VIDEO: Classics line downtown for Perry Cruise Car Show

Recalling the days of cars made more of steel than plastic, with classic lines and changes that allowed the average American to easily tell one model from another, this 1955 Ford Thunderbird was just one of many classic cars lining downtown for the annual Perry Cruise Car Show Friday.

Yesterday became today Friday as several dozen classic rides lined the downtown streets for the annual Perry Cruise Car Show. Sponsored by the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce, the event drew big crowds and visitors from throughout the area to a two-block area along Second Street.

Patrick Graney provided DJ services at the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza, which doubled as a beer garden for the event. Several vendors were also on hand to provide food, treats and refreshments. While a few newer and more modern cars and several classic kit cars were on hand, the majority of the vehicles parked at an angle were older models.

Crowds began arriving before the 6 p.m. start of the event, with a steady flow of pedestrian traffic appreciating vehicles made more of steel and chrome than today’s plastic and aluminum models.

Classic sedans recalled the days of two-lane highways, drive-in theaters and roomy backseats while a collection of muscle cars reminded an admiring crowd that there was a time when exhaust, miles-per-gallon and strict safety standards were less favorable than horsepower, noise and good looks.

One gentleman recalled learning from his father how to change the oil and put new spark plugs in their 1954 Buick, something he “would not dare do today, not with all the computers and everything” under the hood.

From Competition Orange to Plum Crazy to Brandywine and classic MOPAR shades, a wide variety of once-popular and still recognizable colors adorned many of the vehicles, though some classic whites and shiny blacks were also in the mix.

Visitors looked at dashboards featured round dials, non-digital displays and no evidence of GPS systems. Some youngsters puzzled over a three-speed on-the-floor (they admitted to having never seen one), while one group of young boys were amazed at the knobs and buttons of the “ancient” radio in a ’67 Galaxy.

It was yesterday once more in Perry Friday, and admirers snapping photos of the classic rides parked downtown was a common sight.
It was yesterday once more Friday, with dozens of classics lining the streets of downtown for the annual Perry Cruise Car Show.

It was not uncommon to overhear old friends discussing their first car, or how they wish they had never sold (or wrecked) the car they had in high school, although the time, energy and expense of maintaining the classics — which ran just fine on regular leaded gas, thank you — in such pristine shape was often overlooked. Also common among those gathered was the opinion that few, if any, of cars produced in the last few decades would be considered classics in another 40, 50 or 60 years.

The event ran until 10 p.m. when, sadly, the crowd had to disperse without having a garishly illuminated drive-in, complete with car hops, at which to end the night with corn dogs and root beers.

However, thanks to the hard work of many, Friday was, for few hours, Yesterday, and that seemed to be enough.

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