By June 6, 2022 Read More →

Legend of the Cruise the Deacons


The Deacons car club was established 60 years ago and still meets as a group.
Founded at Downey High School in 1962 by a group of young men who were interested in hot rods, cars, and drag racing. They were affiliated with the International Car Club of America. They all loved to cruise 10th Street during the day. A couple of weekends a month you would find several members drag racing at the Kingdon Drag Strip located between Stockton and Lodi. By 1965 there were approximately 30 active members. The Deacons always stopped to assist travelers that were broken down on the highway.  They never accepted money to help a fellow traveler, always leaving their card behind saying they were “helped by the Deacons”. Another project of the club was car washes and poker runs for fun and then donating the funds to a local children’s charity. There are still 12 members that get together twice a year for reminiscing and still enjoy the hobby of classic cars.

Top row L to R
Ed Owen, Doug Miller, Wade Meyer, Bob Ross, Mike Bilyeu, Mike Gomez, Doug Rucker, Mike Fleming, Bob Ackers  Bottom row, L to R
Steve Kelzer, Ron Herbert, Richard Stromer, Sam Gotshall, Tom Rauls


L to R
Harold Moore, Bob Ross, Allen Bumgarner, Mike Fleming, Tom Ralls, Sam Gotshall, Ed Owen, Steve Kelzer

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.