The sun shined, the faces beamed, and the cars gleamed at the 3rd annual “Cruizin’ on the River” Charitable Car Show held January 5 through 8, 2012 at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. Produced by the River Cruizers Car Club of Bullhead City, Arizona, the show is open to all makes, models, street rods, muscle cars, trucks, 4×4’s, classics, specialty vehicles, and motorcycles.
Entries from throughout the southwestern United States were represented at the show and the presence of a wide variety of car types ensured that there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Two of the more unusual entries on display were the 1954 Kaiser Darrin’s belonging to Lee and Gary Abrams of Tucson Arizona. Other than the powertrain, the red, streetable car is in stock trim. The fiberglass body which features sliding doors, the interior, dash, wiring, suspension, tires, wheels and covers are the way that they came from the factory.
The original Willy’s F-head 6 cylinder engine and drivetrain was replaced with an EFI equipped 502 Chevy, Turbo 400 Trans, (although the original clutch pedal was kept for looks) and a rear that can handle the additional stress from those big inches.
The yellow drag racer is powered by a full-on Chevy 454 with Hilborn injection and backed up by a B&M Clutchflite Trans. Halibrand spoke wheels in the front and American mags in the rear are all wrapped by Goodyear Racing Eagles.
Mike Coster truly loves his 1954 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. Car is 100% bone stock and has all of the high-end options available in the 1954 Eldorado from the gold monogram placards on the doors to the chrome Kleenex tissue box. Specialized fender skirts that match the brightwork brilliantly enhance the appearance of the wide whitewall tires with the chrome spoke Cadillac wheels.
I could not find the owner of this 1927 Ford model T. The only information that I could find about it was on the description card on display with the car. It said that the engine was a 350 Chevy and that its distinguishing feature was rust! I can verify one of those two claims and I’ll bet you can guess which one.
My main interest is always all about the vehicles. However I couldn’t help but notice that the atmosphere surrounding this show was a bit different than what I had been experiencing at other events the last few years.
People seemed more relaxed and into what was going on around them rather than seeming preoccupied or distracted by other things. I don’t know why or what caused this small shift in attitude but I am very happy to see the change.
Along with their wintertime Cruizin’ on the River Car show, the River Cruizers Car Club also present their Hot Rods and Harley’s event each spring along with their Roddin’ on the River Run each fall. From proceeds generated by these annual events along with other generous works over the years, the club has donated over $450,000 to charities in Colorado River communities around Laughlin, Nevada. is a busy and civic minded organization that produces multiple charitable events throughout the year.