Christian Classic Cruisers
The Christian Classic Cruisers (CCC) Car Club was formed in 1990 by a small group of Christians from various denominations and churches in the Fort Worth, Mid-Cities area. The common bond of membership was and is three-fold: First, a mutual faith in Jesus Christ; second, interest (passion) in “special” cars and trucks; and third is a willingness and desire to care for and to help others. The purpose of the club is to honor God and help people in need by proceeds from club events and activities. Any person with these same similar interests is a candidate for membership. (You are not required to have a "special" vehicle to become a member of the car club.)
The first meeting was held March 1991 at the Golden Corral restaurant in Bedford, TX. There were seventeen people from various denominations in attendance. The founder, Bill Moore shared his vision of a Christian Car Club. He presented a suggested name: Christian Classic Cruisers and a unique lettering logo. There was immediate positive response and after discussions, plans began. That month Bill produced and presented the first newsletter. At the next meeting, officers were elected and Bill was elected president. Monthly meetings were held and the club was off and running. By December 1991 by-laws were formulated and adopted. At year’s end membership had grown to nineteen families.
January 1992 the new club caps and jackets were first introduced. Next, negotiations with the management of Beefer’s Restaurant were completed for a cruise/show on the third Saturday of each month (April through October). This first cruise/show was a big success! Thirteen clubs were represented with a total of forty-three vehicles registered. Eleven trophies were awarded to class winners and the cruise was closed with a prayer. Christian Classic Cruisers became known throughout the local area and participation grew each month. No admission fee was charged to spectators.
At the first cruise/show, the turnout of participants and spectators establishes a new level of expectations. However, after the awards were presented, the new sponsor informed our President that the restaurant would be closed! Although this news was a surprise, however the Lord had something even better. The Saint Michael’s strip shopping mall in Bedford looked like a good possibility and location. The manager of the Bar-B-Q restaurant agreed to be the major sponsor and provided funds for eighteen award plaques each month. So the next months, the cruise/show was held there.
When 1993 began, eight couples joined to bring the membership to thirty-one families. Plans were underway to expand the cruise/show as a new and larger site was needed. New classes were added for cars and trucks as original, modified, pro-street or under construction. The new site selected was Thunder Bumpers in Bedford. The restaurant manager agreed to be the club’s sponsor and agreed to pay for the plaques. With ample parking, bright lighting and central location, the club voted to move there for the spring cruise/show. Unfortunately, only one show was held, and this restaurant closed. Harry’s Hot Rod shop was another sponsor for the 1993 season. He provided for T-shirts and held a cruise/show at his site in October. The club provided the manpower needed for the show’s success. The shows were then moved to the Bar-B-Q Mill location on Harwood and Hwy121. The location remained the same, but the sponsors changed. Village Grill, Sonny’s Catfish and Pizza Hut became sponsors during the period of 1994-1999.
In March 1999, the annual Fort Worth Rod & Custom show at the Will Rogers Exhibit Hall was held. The club voted to set up a club display and show twelve vehicles. The Show was a big success with eleven vehicles entered and the extra space used as a hospitality area. At awards time, eleven trophies were given and the club display was awarded 2nd place.
2000 - With limited parking space in the strip mall in Bedford, a new site became available at the Antique Mall in North Richland Hills. Lighted parking was provided with the ability to enclose the show area for registered participants only. Classes again increased with twenty-two awards and door prizes. This location had high visibility at a major freeway intersection and resulted in more growth. However a traffic problem arose when a major street and bridge construction began on Rufe Snow, so another location was sought that had easy access and would give room for the growing number of vehicles.
The nearby North Hills Mall was a possibility, so a request was made to the mall management to host the club’s cruise/show. The Mall manager agreed to provide ample lighted parking in a section of the parking lot vacated by a major department store. The 2002 cruise/show was moved to the new location and the first event began in April. This proved to be the best ever location to date. Access was easy; visibility was very good with several adjacent restaurants. The Mall marquee advertised the events and was the major host.
The 2003 year resulted in 1,356 participants with an average of 194 per month. Benevolence distributions were in excess of $10,000 for the first time in our history! Membership consisted of 40+ families.
Beginning the 2004 cruise season, CCC moved to Birdville ISD Athletic and Arts complex just north of the intersection of Precinct Line Road and Hwy 26. This location provided for space to grow to 500 cars. For the first cruise/show in March 2004, a record number of registered vehicles grew to 305! Class winners increased to sixty-five plaques and are awarded to each winner as well as eight additional special awards. There are now eight car shows each season (March through October). This location will remain as the cruise location. Club meetings are held each month at Fuddrucker's on Airport Freeway in Bedford.
