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Cruisers raise funds to find cancer cure

Classic car owners show off their rides in support of UCLA center's prostate cancer research.

September 24, 2006|By Lauren Vane

FAIRGROUNDS — Baby blue, jade green and a hue of an apple-flavored Jolly Rancher candy.

Classic cars with juicy paint jobs pranced their way down the cruising lane at Saturday's seventh annual Cruise for a Cure at the Orange County Fairgrounds to benefit prostate cancer research.

The show offered free prostate cancer screening to all men over 40. Proceeds from the entrance fees go toward prostate cancer research at the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center. This year's Cruise for a Cure raised more than $60,000 for the cause.

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As country music played over loudspeakers, the fairgrounds was bustling with large crowds of curious car buffs and proud owners of classic show stoppers. Alongside the cruising lane, onlookers reclined in chairs under any spot of available shade with their feet up.

Chino Hills resident Jerry Bingham was shining up his eggplant-purple 1972 Chevrolet El Camino as he checked out the other cars slowly rolling by.

He travels to other car shows but said the Cruise for a Cure is one of the best. He and his friends come to the show and just relax.

"We just sit here and watch them go by," Bingham said.

A few spots down, Russ Patstone heated up the barbecue coals next to his 1952 Chevrolet Half Ton pickup. When he bought the truck, it was configured as a hot rod. But he soon discovered it was actually a former U.S. Forest Service patrol truck.

"When I started sanding it down in the driveway, I saw the emblem," Patstone, a Tustin resident, said.

To reauthenticate the truck, he conducted research and garnished it with period pieces, like used fire axes and antique stickers that he bought online. Patstone uses the truck for camping and other road trips.

Jeff Leone brought his wife and step-son to the show Saturday. Although the family were just spectators this year, they hope to enter their cars in future shows. Jeff Leone is restoring a 1986 Pontiac Trans Am and his stepson, Matt Helbig, is working on his own 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.

"I'm actually a car buff from way back," Leone said.

In addition to a love for cars, Leone said he also attends the event because it benefits prostate cancer research.

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