Bethany Beach resident John Scordo remembers growing up in Baltimore city in a hot-rod era. He remembers walking the streets of Baltimore, being in awe of the 1949 Mercurys, and the old Hudsons, just to name a couple models.
And he couldn’t help but be intrigued. “I was just a kid,” Scordo said. “You washed their car and they gave you a quarter. I got into it.”
When his time came, Scordo bought his first car: a 1956 Ford for less than $100. Scordo and his friends would cruise the streets of Baltimore in the transformed state trooper car with the broken back seat.
Since that purchase, Scordo has owned countless cars and has become hooked. And since 1968, he has been riding down to Ocean City, Md., to show off his latest car.
When he first showed one of his cars in the Cruisin’ Ocean City car show 16 years ago, he said it was one of about 45 or 50 cars entered into the show. This year, more than 3,000 cars will visit Ocean City for the 16th annual Cruisin’ show, which is set to take place May 18-21.
“It’s one of the biggest car shows on the East Coast,” Scordo said. “There are hot rods, muscle cars, custom cars, T-buckets. You have to see them to believe them. It’s one continuous parade. “
As a part of the 130-member strong Ocean City Cruisers, Scordo said he will help run the 16th annual Cruisin’ next week, which is organized by Special Event Productions. In the past, more than 100,000 people have attended the May event, according to Special Event’s Web site at www.specialeventpro.com/crusin.html.
The event will start on Wednesday with an early arrival and registration from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ocean City Convention Center on 40th Street. Participants are urged to attend the early registration for the shows, if possible, because they will be limited to the first 3,000 cars.
Pre-registration only costs $40, as compared to the $50 on the day of the event. Visit Special Event’s Web site for a downloadable registration form.
Spectators can pay a general admission of $8 or get a one-day full event pass for $10. Four-day full-event passes cost $20 and children younger than 14 are allowed in free if with an adult.
An “early bird” car show and a party will follow the registration, leading into the official start on Thursday. Registration will be taken from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Convention Center on Thursday.
The boardwalk parade starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday and then the festivities begin. Live entertainment will jumpstart the crowd as they tour the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. shows May 18-21 at the Ocean City Inlet and the Convention Center.
A Street Rodder magazine road tour will be the finale of the event, on Sunday.
Although Scordo will be working the event, he also plans to show the newest of his cars next weekend. About seven months ago, he and his friends finished work on his newest car: a 1955 Chevy called “Blue Ice.”
The baby-blue Chevy sports blue-and-white flames and a 327 1969 Corvette engine he is waiting to cruise down to the Maryland coastal city and show off. The blue dice in the back, which look like they are wrapped in ice, give the car its name. It also has a woofer and four screens in the trunk.
“Every new car is like having a new kid,” Scordo said. “There were good times and there were times where you wanted to walk away and take a hammer and bust the windshield. I just enjoy it. I can just hop in my car and turn on the radio and I’m off.”