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Event Coverage What happened to the old "cruise ins"?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56don, Aug 23, 2019.


Are cruise-ins and car shows different?

Poll closed Sep 2, 2019.
  1. They are different. Cruise ins are just a gathering, car shows are for raising money

    87 vote(s)
  2. Car shows and cruise ins are the same

    7 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. I remember "back in the day" when we hung out at the Patrick Street Shoney's in Charleston, WV (the very FIRST one in the Shoney's chain and operated by Alex Schoenbaum). We would sit around and BS awhile and then "cruise" the loop and stop at the other drive-in's in the area before coming back to Shoney's to see if any street racing might happen. I don't remember ever seeing someone sitting in a lawn chair behind their car with the hood up and a crying baby doll leaning against the tire and a model car on top of their air cleaner. The concept for today's "cruise-in" is supposed to replicate what we did years ago ….. nothing could be farther from truth! They did have a DJ on weekends at Shoney's but it was a live broadcast on the local AM radio station. The only trophies on display were on Sunday night after a day at the local drag strip and you had to keep the white shoe polish on the window designating class of your car. The good old days...… boy, how do I miss them!
  2. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,073


    Still one in Myrtle Beach and Summerville, SC......only open for breakfast though. They are pretty sad.:(
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  3. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,010


    To use an overworked phrase..."That's what I'm talking about".
    wicarnut and chryslerfan55 like this.
  4. I especially like the cruisin around the fairgrounds after they close to the public. I never knew about that until I had a car there.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    gotta56forme likes this.
  5. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,212

    Model A Gomez

    Just reading the title of your post made me think about putting out something to get a cruise-in going here. When I was growing up there weren't organized cruise-in's but Friday and Saturday nights you had to cruise thru the local drive in and stop for a while. Just a place to get together and see what everyone was up to and look at the cars.
    Driver50x and chryslerfan55 like this.
  6. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,273

    from illinois

    $2 for gas $2 for RBS( root beer stand) $.25 for a rubber , less than $5 for a sat nite ..
  7. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 412


    mopacltd..Every Sunday morning, north West side of town. Corner of Rancho and Craig road. Near North Las Vegas airport.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 598

    Rusty Heaps

    This Saturday cruise-in I didn't leave until approximately 10:00 PM and there were still about a dozen others still swapping stories. Great evening/night.
    wicarnut and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,273

    from illinois

    A number of years ago , a group of us who had been at an out of town event, pulled off in a parking lot ( business was closed) to enjoy the rest of the evening , it had been warm and had cooled down considerably on the way home. I happen to be long time friends with the lots owner . We weren't there 10 minutes before city cop pulled in and in a not so friendly manner told us to "get our sorry asses out of there before he arrested us"! I smiled at the young man and asked if he would like to talk to the owner , I would call him so he( the cop) could talk to him. He asked if I was mouthing off and I explained that I was sure my friend wouldn't mind . I called my friend ( who is an attorney) , told him what was happening & handed my phone to the cop. He handed the phone back after a few " yes sirs" and drove away without a word . I really watched myself driving for the next year or so ( no sense in giving them an excuse). THATS. what's happened to impromptu cruise ins IMO.....
  10. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,867

    from Austin

    Our group meets every Friday at sandeez burger joint from 11-3
    30-50 cars
    no charge
    In Austin Tx
    But yea I miss the night meet ups
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    buddyamigo, wicarnut and Driver50x like this.
  11. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 279

    Bill Nabors

    Fort Payne closes Main Street on third Saturdays and cars just cruise in. Gadsden does the same on the first Friday of the month. No sign up. Just show up and park. They do have music and vendors, but the cars are the show. Those two are not far from Huntsville. Drive and enjoy.
  12. Bill, I regularly go to the Gadsden First Friday. I have been to the one in Ft. Payne once and it looked like a good turnout but haven't been back in a while, something always comes memory lapse!
  13. 2bubbas
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 599


    Cheboygan MI in the 60's- We had Proffit's, A & W, The Flame to choose from for a burger and a coke. And then for most of the evening we'd cruise the Circuit which was a 2 mile loop- Mackinaw Ave up Main and back- the drive ins didn't like you to get out of your car so we'd gather in the B & C lot and hang out until the cops ran us off-
    Proffit's.jpg A&W.jpg
    wicarnut likes this.
  14. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,418



    In So Cal, those cruise-ins have gone the way of the dinosaur. Unless a couple of hot rodders get together for a local So Cal cruise: blues4u

    or a bunch on a long roadster road trip to some big event: philly the greek

    It just does not seem like a weekly happening thing. But, jobs, family time, and other necessities of life seem to get in the way. The big city shows still have their time in the sun, but the local cruises seem to be fading fast.

    But one thing that just keeps ticking is something like the Donut Derelicts in Huntington Beach. The participation is growing yearly and is a weekly event for some locals. Cruising is done upon arrival down the lane to find a parking spot. Some of the other modern day car events like the Outlets Cars and Coffee in San Clemente have set up a lane from the entrance past most of the stores and into the far parking area that has a great ocean view.

