2021 Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame – Modesto Area Street Rods

Modesto Area Street Rod Association
by Ray Lee

46 years ago, a group of guys and gals with a passion for street rods started our club, the Modesto Area Street Rod Association. Remember the year 1975? Cruising the streets of Modesto was still legal and cruising we did. This was our form of communication. What a great way to visit with old friends and meet new people who all share a love of classic cars. Our club started as a pre-1949 street rod club. To be eligible, club members had to own a 1948 or older vehicle. We all drove hot rods, our own creations, some loud and obnoxious and some mild and classic. We are a family- oriented car club, with a goal of promoting an interest in street rodding and safety in classic car driving and maintenance.

In the early days, we would have our club meetings at a pizza parlor on Oakdale Rd., but soon moved to a more permanent location a few doors down, Monaco’s Restaurant and Bar. They had a great meeting room in the back and even allowed us to put up glass cabinets to store all of our memorabilia. We conducted general business and discussed upcoming rod runs hosted by various street rod clubs up and down the valley and beyond. Some of our annual shows included drives to Reno, Nevada, Sacramento, Lodi, Stockton, Santa Rosa, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, and many others.

If any club member broke down we were always there to help one another. However at the next club meeting, the club member who broke down would be awarded the “Green Car”. This was a homemade wooden car that was painted green and was to be kept in your car at all times. The only way to get rid of it was to award it to the next club member who broke down while on a club run. One club member had the car so long that, when he had the chance to give it to another club member, he made a big presentation at a club meeting and handed the car to the next recipient in a large paper bag. The bag was full of sawdust, we all had a big laugh. Reminiscing with fellow club members about all our adventures and experiences is something that we all cherish.

The Modesto Area Street Rod Association has never been dormant and we still have charter members from 1975, as well as many club members who have 35+ years of membership. We are active in our community and proud to say that we donate thousands of dollars each year to local, worthwhile charitable and nonprofit organizations. Our main fundraiser is our spectacular Graffiti Classic car show at the McHenry Village. We are the kickoff event for Graffiti Summer in Modesto. Our show is a sight to behold with over 500 of the finest classic cars and the friendliest people from up and down the valley. We invite you to join us and see for yourself, Sunday, August 15, 2021. We are honored to be on the Walk of Fame.

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.