Classic cars ride on at Gratiot Cruise
Clinton Township — Classic car fans lined both sides of Gratiot between 14 and 15 Mile Sunday for the annual Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise.
Since its beginning in 2003, the cruise always is held on the first Sunday of August.
There were really, really classic cars like the Model T, cruising along with not quite as old Mustangs, a cream-colored Chevrolet truck that could have been driven in an episode of the classic, “Lassie” television show, and plenty of fuzzy dice hanging from rear-view mirrors.
Then there was David Dix with his special-ordered and built just for him $37,138.72 Challenger, from Parkway Motors. The sleek red car with the black stripes running along the sides was built in 2012, but modeled after the Challengers of the 1970s, Dix said.
“It’s only got about 10,000 miles on it, and it’s five years old now,” said Dix, 60 of Clinton Township. “At first it was going to be a cruise car and for daily driving, but it’s only for cruising.”
Dix stood out, not just for the car, but because he wrote an entire book, as he describes it, about the car. He proudly showed off a binder with page after page of photos taken from the time he signed the paperwork, to five generations of his family standing around the car after it was delivered. The photos accompanied text he wrote about every second of his car-buying adventure.
He even included a photo of the car parked at the cruise last year. At sunrise. While is still was dark outside.
“I was the first one here last year and again this year,” he said. “We got here at about 5:30 this morning.”
All for the love of classic cars.
“I just love cars and cruises and being able to see them all,” he said. “Looking at a car and seeing what man made from scratch is just enjoyable.”
Sharon and Thomas Battle, both 60 of Detroit were among those relaxing along the cruise route.
Sharon Battle was taking photos with her phone, and said among her favorites was the Pontiac Tempest.
“My first car was a 1968 Pontiac Tempest, and I have seen some out here,” she said. “I’m trying to take pictures, but they go by so fast.”
Thomas Battle said being at the Gratiot Cruise was like being back home, because he grew up around the block from where they were sitting near 15 Mile and Gratiot.
“I try to go to all the cruises because I love all vehicles — cars, trucks, bulldozers — anything with wheels,” said Battle, who owns a teal blue 1991 Camaro, but did not bring it to the cruise.
They won’t be attending the Dream Cruise, however, because they’ll be camping in Springfield, Ohio, that weekend.
“I just wish the cruises could stretch all the way down to the Renaissance Center,” he said. “Since this is the Motor City, that would really be nice.”