In August my wife Carol and I, following our own lead, did a re-visit to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area for the 12th Annual 28th Street Metro-Cruise. We had such a great time last year we made arrangements with our host and SO-CAL Speed Shop dealer Steve Sturim (of Steve’s Antique Auto Repair, Wyoming, MI) to attend the 2016 event.
The Metro Cruise started as a way to draw attention to 28th Street, with the opening of the M6 highway. The real concern was 28th Street would become a ghost town with the local traffic bypass. This event showcases the area and local businesses. The business folk there have learned to embrace the Cruise, and even produce their own events in conjunction with it. A win-win-win for the parties involved, especially the car crowd.
The event produces some pretty impressive numbers. A whopping 275,000 to 300,000 visitors, if you can believe that, descend on 28th Street in Wyoming and Kentwood, Michigan to view over 15,000 classic cars. It’s really mind-boggling! That’s impressive by anyone’s count—more so when you consider that the event officially runs for only two days.
The cruise is a laid-back event with plenty of room for everyone and the schedule is unbelievable. It’s crazy-cool and the support from business leaders such as Marge Wilson, owner of “Marge’s Donut Den”, and our pal Steve Sturim, is what makes this type of event successful. It’s a ground swell that works from the “inside out”. Of course the other ingredient is a well-run police department. They show friendly control and in turn gets major respect from the attendees, something I really appreciate from both sides.
Even though it was a quick trip, and the show was a major time consumer, we were able to enjoy a pre-party BBQ at Steve’s shop and yet another BBQ at Mike Boerema’s Gas Axe Garage in Allendale, MI. By the way, the guys in the Relix Car Club were all over the place showing off some incredible cars and helping out whenever called upon.
On Sunday, Steve and Mike took a few friends to the Lake Michigan shore; our destination was a worthy one: a BBQ/beer restaurant. You know when I think of great BBQ it’s either Missouri or Texas—if that’s what you think also, then you’d be wrong! Go see for yourself.
The Snug Harbor Restaurant at the beach in Grand Haven, MI is stunning and like I said last year, “I’m in for another trip to the shore. Maybe we’ll get invited back.” Well, we were and it was fantastic!
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the December 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.
Our open house just seems to be getting larger—and this time, I think better. Our main obstacle always has been, and will continue to be, parking, for both hot rods as well as spectators. We had over 40 volunteers plus people who spent a tremendous amount of time making the parking run as smooth as possible.
We now block off a quarter mile of Grand Ave., and hire the Pomona Police Department, supervised by retired Detective Wally Berri, to handle traffic, which has proved time and again, to be the only way to really make things run well.
This year’s street lineup was three wide and stretched a fourth of a mile for a total of a couple hundred cars. That added to the 130 rides already on the property, putting us conservatively at 330-plus rods, customs and muscle cars. That’s a lot of modified vehicles for just a 5-hour show!
Many thanks go to the Palm Spring Cruising Association for making the thankless job of parking hot rods a walk in the park. They had their part of the gig done in less than 45 minutes. Well done to all, especially the over 3000 patient guests!
One last thing—I’m sharing a few more photos than normal this time around, and if you were there, terrific; if not, enjoy and see you next year!
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the October 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.
Sign up now for the Motortopia newsletter!