Rain or shine, we’ll still have a good time.’ — cruise organizer Don Nicholson
By J. PATRICK PEPPER
The Cruisin’ Michigan classic car cruise is back.
Scheduled for Saturday, the cruise is expected to bring out hundreds of automobile enthusiasts in their classic rides to a five-mile stretch of historic U.S. Route 12.
The cruise winds through portions of Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Wayne, and Westland. Area sponsors include Village Ford, Jack Demmer Lincoln-Mercury, Harley’s Deli, Roni Deutch Tax Center, NetworkDearborn.com and WelcomeHomeDearborn.com.
The action at the inaugural cruise last year was slow to pick up, as scattered thunderstorms persisted through the morning. Once the weather cleared, though, the usual Michigan Avenue traffic of late-model sedans and sport utility vehicles was spiced up with rare Corvettes, custom-built hot rods, and even a few decked-out hearses.
Event organizers are hoping for better weather this year, although early forecasts again are calling for isolated thunderstorms. Either way there will be plenty of things to do, organizer Don Nicholson said.
“Rain or shine, we’ll still have a good time,” he said.
On the cruise Web site, cruisinmichigan.com, several local car owners have committed to bringing their prized rides. Dearborn Heights resident Steve Randazzo said he would be showing up in his 1975 Gran Torino, immortalized by popular 70s TV show “Starsky and Hutch.”
On the other end of the fuel-efficiency spectrum, Dearborn resident Dave Muse said he would be cruising in his 1981 Electra Van, one of the first production electric vehicles in the world.
“I’ll drive it till the battery is dead,” Muse said.
The festivities start Friday, as the Dearborn Glass Academy, 25331 Trowbridge, will play host to a charity kickoff party with dinner and entertainment. Tickets cost $75, with the proceeds benefiting a charity chosen by the purchaser.
On Saturday, there are a number of activities planned along the cruise route. Starting in Dearborn, the Dearborn Animal Shelter will host an Adopt a Pet & Car Show at Fairlane Ford, 14585 Michigan Ave. Members of the Southeast Michigan Mustang Car Club will congregate at Village Ford, 23535 Michigan, to show off their tricked-out ponies. Jack Demmer Lincoln-Mercury, 21531 Michigan Ave, also will host a car show.
At Harley’s Deli, 24142 Michigan, dirty cars can catch a rinse and thirsty motorheads some suds with the restaurant’s bikini car wash and beer tent. Harley’s also will feature live music by classic rock cover band L.C. Wild.
A few doors down at Allstate Insurance, 24234 Michigan, there will be a concession stand offering hot dog specials.
The recently opened Ronnie Deutch Tax Center, 24340 Michigan, will be the home of a breast cancer three-day fundraiser, and the Dearborn Elks Lodge, 25000 Michigan, will host a Vet Fest for servicemen and -women.
In Dearborn Heights, the city’s Justice Center, 25637 Michigan, will host an emergency response vehicle show.
And one of the biggest hits from last year’s cruise, the Inkster Jazz Fest, will be back this year featuring two days of live jazz music. The takes place on Inkster just north of Michigan. For a complete list of scheduled activities and further information, check out www.cruisinmichigan.com.