Everybody heralds spring in their own way. Some roll colored eggs. Others celebrate the vernal equinox. One group even jumps over bonfires.
Portland likely has dozens, most of which we probably can’t even mention in a family forum like this. But on or around Mother’s Day since 1983, Rose-City gearheads have taken the opportunity to usher in the new season by gathering around an automotive shop on the southeast side of town.
The event, much like just about every other good one like it, is free. Legacy rebuilder Portland Transmission Warehouse hosts the one-morning meet-and-feed out of the goodness of its heart. Ordinarily we’d call the shop’s handlers fools if they did it for profit, but the gathering of more than 500 cars on years like this suggests there’s something to it. Come early spring, Portland Transmission’s name is on everyone’s lips. That’s great value at the cost of a few packs of hot dogs and some dash plaques if you think about it.
Like all grass-roots efforts, this grew from the friendship of a few dozen people. That first year a modest 28 cars showed up; however, when word spread, others joined and told three friends. Before you know it, the drivers of more than 500 cars rise before the sun with the intent to power park. You’ve never seen anything like it.
No really, you haven’t, at least if you’ve never attended this particular show that is. Portland didn’t earn its reputation for diversity for nothing. A point for international commerce, Portland attracts, well…pretty much everything. Naturally there’s a chicken-egg debate, but Portland didn’t earn its reputation for acceptance out of nowhere. From an outsider’s perspective this diversity and acceptance plays out like the start of a good joke: A Plymouth and a Peugeot park next to each other. Each car’s owner jumps out and says…“Cool car, man!”
Okay, so maybe we embellished a bit but the proof of this diversity and understanding is obvious in the actions. Hot rods and Hondas. Muscle cars and imports. Minitrucks and Mercedes. Brodozers and Beetles. Military vehicles and microcars. You get the point: if it exists, it’s probably there. Except PT Cruisers. Nobody likes those.
Joking aside (we think your PT Cruiser is just fine), the Portland Transmission annual spring blowout is more than a car show; it’s a sociological experiment played out on the streets. At the very least it proves that Portland Transmission loves its city, because its city sure loves it back. See more below in the Portland Transmission annual spring blowout gallery: