Classic car cruise-in doesn’t disappoint

Published 12:10 am Friday, August 25, 2023

SALISBURY — Classic cars were on display on North Main Street this past Saturday for Salisbury Downtown
Cruisers first annual Don’t Hide ‘em…Drive ‘em classic car cruise-in which showcased vehicles from the

Car enthusiasts filled parking lots and parking spaces on Main Street to display their unique styles representing
different eras of hot rodding and street rodding while showing off interiors, paint finishes and engines
with hoods raised, giving visitors to downtown businesses an additional treat.

The event ran from 2-6 p.m. and was headquartered at the parking lot on then corner of Main and Kerr streets, and occupied two and half city blocks. Event organizer Doug Ray, a member of the Salisbury Downtown Cruisers Facebook group, which has 3,500 members from Salisbury and surrounding towns, hosted the event, which included 362 classic cars and an estimated 1,500 spectators during the four-hour event.

“I am simply amazed at the turnout,” said Ray. “This took a lot of planning and cooperation with county and city officials to bring here to Salisbury. While we were not expecting this large of a turnout, we planned for it and were prepared. It is great seeing our community of car enthusiasts showing support for Salisbury and local businesses. We have people from as far away as Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro attending. We all attend car cruise-ins in other cities while leaving ours behind. Salisbury has a history built around transportation and a rich heritage of cruising that it is part of our city’s history and tells a story.”

The cruise-in event offered something for everyone. Free Hot Wheels die cast cars were handed out to children by one attendee while an actual replica Hot Wheel Cruiser Truck was displayed, along with replica of the 1960s Batmobile.

Food vendors were on site along with music playing favorite hits from the 1960s through the 1980s when cruising was popular. Door prizes that local businesses donated were giving away to lucky attendees.

“This is great for Rowan County and Salisbury tourism,” Ray said. “Just look at the people on the sidewalks walking around on a Saturday afternoon. It feels great. It looks great for Salisbury, and it fits. Everyone is smiling and asking when the next one is going to be.”

Photos courtesy Larry Helms, Ken Bean and Doug Ray.