Hundreds of cars of all makes and models came to Santa Paula and lined the Streets from 7th to 10th Streets last Friday Night. This was the first Cruise Nite of 2008. Cruise Nite will be held the first Friday of each month through October. (Photos by Don Johnson)

Great crowd: Cruise Nite revs up car lovers as 10th season debuts

April 09, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesFrom a 1951 turquoise Ford with flirty dark blue pin-stripping, white wall tires and turquoise dice atop the lock buttons to Pat Higgins’ 1963 red convertible Nova Super Sport, Cruise Nite revved up Main Street Friday night, giving hundreds of car lovers a look at more than 100 sweet rides. Celebrating the start of its 10th anniversary season, Cruise Nite - which features only pre-1975 classic and vintage cars - was a hit with locals and visitors alike.“We’re here with the dune buggy,” said Santa Paulan Linda Wilkinson of her husband Norm’s hobby, rebuilt four years ago and a Cruise Nite regular ever since. When asked, Wilkinson said the allure of Cruise Nite is “people love seeing all the cars, the kids love the noise of the engines revving, the excitement.”“Just look at all the people,” said John Chamberlain of Santa Paula. “This is wonderful.” An avocado green Malibu, hot rods, Model Ts, muscle cars, sports cars and more stretched along Main Street from 10th to 7th Street.“It’s perfect,” noted Dave Anderson, a Cruise Nite co-founder. “We’ve had more of a turnout than we expected,” including filling more than 50 percent of the spaces on the block between 8th and 7th streets, added for this year for the event. “We expect we’ll fill that block for May’s Cruise Nite... the weather will be warmer” and the word will be out that more display parking space is available.“By the time we closed the street at 5 p.m., the parking spaces were full between 8th and 10th streets,” said Anderson. “We’re looking for people to keep coming out... we’ve had a good crowd tonight.”
The Les Maland Plaza below the Odd Fellows Clock Tower featured the Cruise Knights, who played old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. The only discordant note of the evening was that some who did not heed the “No Parking” signage placed out well in advance of the 5 p.m. start time had their non-display vehicles ticketed.“It’s a great turnout for the first of the season,” said Mayor Bob Gonzales; and Chamber of Commerce CEO John Blanchard - who was distributing bilingual Chamber brochures - agreed. “I love Cruise Nite... Vince’s is packed, Mupu is bustling,” both eateries filled to capacity with hungry Cruise Nite visitors.Santa Paula Police Department Sergeant Ish Cordero sported one of the nifty new retro Cruise Nite sport shirts - its logo featuring the Odd Fellows Clock Tower - worn by event co-sponsor Santa Paula Police Officers Association, whose members act as event staff. “People have been asking me about the shirts” so much that Cordero said the SPPOA might consider selling modified versions to the public.“It’s so great, you come out and see people that you haven’t seen in such a long time,” said René Smead of Santa Paula. “We brought some people from Ventura,” who visited Cruise Nite with their children, and “they had no idea that we do this or that something like this, this fun, could happen in a small town.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.