Toronto Photo Essay: Cruisin' on a Saturday Night
Photos and writing by guest contributor Hamish Grant.
Saturday night, pull out on the boulevard in your big block Chevy and cruise with the top down, see some friends and have a good time. How many songs have been written about this favourite pastime?
North Americans' love of the automobile is once again under fire as gas prices rise and environmental concerns make our dependence on non-renewable energy unreasonable. Our recent obsession with SUVs and newly redesigned muscle cars, while never economical, has acquired a ugly, irresponsible stigma resulting in plummeting sales for the big three automakers.
For some, however, it's not about the price of gas, it's always been simply a love affair with the thing itself: the automobile, and streetclassics.ca have been bringing the love to a Canadian Tire parking lot on the Queensway, every Saturday night during the summer.
Boasting an informal membership in the hundreds, Streetclassics holds their "cruise nights" in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire at Queensway and Hwy 427. By 8pm on a recent Saturday they had over 350 cars in the lot, from a beautifully restored Ford Model "A" to a Delorean, and everything in between.
Looking around one can see cliques of Corvettes, Cameros and Cars With Fins, but the one thing that everyone seems to have in common is pride - many owners have spent weeks, months, even years restoring their cars to perfection, and given the chance they will tell you how it all happened day-by-day, part-by-part!
They don't actually "cruise" any more because the permits and liability insurance the government requires make it unreasonable. Of course, this just makes it easier to see the cars and keep up to date with friends, and Streetclassics provides the perfect environment.
Streetclassics provides snacks and drinks, period music playing on the PA and they also sell souvenirs and t-shirts for the club. On September 7th, they held their first classic car auction, benefiting a local charity. Their website has details on this and other activities.
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