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cruise night dodges rain

Monday, June 11, 2018 15:50 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Seeing a white 1964 Chevy Nova among the hundreds of antique vehicles rumbling back and forth through downtown had Toni Griswold thinking about the same model she had while growing up.

''What a good time I had back then,'' said Griswold, among thousands of spectators lining both sides of the main drag June 9 during the annual city sanctioned Cruise Night in LaPorte, Ind.

She especially liked the two white Avanti's in the procession.

Originally, the Avanti was manufactured by the Studebaker Corporation then after Studebaker closed in 1963, the models were produced with leftover Studebaker components then later General Motors and Ford chassis and engines.

Most people brought lawn chairs or stood along the route, but some watched from the back end of pick-up trucks or sat on tailgates.

Barbecue grills were also fired up in front of some of the homes.

Ryan Stevens, owner of Rusted Knuckles Car & Truck Club in nearby Valparaiso, said about 400 vehicles came out for the two hour cruise on Indiana 2.

Stevens, whose club hosted the event, said only about a dozen vehicle owners came out for the six-hour car show at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds leading up to the cruise because of a mix of scattered showers and threatening skies.

Historically, many cruisers display their cherished vehicles at the car show before venturing out to take part in the nostalgic ride.

His jangled nerves turned to sheer joy after the skies turned blue and vehicle owners in all directions began showing up in droves to take part.

"People started coming in five at a time. 10 at a time. 20 at a time. It was a great feeling because I had a really upset stomach the whole day," Stevens said
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