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posted: 6/22/2014 6:00 AM

The star of this cruise night was storytelling

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  • Many photo opportunities could be found among the autos at Randhurst Village's first cruise night.

      Many photo opportunities could be found among the autos at Randhurst Village's first cruise night.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • Gail Goldsmith of Palatine receives the Classic Car Champion award from Matthew Avery.

      Gail Goldsmith of Palatine receives the Classic Car Champion award from Matthew Avery.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • Tom Skipa of Arlington Heights views cars displayed during the Randhurst Village Cruise Night June 18 in Mount Prospect.

       Tom Skipa of Arlington Heights views cars displayed during the Randhurst Village Cruise Night June 18 in Mount Prospect.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A 1968 Chevy Corvair was among the vehicles at Randhurst Village first cruise night in Mount Prospect.

       A 1968 Chevy Corvair was among the vehicles at Randhurst Village first cruise night in Mount Prospect.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Chevy station wagons displayed at Randhurst Village Cruise Night. The Mount Prospect shopping center will have two more cruises this summer, on July 16 and Aug. 20.

       Chevy station wagons displayed at Randhurst Village Cruise Night. The Mount Prospect shopping center will have two more cruises this summer, on July 16 and Aug. 20.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • In the two years Gail Goldsmith of Palatine has owned her 1969 Karmann Ghia, she's had the engine rebuilt and replaced the badging. She had just gotten the car back the morning of the cruise night after having the interior redone in paisley-patterned leather.

      In the two years Gail Goldsmith of Palatine has owned her 1969 Karmann Ghia, she's had the engine rebuilt and replaced the badging. She had just gotten the car back the morning of the cruise night after having the interior redone in paisley-patterned leather.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • Nick Priola brought his 2002 Jeep Liberty, one of four by artist Paul Clawson commissioned by United Auto Workers and Chrysler in remembrance of Sept. 11. Clawson worked as a paint artist at the Toledo, Ohio, Jeep plant.

      Nick Priola brought his 2002 Jeep Liberty, one of four by artist Paul Clawson commissioned by United Auto Workers and Chrysler in remembrance of Sept. 11. Clawson worked as a paint artist at the Toledo, Ohio, Jeep plant.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • This Packard was voted Fan Favorite by those who attended the cruise night.

      This Packard was voted Fan Favorite by those who attended the cruise night.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • Rescue 4 was driven to the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. It has been restored by the Schaumburg-based Remembrance Rescue Project.

      Rescue 4 was driven to the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. It has been restored by the Schaumburg-based Remembrance Rescue Project.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • Two race-ready classics at the Randhurst Village Cruise Night.

      Two race-ready classics at the Randhurst Village Cruise Night.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • The Pontiac Trans AM display featured an original 1969 and a 25th and 30th anniversary special editions.

      The Pontiac Trans AM display featured an original 1969 and a 25th and 30th anniversary special editions.
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

  • The Volo Auto Museum brought out its KITT from "Knight Rider."

      The Volo Auto Museum brought out its KITT from "Knight Rider."
    Courtesy of Matt Avery

 
 

The passion for automobiles shines like glossy paint, gleaming chrome and crystal-clean engines.

At the very heart of car culture is the sharing of motoring memories. After interviewing hundreds of vehicle owners, I've found that every classic car has a unique story.

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On Wednesday we revisited some of the stories and autos previously featured in this Classic Recollections column -- and learned about some new ones -- at the first of three summer cruise nights being sponsored by the Daily Herald and Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect.

This event, like car shows and cruise nights throughout the suburbs, was dedicated to sharing and enjoying the fond recollections behind our beloved classic, custom and collector cars.

Our show included a special gathering of' Feature Cars from Classic Recollections. These included Gail Wise and her 1964 Ford Mustang, the Remembrance Rescue Project's Rescue 4 fire truck, and a special display by the Midwest First Generation Firebird Club that included a 1969 Pontiac Trans Am and two later anniversary editions.

The Volo Auto Museum also brought out KITT from the "Knight Rider" TV show. This family-friendly event offered face painting, balloon twisting and a chance for both young and old to climb aboard a Mount Prospect Fire Department fire engine.

Trophies were awarded for Fan Favorite as well as my personal selection, the Matt Avery Classic Car Champion. Most auto show prizes are given out based on a vehicle's over-the-top appearance or factory-exact condition, but I searched the parking lot for a vehicle that had unique memories -- a good story -- associated with it.

My award went to Gail Goldsmith of Palatine and her delightful 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

"As an 8-year old girl I would drive downtown with my dad to visit the drugstore he owned," she said. "We'd always pass a green Ghia parked out front. I'd point it out and say, 'One day I'll own one of those.' "

Goldsmith's husband surprised her with the car for her birthday in 2012. It came from Arizona where it had sat in a garage for 20 years.

It's fond memories like these that are worth preserving, sharing and reliving.

If you want to take part in more four-wheeled fun, be sure to attend the next two Randhurst Village Cruise Nights on July 16 and Aug. 20.

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