Wings and Wheels touch down
July 3, 2018
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  • July 3, 2018 — The eighth annual Wings and Wheels Car Show and Aircraft Fly-in will take place this Saturday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Florence Municipal Airport, 2001 Airport Road.

    Each year, this free event brings together fans of vintage cars, airplanes and military vehicles.

    As always, the Oregon Coast Hot Rod Club has invited the owners of collector level classic cars to participate in the event, with a winner for Best in Show awarded at the event’s closing ceremony, held at 3 p.m.

    “This is one of the most entertaining shows in Oregon,” Mike Groshong, Wings and Wheels organizer, said. “In addition to 100 really cool cars, there are many antique and hot rod airplanes, plus military, police and dire displays. It is a full day of action with over 20 local and regional groups involved with displays and activities.”

    There will be two special aircraft this year, a Vought F4U Corsair and a North American T-6 Texan. Both featured planes should arrive at the airport on Friday afternoon, weather permitting.

    The Corsair was a workhorse for the American military, but also was used by the British, The Royal New Zealand Air Force and the French Navy in military operations around the globe. In all, 12,571 F4Us were produced in 16 different models. They were a mainstay for both the Navy and the Marines throughout the Korean Conflict.

    In addition, the F4U was the first American military plane to attain an airspeed of more than 400 mph and had a range of 1,955 miles.

    This year there will be a raffle for a ride in the North American T-6 Texan Flight Trainer.

    The Texan was built to train allied pilots during World War II, at a cost of $4.2 million each.

    The Texan has a top speed of 205 miles per hour (mph) and a cruising speed of 145 mph. Hundreds of pilots trained for battle in the planes.

    Raffle tickets, available for $5, to win a ride in the Texan can be purchased at Florence in Bloom, Sears, the Florence Chamber Visitor’s Center, Oregon Coast Military Museum and at the airport until 11:45 on Saturday. The drawing for the winning raffle ticket will be held at noon at the event and the selected winner must be present at the time of the drawing.

    The Texan will also have rides available at a cost of $300.

    According to Groshong, the more than 20 local and regional organizations participating include the Florence Area Radio Control Aircraft Association, Central Oregon Coast British Car Club and the Ravens Precision Flying team, which will highlight the afternoon’s festivities.

    Music will be provided by the Back in Time band and there will be two performances from the Florence Dance Guild.

    Food will be available from Mo’s, The Florence Lion’s Club and the Ada Grange.

    Next door, Oregon Coast Military Museum will have a number of special events during the day to mark its third anniversary, including a reduced admission of $1 for the day.

    In addition, the military museum will be coordinating free convoys all day at Wings and Wheels, with rides available in vintage military vehicles up and down the length of the runway.

    Parking at the airport is limited, so event organizers have enlisted the help of the City of Florence and the Rhody Express to provide free transportation to and from the event.

    Pickup and drop-off locations will be at the Siuslaw Middle School, 2525 Oak St., and at the Florence Senior Center, 570 Kingwood St., from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.