Cruise Night in Chino Valley

and 180 Horse Power

The first Friday of the month is "Cruise Night" at the local Mc Donnald's restaurant in Chino Valley. I decided to take my camera this time as I seldom take pictures of anything. It was about 100 degrees with little wind but we all had a good time anyway sitting in the shade and talking cars.The event is supposed to start at 4:00 PM, but this time I arrived at 3:00 PM to fine a spot up front. I didn't ask anyone how early some of the people show up, but I got the last place in the front row. The first car that caught my attention, was this 55 Buick Station Wagon and that is when I got my camera out.

 This late 40's Dodge reminded me of the Chrysler New Yorker my parents had of which we took to Arizona and up the West Coast in 1947. You don't see those large metal sun visors much on antique cars anymore even though they were common during those days.

My first car was a 1947 Plymouth similar to this one with the metal sun visor. I was 14 years old when Dad bought it for me so I could tinker with it and learn about cars. One fall day, my friend John and I took the motor out and dragged it into the basement. This kept me busy during the winter months as I took it all apart. Dad eventually saw all the pieces and parts scattered around the basement for. His comment was, "That car will never run again." Well, he was wrong. That next spring after I put the engine back together, John and I put it back in the car and it started right up and ran perfectly. I later chopped the top four inches but never got a picture of that as there wasn't time to finish the job.

 I forgot to photograph my own car that night, so here it is in the yard the next day. It took a whole day to clean up the Chrome as it appeared to have been neglected for 50 years. Hundreds of bare spots have been filled in and painted, so I thought it would be fine to now park it up front.

180 Horse Power 

A 1953 Chrysler Imperial with a Hemi is of the vintage of the last Chrysler we owned before Dad sold the Chrysler Dealership. That was about the time when I was 10 years old and found out what 180 horse power was. Mom, Dad, and I were going from our summer home in Boot Jack to our house in Calumet. We just made the turn in Lake Linden to start the steep climb to Laurium. Suddenly, a early 50's Olds Rocket roared around us. I yelled at Dad, "there is an Oldsmobile passing us". I already knew that Oldsmobile had come out with a V/8 and everyone raved about its' performance. Why ever a 59 year old man would listen to a 10 year old kid, but anyway, Dad nailed the accelerator pedal and off we went. Now I was going to find out what a 180 Horse Power was all about. There wasn't anyone in the on coming lane, so Dad had built up enough speed to pass the Oldsmobile within an 1/8 mile. We were soon going to experience a unexpended event. Half way up the hill was a railroad crossing at grade. Dad never let off the gas as we kept gaining speed. My mother was already screaming before the car went air born for a few feet. This was the signal that Dad realized he should back off the gas and he did so with a big smile on his face. Dad also had a Chrysler 300 Demo car for giving certain customer a ride of the life. He had a stretch of paved road with permission for high speed runs from the police department.

 Chrysler was always noted for their advance engineering like the window crank handles. Instead of the traditional knob, a paddle like handle was grasped to crank the window. When you let go of it, the paddle flopped down out of the way no mater what position the crank arm was at.
 Bob has this 58 Chevy that is unique because it's a one year only body style.
 This forties Lincoln looks very stately with the tall side glass.