Cruise Night time in New London brings again classic automobiles and basic reminiscences
Forty-nine years later, Spicer’s Hoxie is again driving a 1965 Ford Thunderbird.
He and his bride Ann drove him to Country Stop A&W in New London on June 16 for the monthly Cruise Night celebrating the classic cars and the stories they represent.
Spicer’s George Hoxie sits next to his 1965 Ford Thunderbird during Cruise Night at Country Stop A&W in New London on June 16. “I’m an old man doing the memory trail,” he said. The free event, which attracts classic and current cars from the region, takes place from 5:00 p.m. until dusk. every third Wednesday of the month from summer to September. Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune
“I’m an old man working on the memory trail,” said Hoxie, who was sitting in a garden chair next to his tanned Thunderbird. “Yep. Yep. That’s the story.”
Hoxie bought the car in Nebraska four years ago. Aside from fixing some mechanical issues, the car was in pretty good shape.
He likes to bring it to the free summer classic car event with outdoor music and food specials in the A&W, to see other cool cars and to indulge in memories.
“Most of these guys, like me, have stories. Memories, ”said Hoxie. “Old boys and the memory thing. That’s it, ”he said with a laugh.
He speaks the truth.
Willmar’s Bud and Sharon Bloomquist named their 1952 Buick Special “Ruby” because they bought the car for their 40th wedding anniversary, known as the Ruby Anniversary. Bud drove this model of car when they were married. They drove the refurbished vehicle to “Cruise Night” on June 16 at Country Stop A&W in New London. Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune
Lower down in a long line of cars, Bud Bloomquist stood next to his shiny black 1952 Buick Special, which had flashy red wheel hubs with the word “Ruby” on it.
“My wife (Sharon) and I bought it on our 40th wedding anniversary – this is the Ruby anniversary – and she named the car Ruby,” said Bloomquist.
“I had one of these when I married her,” he said.
When they bought the car 12 years ago it was in poor condition with more rust than paint. They covered the car 40,000 miles after fixing it. “It is driven everywhere,” he said.
Cars and memories show up at cruise nights held at venues across central western Minnesota.
The Country Stop A&W in New London is hosting the Cruise Night for the 21st time this year, which takes place on the third Wednesday of the month from May to September from 5:00 p.m. to sunset.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Greg Christenson, who started the monthly event in 2000, shortly after he bought the company.
“There are collector cars, hot rods, street rods, rat rods, so it can go from the 30s to the new ones,” he said. “People will bring some brand new Corvettes, but they will also have some old 30s.”
Greg Christenson stands next to his 1966 Chevelle during Cruise Night at Country Stop A&W in New London. Christenson, who recently sold the business to his son Neil and wife Katie, started the monthly summer car shows 21 years ago. Held every third Wednesday of the month from 5:00 p.m. to dusk, the free event features live outdoor music and culinary specialties. Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune
Reliving memories is a key factor when high school folks drive refurbished cars, Christenson said. But mostly it’s about fun and a night where “people bring their classic cars and show them off and enjoy seeing other people’s cars,” he said.
On June 16, Christenson brought its own restored 1966 Chevelle to the show.
In April, Christenson sold the business to his son and daughter-in-law, Neil and Katie Christenson, who continue the cruise night tradition.
Depending on the weather, the event will bring 80 to 100 vintage cars lined up on the store’s large lawn on State Highway 23 in New London. It’s not uncommon for cars to arrive from neighboring cities like Benson, Long Prairie, Alexandria, Montevideo, Clara City, and St. Cloud. “You come from a lot,” said Christenson.
People listen to live music during a recent “Cruise Night” at Country Stop A&W in New London, where classic car owners put their vehicles on display. The free event takes place every third Wednesday of the month from 5:00 p.m. to dusk from summer to September. Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune
Music is provided by a local artist at each event. In June it was the Blues Brothers tribute band called 1060 West Addison Blues.
The July 21st event features music by Ava Hanson.
Custom Made music group performs on August 18th and 1950s Addison Avenue on September 15th.
Before the Stingers baseball game in Willmar, there will be a special show from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 31 at Bill Taunton Stadium, and the Willmar Car Club will host the Rootbeer and Rides auto show at Country Stop A&W in from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on September 12 New London with music by CJ Dafoe.
For more information on the schedule, call 320-894-5699.