The first Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-In of the 2016 summer season drew a crowd of that exceeded expectations on Saturday.
The monthly cruise-ins presented by the Downtown Business Association features a gathering of classic and vintage vehicles on the third Saturday of the month, all parking along Main Street for everyone’s enjoyment
“We’ve got the whole street full and side streets as well, and lots of people cruising up and down the road,” said Dock Merritt, a downtown business owner and association member.
“There are a lot of new cars I haven’t seen here before,” he said. “Hopefully this is going to be the beginning of a good cruise-in summer.”
Chip Bondurant, of Mount Airy, also noted the auspicious start to the season, rolling on to Main Street in his red 1967 Ford Mustang.
“This is the biggest one I’ve been to in four, five years,” he said. “It’s a great turnout.”
Robert Brindle, owner of a 1937 Chevy pickup and organizer of the Dobson cruise-ins, agreed.
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen,” he said, glad that the season had finally kicked off. “We’ve been waiting for it all spring.”
Within the crowd, some northern transplants bonded over a shared interest in a particular stock car, the northern dirt modified.
Brian Miller, of Cana, Virginia, brought his version of the racing car to the cruise-in Saturday, which he had rebuilt in tribute to his father-in-law.
The car drew the attention of Ray Samson, of Ithaca, New York, who recently purchased a home in Mount Airy.
“The guy’s like a magnet to me today,” Miller said of Samson.
“He drove by and I said, ‘Don’t go away, I have got to see that car,’” Samson said. “I used to race these back home.”
The father of Miller’s wife, Virginia, used to race them too, back home in Flemington, New Jersey, as did Brian Miller’s father.
That’s how the couple met.
“I’ve known her since I was 7,” Brian Miller said. “My father and father-in-law used to race together. We knew each other from the races.”
Thought they only bring out one vehicle at a time, Miller also has a tribute car in honor of his own father, and Virginia Miller’s brother.
“Three generations, three tribute cars,” Miller said.
Next month’s cruise-in is scheduled for July 16 and will feature a beach theme. A new addition will be a reserved area for vintage motorcycles located in the parking lot behind the gazebo area on Main Street, Merritt said.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.