Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 18, 2010

The Season Of Wheel Delight

Fancy cars, including this Graham-Paige (yes, our kids are named after a car) star at Concours d'Elegance on the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall (photo by TJ Kozak)

It’s summer—the season of wheel delight in Michigan. Car buffs have a full calendar of annual and impromptu opportunities to ogle other people’s classic vehicles, or show off their own automotive obsessions.

I don’t know if it’s like this in other states, but just about every Michigan community of any size has a designated cruise night at a local hang out—a VFW Hall, strip mall or restaurant (ideally, for those lucky enough to have them, an old-fashioned drive-in like Eddie’s in Harrison Township).

Cruise-ins and classic car shows are a part of many festivals, too. Must be a way to get Dad to participate—or is there another connection between hot rods and the National Baby Food Festival?

One of the few cars I care about: an old Jaguar at the EyesOn Design show at the Ford House (photo by TJ Kozak)

As is their Father’s Day tradition, TJ and Graham will head to the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House this Sunday for the 23rd annual EyesOn Design car show.

The grounds of the Ford scion’s home on Lake St. Clair make a beautiful backdrop for really, really nice and shiny old cars.

Same with the Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook Hall, the mansion built with Dodge family money. Both auto family estates are perfect settings for fancy and rare and wonderful and very expensive examples of vehicles that those in the know appreciate—even revere.

I’m just as impressed with the kind of hot rod happening Paige and I drove past Friday afternoon: a gathering of great looking cars lined up in a shopping mall lot, hoods propped open, proud owners (many of whom probably got their hands dirty doing some or all of the restoration work) plopped in folding chairs, sharing their pride and joy with a bunch of people who delight in their wheels.

Sampling of car events this summer:

June 19-20 – Motor Muster, Greenfield Village, Dearborn

June 20 – EyesOn Design, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores

June 20 – Iron, Steel and the Automobile, Michigan Iron Industry Classic Antique Car Show, Negaunee

June 24-26 – St. Ignace Car Show & Swap Meet, Downtown St. Ignace

July 7-10 – National Antique Oldsmobile Club National Car Show, Lansing

July 25 – Concours d’Elegance, Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester Hills

August 7 – Red Barns Spectacular, Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners

August 17-21 – Back to the Bricks Cruise Weekend, Downtown Flint

August 21 – Woodward Dream Cruise, Detroit’s northern suburbs

August 24-29 – Michigan Old US-27 Motor Tour, Coldwater to Cheboygan

September 11-12 – Old Car Festival, Greenfield Village, Dearborn

For a calendar of Michigan Cruise Nights and Car Shows check out

Take a Model T ride during Motor Muster at Greenfield Village this weekend


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