The cruises continued to grow each year. 2005 – 2006 were record pace settings each year. Participant revenue continues to grow with each season, with directly proportional gifts being distributed at Christmas to the deserving children.
2008 saw a record 323 cars at one mid-summer show. 2008 set the performance bar high with $21,600 distributed in Christmas gift cards to 432 children, and eighteen large plastic bags of toys distributed to two local Fort Worth charities. As part of the other activities of the car club, we travel as a group to several distant events. One is very special, and we go in a caravan to Louisville, KY on the first weekend of August each year to attend the National Street Rod Association's (NSRA) Nationals. There are typically 10,000 - 13,000 vehicles that register for this four day event at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Several members of CCC have been attending this event in Louisville since 1998. It was 2008 that CCC first volunteered to be a Club Host for the Children's Games on both Friday and Saturday afternoons. There are many wonderful stories that can be shared from this rewarding activity.
March 2009 brought 425 cars out from winter storage. What a great way to start the year. The 2009 season was a banner year in many ways. The monthly cruises averaged just over 285 vehicles per show, with live music…July was an Elvis Impersonator, then we enjoyed Southern Gospel Quartet music by Praise Inc for the August “Hot Texas Nights” show. Class winners have increased to 75 and plaques are now awarded to each winner as well as 8 additional special awards. There are now eight car shows each season (March to October). The year 2009 was another very good year – great car shows, blessings extended to 282 children.
There were several negative impacts on the 2010 season, the bad weather, the threatening weather, the economy, national car events on same dates, but we persevered through it all. At the end of the year, we were able to extend blessings of gift cards to 177 children and provided toys to Safe Haven (facilities for battered wives and children) and Fort Worth Metro Ministries (a Sidewalk Sunday School Ministry to the projects areas of Fort Worth).
To begin the 2011 season, CCC Membership continues at sixty-five plus dedicated families. We have been blessed with great sponsors for the season. We continue to receive high interest for membership in the car club, and are welcoming new members each month. This season brought a mix of weather conditions – early spring threats of showers and thunderstorms. A first ever, in that our April car show was cancelled about halfway into the event. Fortunately, most of the entries had been judged, so the trophies for April were awarded at the May car show. The remainder of the year was without major incident. We welcomed Praise Inc as the live entertainment in August.
2012 cruise season begun with a good start, even though we had instituted a Judging format change. For this season, we were awarding twenty “club picks”, two per each decade, in addition to five specialty awards for Best Interior, Best Engine, Ladies’ Choice, Sponsor Choice, and Special Interest. The other significant change is that we held a random drawing for all paid participant entries for five cash prizes (1-$250; 3-$100; and 1-$50) The first three car shows averaged over 200+ participants. There were seventy families that are members of CCC. The club initiated a Monthly Breakfast Cruise on the 4th Saturday of each month at random restaurants around the area. Many local cruises (i.e. In-Out Burger; Hatfield’s Open House in Canton; Mary’s in Strawn; Blue Bell Factory and the $100 Hamburger in Brenham) were planned for the year. Several members of the club attended the planned out of town events in Oklahoma City, Springfield, Pueblo, Louisville and San Antonio/Boerne. The emotional highlight of each year is always the opportunity to honor our troops with a private car show in October for the Recovering Warriors at Brooks Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. We have seventy-five CCC Cruise T-shirts made with the Wounded Warrior Family Center Helping Hand on the sleeves. And 2012 was no exception, as several members of CCC made the trip down to BAMC and then over to Boerne for the Key To The Hills Rod Run.
2013 brought the need for a new meeting location with now having over seventy families representing membership. After several years at Fuddrucker's Cafe on Airport Freeway in Bedford, our meeting population forced the need to find a new meeting location. Red Barn BBQ on Bedford-Euless Road in North Richland Hills became the new meeting location in May 2013. The Saturday evening Car Show location remained at Birdville ISD Fine Arts and Athletic Complex near the intersection of Precinct Line Road and Mid-Cities Blvd in North Richland Hills, TX. We returned to the original Judging format, where two club members judge a vehicle on its merits, using a 100 point scale to judge the Paint, Interior, Engine, Detail, and Overall Appearance. The 2013 car show season was deemed successful, as CCC donated $15,000 to 600 individual children at Christmas in addition to twenty some contractor plastic bags of toys to Safe Haven and Fort worth Metro Ministries. CCC was named as the annual Host Club for the Children's Games at the National Street Rod Association's Southwest Street Rod Nationals PLUS held in April each year in Oklahoma City, OK at the State Fair Grounds. Typically, there are 1,600+ vehicles at this event, and yes, the Oklahoma spring weather can be a challenge. Several CCC members made the Road Trip to Vancouver, WA in June for the inaugural NSRA event - the Northwest Street Rod Nationals PLUS. Annual treks to Springfield, Louisville, and Boerne rounded out the year.
