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Published September 1st, 2021
Orinda Classic Car Show returns on Sept. 11
David Orsi drives his 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible, Ruby, which carries Orinda Mayor Amy Worth and Vice Mayor Dennis Fay during the recent Fourth of July parade in Orinda. Photo Sora O'Doherty

The 17th Orinda Classic Car Show will return to a more usual in-person format on Sept. 11, displaying approximately 200 automotive classics from all ages. The show, which will feature a tribute to vintage emergency vehicles and first responders who daily risk their lives to save others, benefits the "Seniors Around Town" transportation service, an Orinda Association program and other fine causes. Unfortunately, the popular Dancing with the Cars evening dinner dance will not return in person this year.
Each vehicle entered in the car show comes with a unique story, and the owners will be on site to discuss their entries with the public. One of the automobiles featured this year will be Ruby, David Orsi's 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible. The car, painted in a classic Oxford maroon metallic, was used by Orsi to chauffeur Orinda's mayor and vice mayor in the 2021 Fourth of July parade.
Orsi had a long career working for C&H Sugar in Crockett; in fact, he was the fourth generation of his family to work for the company. When he retired about four years ago, he decided to pursue his hankering for a classic Chevy, like the 1954 model he owned when he was 18. He located the car in the Hemmings Motor News. The previous owner was deceased and the family did not want to keep dad's cars. Orsi took a chance and participated by telephone in an auction in North Carolina. While he doesn't recommend that strategy, Orsi says, "I got lucky: the car came in one piece with no surprises, presentable but worn out." The car was transported across the country on a car carrier truck. Orsi named his new ride Ruby and set about restoring the vehicle as he can afford it.
"I want to keep the car stock as possible," Orsi noted. The only modification to the car's classic configuration is the addition of disk brakes, which is allowed for safety purposes. Although Orssi says that he doesn't feel comfortable driving Ruby on the freeway, he will do so for short, necessary stints. The car will handle 55-60 mph. Orsi tries to stay on the back roads. The new engine is a little over a year old, and he is breaking it in slowly. He has bought a set of five new, steel-belted white wall tires. He keeps the car garaged and pampered. When he drives the car, Orsi says, "Ruby gets a lot of attention."
In 2005 Orinda residents Chip Herman and John Vanek, backed by Orinda Motors, partnered to start the Orinda Classic Car Show to bring together the local classic car community and to raise money for local charities including Seniors Around Town, the Educational Foundation of Orinda (now ONE Orinda) and the Orinda Historical Society. Over the past 16 years, substantial funds have been raised for local charities.
The 17th Orinda Classic Car Show will take place Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Orinda Motors. More information is available at: www.orindacarshow.com
Last year's classic car tour webinar can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/xKxS81J0Wms

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