Phil Medina was born and raised in the Vancouver area. Ever since he was a kid, he loved cars. In high school, he used to cruise Highway 99, Longview WA, and Broadway in Portland. His parents embraced the fact that he was going cruising on the weekends because that’s what they used to do on Main Street in downtown Vancouver. They actually had some pretty wild stories! Unfortunately, cruising was later banned everywhere.
Phil has always owned classic cars. His first car was a 1968 Chevy Impala. He currently owns a 1959 Chevy Bel Air two-door that he is restoring. In addition, he owns a 1961 Parkwood Wagon, and his daily driver is a 1959 Chevy Apache Pickup.
Having grown up in the car culture and going to car shows and events, he always remembered what it was like to cruise and the stories his parents talked about. He wanted to create a cruising event where all cars and car clubs were welcome. He wanted to not only be able to look at the cars, but to also be able to hear them run and drive.
In 2008, he began telling his friends about his idea and everyone thought it was great. In 2009, he decided to make his dream a reality. With the help of the Kamikazes Car Club, of which he is a member, the first annual Cruisin’ the Gut was held on July 18, 2009. He hoped that at least a few hundred cars and people would attend. To his surprise, thousands of people and cars showed up. It was a huge success!
Each year, he has made this event bigger and better. In 2010, he decided to give out dash plaques for food donations to benefit the Share House. A cash donation was also given to the Share House from T-shirt sales. In 2011, he extended the cruise to the downtown area to have more room to cruise and to include more businesses. Food donations more than doubled that year and over $3,000 was donated to the Share House from T-shirt sales.
In 2012, there will be 22 blocks of cruising and entertainment! Be sure to cruise the whole route and check out what the businesses and cruise have to offer. Have a great time and enjoy this wonderful event!