    The single entrance keeps the rovers at bay and rules have been put in place to keep the cars flowing to their parking places. The spectators to the Outlets have enjoyed this local cruise to the big event at the end of the parking area. It might not last too long as there are plans in place for several, ocean view restaurants on the top level of the parking area where this cruise-in show display is on going. But, the overall parking lot is huge and measures are being taken to provide an outstanding display every Saturday morning.

    As far as the old time hot rods and cruisers that were around back when we were teens and 20 somethings, we did go on group cruises and road trips. But, with the reception that we got at Harvey’s Broiler one night with our group of cars was not the most pleasurable. It wasn’t that the cars or the people, but the general atmosphere of “outsiders” that weren’t the every night, local hot rod guys/girls.

    Was it because of the “group” of cars that had some kind of impending doom on a local gathering or was it just the sign of the times? When we went back later a couple of time in single cars, the reception was much better and we even had some hot rod bantering going on during our stay. The thing was, it felt more comfortable in our own Bixby Knolls drive-in restaurant parking lots than to take a cruise to other neighborhoods.

    It is hard not to stay in the local comfort zone (home ground, drive-in restaurant parking lots), but the southward coastal cruises were a lot more accepting of hot rods and cruiser cars. Maybe it was the vacation times and those summer night cruises.


    These days, there are groups that go to places like the Cars and Coffee or the hot rod events around So Cal on a weekly basis keep the spirit alive. Downtown events like the Cruising Grand in Escondido puts out the welcome mat for all of those that like to “cruise down the main…” The idea that like minded people have similar hot rods and cruisers are the norm in most of those events.
    “On Friday nights a time warp hits downtown Escondido! The streets are filled with strolling people of all ages, while a parade of pre-1970s vintage cars slowly cruise up and down Grand Avenue. All kinds of vintage cars-from American Hot Rods, Classics, Antiques, and Customs-help make seven blocks of Escondido the place to be on Friday nights!”

    “Grand Avenue from Orange to Ivy Streets Escondido, CA 92025 Open Friday nights, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., April-September

    The topper to this (all spring through summer) cruising activity is the annual Nitro Night that is the closing event for the season. (plenty of So Cal Cacklecars, static displays, push starts and fire ups.)

    Of course, there are other events that most support yearly. In this area, as in most areas of the USA, the national events are also expanding the year of vehicle inclusion. But most just want to have fun at certain events. So, pick and choose your event.
    wicarnut likes this.
  15. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,825

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Most of the cruise nights, or cruise ins as some describe them are now mostly sponsored by the towns and villages they are held in and the local club or other organization run them around here.
    50/50 pots and raffles help local charities and most don’t charge admission or give awards.
    They are literally held every night of the week and you have a choice of where you would like to drive out to, grab some food and hang out with friends and check out the cars.
    There is one in Lansing Illinois where you can cruise the street where it’s held but as a rule most cruise nights are static once you’re parked until you leave. Times change.
    pprather, wicarnut and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,544

    Kan Kustom

    Man I am really beginning to feel sorry for you guys in Wisconson. Every time I read something about your state it seems like you have been taken over by communist controlling snobs.I cant even understand it with Harley Davidson being there and all. I have allways wanted to go there but now I avoid it like the plague.
    wicarnut likes this.
  17. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,537


    In the Milwaukee Wisconsin area starting early 2000's, the cruising got banned in areas because of huge numbers involved, bad behavior, random parking lot cruises/meetings stopped/banned because of fights/rowdiness/even shootings. It's Sad how far our great country has deteriorated, a fair percentage of the youth/adults of today are just Trash. Kids today live in such a different world and are robbed of the many fun times/experiences us Baby Boomers had, Time/Things change, "It Is What It Is"
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  18. ..............So true. How many of these kids today will ever get to watch a movie at a drive-in.?:(
    wicarnut likes this.
  19. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,696


    Cruise nights and car shows in my opinion have changed and the reasons is the age of the people attending these events.
    As many of the guys are passing each year and they are being replaced with in many cases younger people and their interests are different then past generations in the types of cars they are interested in owning.

    I see many more rice burner cars then before and more low riders then car's from the 30's through the 50's and typical street rods and when that started to happen many of the older guys no longer came to the car shows.

    Just my opinion Jimbo
    31hotrodguy and jimmy six like this.
  20. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,010


    Unfortunately, often it's the kids that are cheating themselves out of fun times and memories
    that many of us have. We have parks throughout our community and there are no pick-up
    games of baseball or basketball. There are no bike races through the subdivisions or through
    the dirt fields of a new home construction site.

    Town councils and strip mall managers post signs that read "No Skateboarding - No Rollerblades - No Loitering". There's no searching for arrowheads in in the woods because housing developments have eliminated the woods.

    As much as I dislike organized "cruise nights", maybe they're a necessary evil. Evil to us
    who know what cruisin' really was. If a kid stops by my place to ask about my car or to
    take a peek at the things that are on my garage wall I'll patiently answer any questions
    he/she might have. If I've got decals, posters or photo handouts from the drags I'll offer
    them to the kids. When possible, I let their parents know who I am and that their kids
    showed an interest. We as gearheads don't have a responsibility to do this but it's kool
    and fun to give a little guidance to a kid that shows an interest.

