KANNAPOLIS Janie Rushing of China Grove bought her red 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback when it was 3 months old.She had gone to buy a Ford Torino that day, she said, but her legs were too short to reach the pedals. So instead she bought the Mustang, which had been traded in by a man who thought it was too small for his family.Her car was one of scores of classic and newer cars and motorcycles on display at July’s Kannapolis Cruise-In. Despite threat of rain, the event attracted plenty of show cars and cruisers.By 3 p.m. some of the show cars had already taken parking spots; other drivers cruised by in their machines. For the past four years, the Cabarrus Events Association has continued the Kannapolis Cruise-In, a family-friendly event on West Avenue.The downtown area provides more than 1,000 parking spaces for the show cars and motorcycles from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month from March through November, except May. With no entry fees and no reserved spaces, it feels like an impromptu meeting of car enthusiasts.Rushing has been able to maintain her Mustang with 95 percent of its original paint and equipment, she said. Sitting on top of its air cleaner was an exact replica model of her car, built and painted by her son Bobby Rushing as a tribute to the classic car.Kannapolis native Ken Woodard said, “I’ve been doing this for 50 years. When we were kids, we did this every weekend, and we called this ‘Idiots Circle.’ ” He and his friends would go around in circles, cruising downtown Kannapolis on weekend nights.At the July Cruise-In, Woodard showed his black 1959 Ford Fairlane with its distinctive starburst grill. The car has only 50,000 miles on it and the interior is all original. He became the car’s third owner six years ago. Kannapolis friends Buddy Hines, who was showing his 1931 Ford Model A, and Jim Goforth, who brought his 1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe, enjoyed a quick hamburger together as the crowds began to grow. They have been to most of the Cruise-In events, parking together, and Hines said, “We really like meeting up with old friends and looking at old cars.”The event isn’t limited to classic cars. Anyone who has a car or motorcycle they would like to show off is welcome to cruise in and park it. While the new Corvettes and Harley-Davidson motorcycles may capture the young people’s attention, the classic cars bring back memories to the older crowd.China Grove residents Rick and Linda Wetherbee, who own a new Infiniti retractable hard-top convertible, were drawn to Ramell McGuire’s 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner. The Skyliner is a retractable hard-top convertible from 1957. Rick Wetherbee’s mother had owned one when he was younger, he said, and that may have influenced his decision to buy his Infiniti.McGuire, of Kannapolis, has owned the Skyliner for about six years. Her husband, Dene McGuire, said that after they bought the car, he found that the original title was registered at 1405 Oak Shade Ave., Kannapolis. That was the same address where he and his wife first met.
Saturday, Jul. 20, 2013
Every classic car has a story at Kannapolis Cruise-In
Want to go? The next Cruise-In will be 3:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 10 on West Avenue in Kannapolis. For rules and vendor information, visit the Cabarrus Events Association website, http://cabarrusevents.org/Web_pages/cruisein.htm#Cruise_News.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at email@example.com.
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