2014 brings continued growth in the CCC family. In April, we moved to the Asian King Buffet at NE Mall to accommodate the membership growth and attendance at our monthly meetings. BISD renewed the agreement for CCC to utilize the parking lots and lighting at the Birdville ISD Fine Arts & Athletic Complex for this season. There were significant weather issues in March that hindered the car show scheduling and production. The first car show for the 2014 season was finally held, two weeks late, and on a Sunday evening. There were 135 participants. We pray the remaining events for this year will be under clear skies!! Our trip to Oklahoma City reminded us that Mother Nature is very unpredictable. Saturday was 86 degrees and Monday morning brought snow to the Street Rod community. The 2014 Car Show season was a success as CCC distributed $15,000 to 600 children and over twenty-five contractor size bags of new toys to Safe Haven of Tarrant County and Fort Worth Metro Ministries.
2015, Birdville ISD Fine Arts and Athletic Complex remains as the current cruise location and hopefully for years to come. We currently use the east side of the stadium parking lot. This provides for ample space for all participants and there is sufficient parking on the north side for all spectators. This location provides great public visibility of the event with two major crossroads (Precinct Line Road and Mid Cities Boulevard) and easy access from almost any direction. Our constant prayer is that our Benevolence distribution will continue to significantly increase year over year, more revenue will bless more children!!
2016 - CHANGES ARE HERE!! IN AN ATTEMPT TO KEEP THINGS FRESH, SEVERAL CHANGES WILL BE TRIED FOR THIS YEAR. ONE CHANGE WILL BE IN THE AWARDS PRESENTATION. YOU must be present TO WIN. EXAMPLE: YOU WIN A PLAQUE, BUT YOU HAVE DECIDED TO LEAVE EARLY. WHEN YOUR NAME IS CALLED AND YOU DO NOT CLAIM YOUR PLAQUE, THEN THE NEXT HIGHEST POINT VEHICLE WILL BE AWARDED THE PLAQUE. EVERY EFFORT WILL BE MADE TO HAVE THE AWARDS COMPLETED BY THE SCHEDULED END OF SHOW TIME.
2018 - Significant changes in the calendar year...Toys-R-Us Gift Cards are no longer a benevolence distribution option.
Many members continue to participate at various local, regional, state and national events. NSRA events are a club favorite and each year several vehicles cruise together to various locations around the country (OK, MO, CO, and KY). Some other events include Goodguy's, Super Chevy, Rod and Custom America Cruise, Hot Rod Power Tour, Key to the Hills Rod Run and many others to numerous to list. Participation in the local indoor shows (Dallas AutoRama and Yellow Rose). Another activity of the Club was to provide volunteer workers as needed at the indoor annual Fort Worth Rod and Custom Show (until its demise in 2011). CCC has an annual Christmas Dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of a year of hard work. This event is typically funded through member participation fees and outside activities (paid DJ services for various events using CCC sound equipment, paid guest Judges at other car shows, and producing outside car shows).
Each month the club treasurer records all monies received and spent. At the final season cruise/show in October, a drive for "Toys for deserving children" is collected from participants and contributors. These new (unwrapped) toys are all given as Christmas presents to needy children through two Tarrant County charities (Save Haven - a refuge for battered men, women, and children and to Fort Worth Metro Ministries - a sidewalk ministry to the areas of south and east Fort Worth). All remaining funds are donated to needy and deserving children each December, previously utilizing Toys-R-Us Gift Cards and checks written to Sunday School Class or Teachers, School Counselors. Operating Revenues come from member's dues, sponsors, contributions, registration fees, sales of Club Cruise T-Shirt's, and soft drink sales. This is a non-profit club and all the funds raised through these activities above the annual operational expenses of producing the eight car shows are given to the annual benevolence fund for distribution as stated above. Major expenses of the CCC car club are typically absorbed by the generosity of the membership and the sponsors, so as to NEVER take funds out of the Benevolence account.
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of faithful members and the commitment of our annual Sponsors, the Christian Classic Cruisers events have grown every year in size and popularity. Participants and spectators regard CCC as a premiere car club that provides one of the LARGEST and BEST parking lot cruise night/car shows' experience in the Metroplex and the State of Texas, the nation and maybe even the world.