The second annual Malaise Invitational will take place June 24 on Echo Hills Road in Wren. (Photo provided by Malaise Car Club of Oregon)

A unique car show that celebrates Malaise Era vehicles will be coming to the Philomath vicinity next month, organizers announced.

The event, called the Malaise Invitational, is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 24, on private property located along Echo Hills Road in Wren and will feature vehicles made from 1972 to 1995.

“It definitely is a unique experience and I find it very enjoyable because it’s a lot of cars people either forget existed or didn’t know it exists, so it’s definitely something different than your average hot rod show,” said Daniel “Bones” Lombardo of the Malaise Car Club of Oregon. “I like to say it’s the cars people actually drove in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.”

So why focus on vehicles from those years?

“In ’72, that’s around the time the oil crisis occurred and laws were being passed that were choking cars’ performances due to emissions and fuel economy,” Lombardo said. “And in 1995 is when the universal OBD II computer system was being implemented.”

With the universal adoption of diagnostic electronics systems in 1996, the modern era of engine management and emissions started.

“From ’72 to ’95, that year range is really overlooked by most classic car enthusiasts because of poor performance — some would even say poor build quality and bad styling,” Lombardo said. “Thankfully, there’s a lot of us who either disagree or overlook that.”

A lucky person will even go home with a free car, Lombardo said. Organizers are planning to give one away as part of the event’s raffle.

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For those who would like to participate with a period car, organizers have set up an online registration system. The cost during preregistration is $25 and for those who register on the day of the event, the cost will be $35. Spectator admission is free.

Net proceeds from the event will benefit The HIV Alliance, a Eugene-based organization founded in 1994.

“We are going to have a number of various awards we’re going to be giving out based on the car you arrive in or the car you show off,” Lombardo said. “Anyone can enter as long as they’re within that year range or the car is grandfathered in.”

By grandfathered in, Lombardo means vehicles that were part of the same generation of cars that extended past or before the year range.

“For example, if the same generation started in ’70 and continued into ’74, we would let the ’70 in if you can’t even tell the difference by looking at it,” Lombardo explained.


The event, which specifically will be at 23915 Echo Hills Road, will include music — a deejay who will be playing “period-correct music” — and even feature advertising that was seen back in those days. Vendors will also be on site for food, beer and other items.

“I encourage any local businesses or local artists if they want to set up a booth, if they want to sell something, or if they want their name on the marketing materials, they are more than encouraged to reach out,” Lombardo said. “It’s free for vendors and if you want to be a sponsor, it’s super simple. All we’re asking for is a donation of any size to The HIV Alliance and a donation of whatever they’d like to our raffle.”

For information, email Lombardo at

The event will feature a few unique contests, including one for best “sleazy car salesman” costume.

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The Malaise Invitational is in its second year. Last year, it was held in wine country south of Eugene.

“Last year, we had over 60 cars show up, which was phenomenal,” Lombardo said. “When you compare that number to shows going on for many years and have a bigger year range, we didn’t do too bad for our first show.”

Lombardo hopes to get more folks from the general community to show up.

“The only issue with our first show is we didn’t have a whole lot of people from the community come out, it was mostly just enthusiasts,” he said. “This year I really want to encourage everyone to come out whether they’re into cars or not. It’s going to be a fun time and at the very least, there will be some good food and cool vendors to look at and shop from.”

Lombardo said the idea to utilize the Wren site came up through one of the club’s original members, whose parents own the property.

“Last year’s event was just fine … but we were looking for a piece of property with less restrictions and a little bit closer to town,” Lombardo said. “He essentially put up the offer and it was an offer we couldn’t refuse so we took him up on it.”

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.

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