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Equal rides: Ephrata car community welcomes all enthusiasts

by SAM FLETCHER
Staff Writer | August 10, 2021 1:00 AM

EPHRATA — When informal car meetups spring up across Grant County, most enthusiasts aren’t hoping to see anything specific. For instance, Ephrata resident Cade Collins said it’s the conversations, the questions and the community he’s after.

Ephrata resident Vicri Figueroa pays attention to the sounds, he said. He likes a diverse range of body styles; he wants to know what work went into the cars.

In front of Moore Furniture at 328 Basin St. SW in Ephrata Saturday night, cars ranging in makes and models lined up, lids popped, while folks meandered about.

Collins’ first car was his grandpa’s old Jeep Cherokee, he said. After putting a lift on it, the domino effect of desire kicked in: he wanted more, faster cars.

On Saturday he drove the car he sold the Cherokee for: a Nissan 350Z. It’s considered an exceptional drifter, he said. It’s the looks and the speed that appealed to him.

A few years ago, Figueroa bought an Acura Integra and completely rebuilt it from following YouTube videos, he said. Saturday, he brought his Subaru BRZ which he bought after crashing the Integra.

Self-taught mechanics are pretty common in the car hobby world, said Moses Lake resident Jayce Moore. Similarly, he rebuilt a Subaru WRX from watching YouTube videos.

“About a year, ago I decided to not go to college and instead pursue cars,” he said.

On Saturday, Moore rolled up in a 2020 Toyota Supra, which he traded his Subaru for just three days prior, he said.

It had been his dream for a long time, he said. A mere three months into having the Subaru, he was already buying parts for a Supra he didn’t even own.

Cars have always had a special place in his heart, he said. It’s a certain feeling he gets from driving.

“Driving cars is just my thing,” he said. “I love it.”

Collins goes to the meetups because it’s anyone’s guess what cars might show up, he said. It’s always diverse, from Hondas to Lamborghinis.

Everyone is a true car lover too, he said, there’s no judgment at all.

“No one really is disrespectful here,” he said. “The first time I came up was in a Honda Del Sol, and I instantly had people around my car and they were asking questions about it. Bring anything here, and you’ll be accepted right in.”

Sam Fletcher can be reached via email at sfletcher@columbiabasinherald.com.

photo

Sam Fletcher/Columbia Basin Herald

Moses Lake resident Jayce Moore stands next to his brand new Toyota Supra on Saturday.