When Dennis Bisig met Gaetz brothers Paul and Tom in the seventh grade at Puyallup’s Aylen Junior High in 1957, they had a big common interest.
“We all loved cars,” said Tom Gaetz.
As boys, they couldn’t wait to start driving. In his youth, Bisig owned a 1949 Chevrolet pickup. As he got older, he had to sell it as career and family life came into the mix.
Fast forward 50 years, and Bisig is now a member of the King’s Men Car Club and is in possession of another 1949 Chevrolet pickup — one that he purchased several years ago in Montana and spent a year fixing up.
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The connection with the car of his youth hits home with Bisig, and it’s the same car he shows every year at the annual Bumpy’s Classic Car Show in Puyallup.
(The show) attracts the young and the old.
“(The show) attracts the young and the old,” said Bisig, 73.
The show returns for its seventh year on Saturday (July 22), with all proceeds supporting the American Cancer Society. The show started after community car buff Paul Gaetz passed away from cancer in 2009.
Since its inception, the show has raised $70,000 in support of the American Cancer Society while keeping Paul’s memory alive. Tom credits much of the show’s success to longtime friend Bill Schuldt and Brian and Heather Gelston, the owners of Bumpy’s, a local Puyallup tavern. The show grows every year, with up to 400 cars expected this year. The show began with 96 cars.
400 cars anticipated
“This show is about fun and family fun,” said Tom, 73. “My brother would be humbled with regards to this turn out.”
Since a young age, Paul’s love of cars never faded, and neither did Tom’s, even as life got busy. Tom owns a 1930 Studebaker that he purchased in Yakima last year. He’s built it up since, and will be showing it at this year’s show.
“As we get older … here comes the cars again,” Tom said. “We’ve reverted back to what we used to love — high school buddies and cars.”
As we get older … here comes the cars again. We’ve reverted back to what we used to love — high school buddies and cars.
Tom Gaetz, Paul’s brother
Tacoma residents and married couple Geoff and Laura Mehler are bringing their 1950 Chevrolet two-door coupe, which they purchased six years ago in Port Orchard.
Geoff, 43, has known the Gaetz family for 25 years and looks forward to the show every year. For Laura, the show’s cause has a personal impact.
“My mother has cancer, so it really hits home for us,” said Laura, 40.
Geoff and Laura, both members of the Blacktop Rebels Car Club, also grew up attending car shows with their parents.
“We don’t know a different life — it’s a lifestyle,” she said.
While they attend many car shows, the Mehlers say that Bumpy’s Classic Car Show stands out with the venue and the community’s dedication to donating.
“I venture to say that most people who ever met Paul thought the world of him. This show reflects the energy he put into (car shows),” Tom said. “He’d be humbled and overwhelmed.”
7th annual Bumpy’s Car Show
When: Registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday (July 22)
Where: Next to Bumpy’s at 116 E. Main, Puyallup
More info: There is a $20 fee to register. Awards will be handed out around 3 p.m. Proceeds from the show support the American Cancer Society.