Classic stories and cars get better with time

  • Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle of Addison brought five of its custom vehicles for display at the show, including Kosmic Outcast, a heavily modified 1940 Ford pickup truck.

    Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle of Addison brought five of its custom vehicles for display at the show, including Kosmic Outcast, a heavily modified 1940 Ford pickup truck. Photos Courtesy of Prestige MotorCar Photography

  • Lee Streufert's 1965 Chevrolet Corvette earned Matt Avery's Pick at the first 2015 Daily Herald Cruise Night hosted by Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale.

    Lee Streufert's 1965 Chevrolet Corvette earned Matt Avery's Pick at the first 2015 Daily Herald Cruise Night hosted by Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale.

  • Lee Streufert of Schaumburg, center, receives his plaque from Classic Recollections writer Matt Avery. Streufert attended the show with his brother Lowell, left, also of Schaumburg.

    Lee Streufert of Schaumburg, center, receives his plaque from Classic Recollections writer Matt Avery. Streufert attended the show with his brother Lowell, left, also of Schaumburg.

  • 1965 VW camper bus, Tom Kravcar, Winfield. Kravcar completed a full restoration of the camper in 2012.

    1965 VW camper bus, Tom Kravcar, Winfield. Kravcar completed a full restoration of the camper in 2012.

  • The Fan Favorite Award voting went to Winfield resident Tom Kravcar and his 1965 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper Bus. The vehicle originated from Gibraltar and later made it's way to the states.

    The Fan Favorite Award voting went to Winfield resident Tom Kravcar and his 1965 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper Bus. The vehicle originated from Gibraltar and later made it's way to the states.

  • 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, Brian Elliott, Roselle

    1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, Brian Elliott, Roselle

  • The Classic Gem Award, presented by Stratford Square Mall General Manager Doug Kiehn, left, went to Brian Elliot and his 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. The Roselle resident has owned the car since he was 18.

    The Classic Gem Award, presented by Stratford Square Mall General Manager Doug Kiehn, left, went to Brian Elliot and his 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. The Roselle resident has owned the car since he was 18.

  • The Lutheran Church Charities Kare-9 Military Ministry was in attendance and a big hit with spectators and car owners of all ages. The program allows military veterans returning from service to spend time with the comfort dogs. The animals are named after a dog that gave its life in the service of our country. From left are dogs Britta, Brutus, Brandy, Flex and Spike with handlers Dale Sasse, Norm Gotsch, Marvin Hanks, Fred Vanstrom and Raleigh Showens.

    The Lutheran Church Charities Kare-9 Military Ministry was in attendance and a big hit with spectators and car owners of all ages. The program allows military veterans returning from service to spend time with the comfort dogs. The animals are named after a dog that gave its life in the service of our country. From left are dogs Britta, Brutus, Brandy, Flex and Spike with handlers Dale Sasse, Norm Gotsch, Marvin Hanks, Fred Vanstrom and Raleigh Showens.

 
 
Posted6/21/2015 7:00 AM

Daily Herald Cruise Nights fired up for the 2015 season this past Wednesday, when the first of three summer events was held at Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale.

Stratford Square is hosting the cruise nights in conjugation with the Daily Herald and its weekly Classic Recollections feature in the Auto section. The emphasis will be on spotlighting and celebrating the truly incredible stories and fond motoring memories that lie with each and every vehicle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One that readily stood out last week was the tale of Schaumburg residents Lowell and Lee Streufert and Lee's 1965 Chevrolet Corvette they brought out to cruise night. The two brothers' cousin ordered the iconic sports car new from a St. Louis dealership.

"We thought it was the most beautiful piece of machinery we had ever seen," Lowell said. With a marriage fast approaching, their relative made the tough call to sell his ride after just one year.

Lee jumped at the chance to own the curvaceous drop top and ponied up the needed sum. He and Lowell flew down to St. Louis to drive the new prize home.

Lowell was a senior in high school and can still clearly remember the trip.

"It was a perfect crisp fall day with a beautiful blue sky," the enthusiast said. "The whine of the engine and the rumble of the exhaust is just as vivid; as if it was yesterday."

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Lee was working his way through college and used the 'Vette as his daily driver year round. He recalls one wintry commute from Mount Prospect to Libertyville.

"I slid off the road in the snow. Four guys stopped and we lifted the car and put it back on the road."

Lee also remembers outings with his family, including loading his four children behind the seats for local jaunts. The vehicle continued to be used and loved for nearly 30 years before being rolled into storage for another 20. The impetus to bring it back out and return it to it's road-going glory came from Lowell. "I had this passion to relive those early memories with my brother. I kept thinking, 'If we don't do this now, we're never going to.' "

A frame-off restoration was in order but the Chevy still wears it's original Goldwood Yellow paint it had when it rolled off a St. Louis factory floor.

"The car was produced in June of 1965," said Lowell. "This week it's been fifty years exactly that it rolled off the line."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A new feature for the 2015 shows is the Shop Spotlight, which showcases an area hot rod shop and several of its most recent four-wheeled creations and the stories behind them. Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle in Addison brought out five of its vehicles for display, including Kosmic Outcast, a wild, over-the-top 1940 Ford pickup truck custom.

In addition to this newspaper and Stratford Square, the cruise nights are sponsored by Feeny Autos, Motor Cycle Center and Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. The next event is July 15 and the third and final summer cruise night at the mall will be Aug. 19.

Vehicle registration is free at events.dailyherald.com.

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