Cruise Nite: Pre-1975 automotive feast, balmy evening draw crowd

September 12, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe next to the last Cruise Nite of the season drew a huge crowd to East Main Street Friday, where people enjoyed the pre-1975 automotive feast for the eyes and had a heck of a time enjoying themselves and the balmy evening.“Michael’s car was chosen for the T-shirt this month,” said Jerry Pupiche of Santa Paula with a smile of her husband Michael’s classic green-on-green 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad - with matching green fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror - featured on the September Cruise Nite T-shirt, as rendered by noted artist Wendell Dowling. Pupiche has owned the Nomad for about three years; he bought it restored, but Jerry noted he has two others he is restoring back to showroom condition.Maggie Garcia of Santa Paula admitted that Friday was the first time she attended Cruise Nite, now celebrating its 10th year of people pleasing classic and antique vehicles. “The evening is nice and this is wonderful, wonderful,” she noted.A classic Studebaker delivery van - is there any other kind? - more resembled a military vehicle, with polished rivets seeming to hold its series of panels standing out against the flat black paint job.“I see a lot of cars here I used to own,” said Bob Richardson of Santa Paula as he hungrily eyed the line of classic vehicles that Friday - as in each Cruise Nite month - stretched from 10th to 7th streets and spilled onto side streets for viewing enjoyment.
At the foot of the Odd Fellows Clock Tower “Badookus” played to the delight of the crowd especially those who said they remembered several band members from two popular 1970s bands, “Deuce” and “Bacchus.”“We always love Cruise Nite, the cars, the music and the restaurants,” said Cathy Thompson of Camarillo. Cruise Nite draws visitors and participants from throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.Area restaurants are also big with Cruise Nite fans, and several offer specials for the huge crowd of hungry visitors. The October 3 Cruise Nite will be the last of the season.

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