Yesterday’s downtown cruise-in went well enough to impress the unimpressible: teenagers.
“This is incredible,” said 18-year-old Clark Gronek, of Cleveland, Ohio. “We’ve never seen so many cars like this.”
Gronek stumbled upon the Mayberry Cool Cars & Rods Cruise-In while visiting his uncle in Elkin with Julia Lang, 18, of Cleveland, Ohio.
“We’re just amazed,” Lang said.
A sunny, hot July day fit the beach theme of this month’s cruise-in, which are held every third Saturday of the month from June through October.
The sunny weather helped draw about 250 vintage automobiles whose owners who didn’t have to worry about rain drops on their wax jobs.
The shiny, colorful vehicles lined both sides of Main Street and Franklin Street.
Although Robert Moncus didn’t have to worry about the finish on his old police truck — it’s covered in rust — the crooning, animatronic Big Mouth Billy Bass mounted on the passenger side door begged consideration.
Moncus’s truck, with a hood ornament consisting of a blinking red light Rudolph nose and coonskin-cap-wearing deer skull, and a “mewnshine” still on the back fender, was a hit with the crowd, who puzzled out different expressions painted in yellow on the side: “LOKUL POLIZE OFFUZER” and “WE HEYR 2 SURV U.”
Phil Marsh, president of the Downtown Business Association and cruise-in organizer, was pleased with the turn out.
“It’s huge,” said Marsh. “Main Street is covered with cars, Franklin Street is covered, and a lot of nice people come with them.”
Marsh extended his appreciation to the sponsors and merchants who make the cruise-in possible.
“It’s a great thing for the community,” he said. “It gives friends and neighbors a chance to get together. It brings people to town and we want them to feel welcome.”
Tom and Bonnie O’Neill, on their way home to Babylon, New York, were happy they to stumbled upon the cruise-in.
“We knew we wanted to come to Mayberry but this is the best,” Bonnie O’Neill said.
Alan and Linda Russell, of Ernul, asked Woodie Johnson of Pilot Mountain to take their picture next to Johnson’s 1965 Ford Mustang.
“We got married in ‘68 and we drove a ‘65 Mustang,” Linda Russell said.
“We got married in ‘68, too,” Johnson told her, pointing to his wife Eula Johnson, and then the group made their picture together.
“My daddy was born here,” Russell explained. “We come here once a year and just have to walk these streets. There just happened to be a car show today.”
Showing off her goosebump-covered arms, Russell said, “I’m so excited. I tear up when I think about it.”
George Smith, here from Fancy Gap, Virginia, with wife Renate Smith, had posted a for sale sticker on his ornate 1935 Buick.
“You can’t change wives,” he joked, “but you can change cars and add spice to your life.”
In the Buick’s back seat, a mannequin wearing an old-fashioned mobster suit held a toy machine gun.
“That’s Lenny,” Smith said. “He’s here to take on Barney Fife.”
The next Mayberry Cruise-in will be held on Aug. 15. The monthly cruise-ins begin at 4 p.m. and wrap-up around 8 p.m. For more cruise-in information, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MayberryCoolCarsandRodsCruiseIn.