Palace Chrysler-Jeep


Country Cruise returns June 26

June 23, 2010 - A 25-mile stretch of M-24 will be taken over by classic cars lovers and spectators during the Third Annual Lapeer Road Country Cruise on Saturday, June 26.

Starting at noon, classic hot rods will be a fixture until 9 p.m. on M-24 between Lake Orion and Lapeer.

"It's a pretty fun time," said Walt Wheeler, who coordinates the cruise. "Everyone gets to show off their car and go to different places and drive, and that's what a cruise is all about."

Unlike the Woodward Dream Cruise, where cars are bumper to bumper and topping out around five miles per hour for long periods of time, drivers who want to cruise M-24 can go anywhere from 30-55 m.p.h.

"I created it because Woodward is too crowded and you cannot go more than two to five miles per hour with the car," he said. "Now you can cruise with your buddy by your side in each lane and you can open it up to the speed limit, which is 55, and have a blast."

There is no cost to attend this event or take part in any of the car shows along the route.

There will be different activities happening at various stops in Lake Orion, Oxford, Metamora and Lapeer.

Lake Orion will be a hot spot of activity for the cruise as three car dealership's will be taking part in the festivities.

Wally Edgar Chevrolet will be having a cookout from noon to 3 p.m, while cruisers can either attend a car show at Milosch Palace Chrysler Jeep and Dodge from noon to 5 p.m., or at Skalnek Ford starting at noon.

Both Milosch and Skalnek Ford are open to all makes and models. Milosch will be handing out trophies at the end of the event, while the first 200 entries at Skalnek will receive a dash plaque.

Donations for the Lake Orion American Legion Post's fund-raiser, the purchasing of new flags for the fallen soldiers graves, will be accepted at the Skalnek car show.

Take a break from cruising and stop at Collier Lanes in Oxford from noon to 4 p.m. for $1 games of bowling. An area will be roped off for cruisers.

While parked, enjoy some food from the Oxford Tap, who teamed up with Collier Lanes.

"Oxford Tap is going to bring down their barbecue and they are going to barbecue up a bunch of food," Wheeler said.

He noted that the event would keep going if people kept stopping by Collier Lanes.

Cruisers can travel back in time when pulling into the White Horse Inn in Meramora. The wait staff will be dressed in 1950's Sock Hop Theme.

"A lot of them will dress up in poodle skirts and that kind of stuff," Wheeler said.

They will be serving bar-be-que half chickens, hot dogs and beverages beginning at noon, while the kids meals will be served in a cardboard classic car.

In addition to all of the great food, the White Horse Inn will have a band from 1-6 p.m. that will be playing all of the classic hits. There will also be a hula-hoop contest and a big hair contest.

When cruisers finally pull into Lapeer, Louie's Sports Tavern and E.G. Nicks will be giving discounts off their food to all cruisers.

Jim Riehl's Friendly Automotive Group will be the turn-around spot in Lapeer and will have some vehicles on the lawn with their hoods up.

Wheeler noted that there will be other activities along the route that cruisers can do that are not an official stop.

The cruise has been gaining in popularity ever since Wheeler started back in 2008. They had 1,200 cars the first year and 2,000 cars last year.

This year, he is hoping for even more.

Wheeler said that since he started advertising on the radio, the cruise's website, www.lapeercountrycruise.com has seen lots of traffic to the site.

"I had 8,450 hits last month for the whole month and this month I am already up to 8,200 already and were not even to cruise yet; we still have a week to go," he said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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