The sun was shining, the cars started arriving early, and the parking lot was packed by 5:30 p.m. on a spring Friday evening, the only thing about the cruise-in that has changed is the location.
“We really outgrew the parking lot at K-Mart, and the folks at Lofino’s and the Beaver Valley Shopping Center approached us about holding our cruise in here,” explained Tom Andrews, president of the Greene County Antique and Classic Car Club.
The club along with the Miami Valley Chapter of the National Corvette Restorers Society has been hosting this Friday night ritual for the past five years or so.
“We reached a point a couple of times last year that we had 300 cars, and you just couldn’t move,” Andrews added. “Here, we have 210 spaces in front of the theatre and an adjacent lot for overflow. And people need to understand, this is just a cruise in, it’s not a car show or a swap meet, we have no vendors, and we don’t allow cars on trailers, We want people to have a chance to drive their cars and gather with their lawn chairs and have fun on a Friday evening.”
The spring rains cancelled the first two Friday evenings and everyone was itching to get out this past Friday night.
“I’m so excited just to drive my car,” said Pat Croswell as she backed her ’70 Dodge Challenger into a parking space. “I washed and waxed it two weeks ago, but it just keeps raining. This is great.”
Cars started arriving at 2 p.m., Andrews noted, and the lot swelled to more than 100 cars before 6 p.m. It was a smorgasboard for the car lover, everything from a 1925 Ford T-bucket up to a 2011 Roush Mustang.
A few of the cars seen on opening night, ’38 Nash hot rod, replica Cobra, Super Bee, vintage and new Dodge Challengers as well as vintage and new Camaros, Ferrari, Pantera, Sunbeam Tiger, a bunch of Corvettes, an El Camino, Mazda MX5, Thunderbirds, Novas, an Edsel and a GTO. That’s just a sampling.
The cruise in will be held every Friday from 5 p.m. until dark at the parking lot in front of the theatre at 3255 Seajay Drive through Sept. 30.
“In addition to Lofino’s, Rocky’s Pizza and Beef O’Brady’s are also supporting this cruise in, and we hope the participants will support all of the local businesses in this center. This can be a really nice event with plenty of room to move around and enjoy the cars and the atmosphere,” Andrews said.