Cruisin' the Coast

Raffle Car program makes wishes come true for Cruisers and kids with life-threatening illnesses

This year’s Make-A-Wish Raffle Car is a 1936 Ford pickup truck with a 350/350 Chevy engine.
This year’s Make-A-Wish Raffle Car is a 1936 Ford pickup truck with a 350/350 Chevy engine. Cruisin’ The Coast

The Cruisin’ The Coast Make-A-Wish Raffle Car program makes wishes come true each year for not only car lovers but also for kids with life-threatening illnesses.

The Raffle Car is unveiled the last day of Cruisin’ The Coast each year, right after the previous car is awarded to the holder of the winning raffle ticket.

Last year’s lucky winner was Mark Zito of Port Allen, Louisiana, who had the winning ticket for the modernized and customized 1965 Ford Mustang convertible.

This year’s car

This year’s raffle car, unveiled the same day Zito won the Mustang, is a 1936 fiberglass assembled street rod Ford pickup truck.

It has a Fat Man chassis, a 350/350 Chevy engine, Vintage Air Street Rod A/C, Coker Wide Whites and power windows. It is a matte Irish green color. Cruisin’ officials have nicknamed the pickup truck “Lass” because of the color.

Tickets, which will be on sale all week at Cruise Central, Centennial Plaza 200 E. Beach Blvd., Gulfport, are $10 per ticket or three for $25.


The Make-A-Wish Raffle Car program has been a part of Cruisin’ The Coast every year since 2011, but the program has been around since 2002 when organizers offered a 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe four-door coupe.

At the time, organizers said they hoped the raffle would earn $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish program, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

At the time, the average cost of a wish was $3,000 to $4,000. Now organizers say the average cost of a wish is $8,500.

In recent years, the Make-A-Wish Raffle car program has raised as much as $22,500 for the program, and organizers estimate they have raised more than $170,000 for the Make-A-Wish program through the years.

Make-A-Wish organizers say they appreciate the efforts of Cruisin’ The Coast through the Raffle Car program each year and are happy to help by selling tickets at the Cruise Central gates each year.

The process

When the raffle car is awarded each year to the winning ticket holder, who does not have to be present to win, the next year’s raffle car is unveiled and visitors can start buying tickets.

Selecting the next Raffle Car each year is a long process that begins with an advisory group of Cruisin’ The Coast board members meeting with Executive Director Woody Bailey.

“We are all the time looking for one that will fit the niche and fit the local market to help Make-A-Wish,” Bailey has said. “We talk about various vehicles and see how ones we’ve done in the past worked out.”

During the meetings, they decide whether they want a rat rod, antique, classic, street rod, hot rod, etc., and then they put out feelers to find an already competed car that would be suitable.

In the past, Cruisin’ The Coast has overseen a complete build of a car but organizers typically opt for an already-built car.

Once it is unveiled, people can start buying tickets at Cruise Central and throughout the year at the Cruisin’ The Coast office, 1907 Pass Road, Biloxi, and on registration forms at

After advance registration has ended, tickets can be purchased only at Cruise Central during the event.


1936 Ford Pickup (fiberglass assembled truck)

Drawing Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017

▪ Fat Man chassis

▪ 350/350 Chevy

▪ Vintage Air Street Rod A/C

▪ Coker Wide Whites

▪ Power Windows

▪ Ticket prices: one for $10, three for $25 available at Cruise Central Centennal Plaza, 200 E. Beach Blvd., Gulfport

▪ You do not have to be present to win!

All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Cruisin’ The Coast.

Cruisin’ The Coast


2017: 1936 Ford Pickup

2016: 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible

2015: 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle

2014: 1932 Ford Roadster

2013: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (“Smokey and the Bandit” trim package)

2012: 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

2011: 1962 Chevrolet Impala

Before 2011, the raffle was held four times

2009: 1970 Chevelle

2007: 1932 Ford Coupe rat rod

No raffle car in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina

2004: 1932 Ford Roadster Highboy street rod

2002: 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe four-door coupe

Cruisin’ The Coast officials estimate the raffle car program has raised more than $170,000 for Make-A-Wish over the years.

Cruisin’ The Coast