. "Before it didn't look
half as good as it does now. My family and friends
that have seen it are proud of it and happy."
There are currently 75 member-families in the
Cave State Cruisers who own about 135 vehicles
collectively. The oldest car - a Ford T-bucket -
dates back to 1929.
Club vice president James Smith is preparing
to restore a 1965 Mustang, but says the club isn't
about having a restored, older car. "When the club
started it wasn't about having a $100,000 car or
even a $20,000," the Laclede Electric member says.
"It was push, pull or drag. No stipulations."
Adds Mac: "If you have a car you're passionate
about, come and join us."
Tom - whose interest in cars dates back to his
childhood in the 1950s - adds that the friendships
are the most enjoyable aspect of the club. "Everyone we deal with is great," the Richland man says.
"From the people that stop to chat and take pictures at a show or just stop to look in a parking lot
when we have our meetings. They're the friendliest
For more information on the 30th Annual Cave
State Cruisers Car Show visit the club's page on