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posted: 7/26/2010 12:01 AM

Cruise Nights bring out oldies but goodies

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  • Lisle resident Ed Czyz has loved muscle cars as long as he could drive and bought this 1969 Plymouth Road Runner at auction. He displays the car at cruise nights in Lisle.

      Lisle resident Ed Czyz has loved muscle cars as long as he could drive and bought this 1969 Plymouth Road Runner at auction. He displays the car at cruise nights in Lisle.
    Courtesy of Robert Kelly Studio

 
 

Car lovers of all ages will share memories, friendships and bygone times in the automotive industry as Lisle returns to yesteryear with its Lisle 2010 Oldies But Goodies Cruise Nights.

Downtown Main Street will feature antique, vintage and classic vehicles sporting curvy lines, pointed wings and mirror shines. The event is a chance to get up close and personal with a Chevrolet Bel Air, Model T Ford or VW Beetle.

Did you ever count the number of Beetles you could find on a road trip? Old cars seem to evoke thoughts of your first new car, the green bomb your brother drove or a replica from a Steve McQueen movie chase.

"Ever since I was in high school in the late '60s, I enjoyed muscle cars," Ed Czyz said.

The longtime Lisle resident started cruising with his classic cars 15 years ago. In June, his 1969 Plymouth Road Runner won the coveted People's Choice Award at the Lisle show, voted on by vehicle owners and the public.

"I had similar cars before, but never one this nice until now," he said.

Czyz bought the completely restored vehicle at auction in 2009. Only 2,100 similar cars were manufactured, making the bronze-fire metallic convertible with white top a rare find.

"It is a car from my era; one I always wanted," Czyz said. "I didn't have to do anything to it but enjoy it."

Lisle resident Clarence Teska owns a 1926 Model T Ford four-door sedan. He bought his unique "Channel" green vehicle in 1999 and spent two years restoring the car with help from his son, Dan Teska.

"When I work on my car, I can see how cars evolved from something this simple," Teska said. "Everything in the car is an original or an exact duplication of how the car looked in 1926."

All controls are on the steering wheel and the windshield wipers are hand-operated.

"I am only the fourth owner of this car," Teska said. "It was kept inside for 35 years."

Teska brings his car to schools to show young students a bit of history. In 2009, Teska won the Police Chief Award at a Lisle cruise night.

Longtime Lisle resident Scott Weipert came to the hobby of collecting cars when he retired and purchased his two-tone green 1930 Model A Ford coupe. In June, he won the Mayor's Choice Award at the Lisle cruise night.

"I belong to a couple of Model A clubs," Weipert said. "Last year, a guy in one of the clubs wanted to sell this model to purchase another one and I ended up buying the car. I've done things mechanically to it, but body-wise it is as I bought it."

Weipert said a Model A has parts available, is simple to work on and is more affordable than the muscle cars.

"My car has been repainted at sometime in the past 80 years, but it was painted the correct factory colors," Weipert said. "Ford made several different Model A body styles and this is the one I like best."

The two remaining Lisle 2010 Oldies But Goodies Cruise Nights are 6 to 9 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 28. The events are sponsored by Evviva! Bar and Eatery, 1017 Front St., Lisle.

Organizers include Old Gold Cruisers, with DJ Ron Clark playing '50s and '60s music. There are vendor giveaways, a 50/50 raffle and prize raffles with gifts donated by local businesses.

Organizer Kitty Murphy knew how popular the hundreds of car magazines are in her store, The Nook, 4738 Main St. So when the downtown business council was looking for a regular event to draw people to Lisle, she suggested a cruise night the last Saturday of the month.

The Lisle show is a cruise night, which differs from a car show because there is no admission fee and all vehicles need to be at least 25 years old.

"We mixed the best of both because we have more of a block party atmosphere with no admission fee and yet we still give out trophies," Murphy said.

The largest Lisle show to date was 199 vehicles. Since a lot of people spend a great deal of time keeping cars in pristine condition, good weather helps both attendance and participation.

"The setting is ideal because we close off the street between Ogden and Burlington avenues and only the old cars are allowed to park on Main Street," Murphy said.

This arrangement permits even more space than Lisle's typical wide sidewalks and landscaped sitting areas. Fire trucks, DARE cars and a moon jump appeal to the youngsters, along with free cotton candy, compliments of Weldon Hardware, 4715 Main St.

Trophy awards include the Mayor's and People's Choice awards, in addition to the Fire and Police Chief awards, Lisle Convention and Visitors Bureau Award and the Lisle Downtown Business Council Award. B. Gunther, 4742 Main St., donates trophy engraving.

Emphasizing Lisle's green efforts, the Lisle Oil Depot, 1012 Ogden Ave., will accept used motor oil in a plastic container and vehicle tires for environmentally safe disposal and recycling during cruise nights. There is a $3 fee per tire.

Many downtown restaurants and some stores remain open for cruise nights, including the Triftique Boutique on Main Street.

Although Main Street is closed to traffic, there is plenty of free parking at the village commuter lots around Lisle Station.

Cruise Nights are proving that, in addition to its charming ambience and variety of stores, downtown Lisle is also a great location for fun, food and family times.

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