I love 1972 and under classic cars and also the hot rods made from those classic cars. All baby-boomers wish they had kept their old cars and many of them did.
If only I would have kept some of my cars; ’52 Mercury, ’62 Alpine Sunbeam, ’62 Pontiac Bonneville convertible, ’64 Olds F-85 Jetfire, and a ’57 Lincoln convertible (it was light violet with white leather interior. I probably looked like a pimp, but it was a great car). I have no idea where I would have stored these cars even if I were smart enough to keep them. Oh well.
The next best thing to owning a nice classic car is going to classic car/hot rod indoor shows in the winter, or in warm weather, to classic car ‘Cruise-ins’ at local hangouts that are typically listed in ‘Cruisin’ type regional magazines like, Cruisin’ Times out of Cleveland, Ohio, http://www.cruisintimes.org, or Cruis’news Publications, http://www.cruisnews.comwhich is out of Detroit, Michigan.
Because I was sick, I missed three great shows;the Autorama, a Classic car and Hot Rod show at Cobo Center, Detroit, MI, The Cleveland, Autorama and in Dayton, Ohio, the World of Wheels I hate being sick. A friend sent some pictures – so that softened the blow.
As I always mention, the biggest and best classic car and hot rod festival in the world is The Woodward Dream Cruise, http://www.woodwarddreamcruise.com. It is also the event in my novel, Dream Machines. The Dream Cruise is a one-day annual event, the third Saturday in August in the northern suburbs of Detroit. It is actually the second largest one-day event in America. Number one is Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NYC at 5 million spectators. The Dream Cruise attracts around 1.3 million spectators. More impressive is the 40,000 classic cars and hot rods.
Yes, you read correctly; forty thousand (40,000) classic cars and hot rods. I grew up on Woodward Avenue in the ‘60s and every Friday and Saturday nights all the kids and adults would cruise all the drive-in restaurants on Woodward and drag race in-between the stop lights, placed ½ mile apart.
Remember the movie, American Graffiti? Or the TV show, Happy Days? Woodward Avenue, in the 1960s, was like those shows… times a thousand. For fifteen miles, Woodward had a lot of drive-ins with roller-skating waitresses and burger wars. Each place had their own special burgers. My favorite Drive-in and burger was the, Big Chief, from the Totem Pole. You can still get it at a place called, Duggan’s Pub, on Woodward in Royal Oak, MI. It’s like biting into history.
The northern suburbs were also the home to many auto execs from the ‘big 3,’ Ford, GM and Chrysler. Many auto execs got company cars and many times they brought next year’s model home. Their kids immediately brought out those Mustangs, GTOs, Chargers and everything else to cruise the drive-ins and drag race. There were so many people drag racing, the cops could never keep up.
The ‘60s came to a close, kids went to war and came back to find all the drive-ins had closed. It was the end of an era. It wasn’t until years later that someone had the thought to do a ‘cruise’ on Woodward to celebrate those old days and this year will be the 20th Anniversary.
In my novel, Dream Machines, a young-couple love the Woodward Dream Cruise so much, they decided to make it their wedding day so they always will remember. A week before the Dream Cruise, they have a meet-and-greet party for both of their families. When their grandfathers meet, they recognize each other from a drag race on Woodward back in 1965 over a girl that ended in an accident. The hot-headed teen rivals swore to God that some day, some how they would finish the race. They kept their grudge for over 50 years, and the kept their old hot rods…just in case.
They challenge each other to finish the race on Woodward the coming Friday night, same as 1965, same time, same place. I can’t divulge any more than that, but I wrote it using the natural comedic circumstances along with the two grandfather’s hate for each other and it turned out pretty funny. People tell me they laughed out loud many times and smiled a lot through the story.
Can’t afford the high prices a lot of these classic cars bring? Go to a classic car show/cruise. There’s one coming soon to the Sandusky, Ohio area where Cedar Point Amusement Park is. It’s called the ‘Blue Suede Cruise’ at Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk Ohio on July 18-20, 2014. This cruise is a blast with over 2400 cars ’72 and older, drag races, camping and a concert by the ‘Van Dells.’ See http://summitmotorsportspark.com.