    In 1966 to 1974 cruising and hanging out at drive-ins was in it's heydey , there was no
    discrimination as far as our cars were concerned. Anyone with a car could hang. Their
    was none of this "tri-five only", "traditional rods only", "68 and earlier only", "no lowriders" nonsense. Owning a kool car was like being part of a brotherhood.
  21. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,209


    I joined into the cruise-in craze in the summer of 1991 with my recently bought '66 Riviera GS, every Friday late afternoon & evening at Big Daddy's drive in. It was a blast and it lasted until the city of Auburn decided to expand the parking lot for the library next to BD's, around ' 94 or so.
    Note: They could have gone north with the new lot and left the drive ins lot intact, but they went south using Washington sate law.
    That took out most of the drive ins lot. B.D.'s was bordering a nice city park also and so when the drive in went bust because of the cities uncaring attitude about the drive in, they, (the city) annexed the old drive in ground to the park. Then some years ago, the Mayor came crying to a local car club to start the cruise-in back up again. The club made a great effort to do so, but it just wasn't same.
    I guess there is a cruise-in the first Friday of the month at the city of Covington just up the road, but by the time that started I was out of the loop and sold the Rivi. and was in the midst of my 22 year build of my Black Widow '34. I googled the Covington cruise-in while responding to this and may try it out next month.
    wicarnut likes this.
  22. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,537


    We watched movies at the drive-in ? LOL The best date venue from our generation IMO
    mbailey99gt and lothiandon1940 like this.
  23. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,722

    Marty Strode

    We are fortunate to have a cruise on Wednesdays from the first of June to the first of October at Portland International Raceway. The cost is $5.00 per car with 2 occupants, the parking is on grass, with scattered shade trees. Beaches Restaurant runs the event, and the proceeds go to local children's charities, that have raised millions over the last 20 years or so. The cut off is early seventies, but they allow new Mustangs, Corvettes and such. Car count varies from 700, to as much as 1800, not counting the field of drag cars running on the 1/8 mile, that is only a stones throw away, and included. The gates open at 3:00 PM, and clears out after dark. It's really quite a display of cars and bikes, and you never know what will show up.
    jnaki and lothiandon1940 like this.
  24. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,537


    Wisconsin is a Beautiful state, Get out of the city, in general Friendly Good people. Many tourist venues, the countryside is beautiful, I live in the Northwoods, the heart of tourist country. Avoid Milwaukee, that's trying it's best to turn into another Chicago, has become a very dangerous city, half is still a great city, other 1/2 very dangerous, You Must Avoid that part due to typical big city problems, gangs, drugs, high unemployment, way too many in the system,(welfare etc.) total breakdown of family structure, undermanned police force, bleeding heart court system, etc. Sad Very Sad. Somehow the DMV, State Patrol problems now with Hot Rods is related to our new Gov. aka, Taxing Toni. It will all be settled, it just will be added cost $$$ to the Hot Rodder. Off my Soapbox now. LOL
    Kan Kustom likes this.
  25. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,544

    Kan Kustom

    Glad to hear this. I understand the constantly changing government thing. We have that too. We all go through changing seasons and survive them.
    wicarnut likes this.
  26. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,010


    To me, charging $5.00 to pull in automatically negates this as crusing. Call it what it is, a
    money making proposition a.k.a. a car show. I fully understand that money goes to charity,
    but it's still not old school crusin'.
  27. ned5049
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 373


    How about cruising the lots at Lead East 50's Party in New Jersey. You can 'cruise' at a 'car show ' for three days and nights. Pricey tho.
  28. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,328

    from oregon

    It may not fit the term "cruis'n" but it's the best deal to be found in these parts!
    As Marty said, $5.00/car (full of people), car show, drag racing, buy a beer and hot dog, listen to live music, pretty hard to beat.

  29. This is exactly my thinking when starting this post. If you charge someone money to just park their car then its a "car show".....not a "cruise in" in my opinion. I think they should call it what it is and it ain't a cruise in if it's a pay and park. I have no problem with fund raising at a car show but just don't call it a cruise in. My 2¢..
    31hotrodguy and quick85 like this.
  30. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,010


    We had a local (Downers Grove, Illinois) Big Boy where the owner/manager must have started
    seeing dollar signs. They instituted a deal where you could pull in but you couldn't leave without
    buying something. You needed a token for the automatic gate to let you out. So, it was scratch
    that drive-in from the list.

    Most drive-ins welcomed, or at least tolerated, cruisers, but there were others that came up
    with little rules to dissuade us. A McDonald's wouldn't let us back into parking spots. Another
    place banned opening hoods. We blew them off, moved down the line and spent our funds at
    places that realized kids with cars had money to spend. Damn the gas crunch for throwing a
    wrench into the whole scene.
    31hotrodguy likes this.

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