Car people cruise in: Enthusiasts gather in Kannapolis

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2022

KANNAPOLIS — The horseshoe lawn section of the North Carolina Research Campus was lined with cars from classic to contemporary on Saturday.

This was the latest show in this year’s Kannapolis Cruise-In series organized by the Concord’s East Coast Cruisers. The nonprofit organizes the annual show series and raises money for different charitable efforts via donations and merchandise sales. On Saturday, Shriner hospitals were the beneficiaries.

Organizer Art Keylin said the casual shows lost some attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. More folks are coming out now, but he said before the pandemic cars would line the entire walkway. The shows also ran into bad luck, with rain on the first three dates, and Keylin said a lot of car people do not want to get their carefully maintained rides wet and dirty.

Saturday was bright and sunny. Organizers were expecting rain earlier in the day, but the morning forecast pushed back that possibility to the evening. Bringing a car is free and there is no competitive element to the shows. Classics were lined up next to brand new Corvettes as the crowd milled around all the cars on display.

Alan Gordon was at the show with his mechanically stock 1974 Corvette. He has owned a few cars for fun over the years but described himself as a hobbyist. He got the Corvette four years ago and had several BMWs before that, noting he has always had some kind of similar wheels around.

“I’ve been a car guy since I was 5 years old,” Gordon said. “Everything since I was a kid has always revolved around a set of wheels, whether it was a bicycle, motorcycle, trucks or whatever.”

Gordon said he likes to make it out to casual car meets like this when he has the time, and his favorite part is relaxing and striking up conversations with people there.

“Cars are some of the best conversation starters in the world,” he said. “At least for car people.”

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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