We stopped in LaPorte Indiana for their Official Cruise Night ran by the Rusted Knuckles Car and Truck Club. We were happy we did as there was a pleasant number of Mopars that attended.
You might think this is your normal cruise-in event where everybody meets up in a parking lot for a few hours and then splits. No, this event looked like a scene from American Graffiti.
Before the cruise took place cars and trucks from 1989 and older gathered at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds for a window Sticker, food, dyno, and to hang out with friends. We did not get an exact car count, but in past years this event has brought in as many as 500 vehicles.
While getting ready at the fairgrounds, the city of LaPorte shut down two miles of major highways cutting through the city: Highway 2 and Highway 39. After a few hours of hanging out at the fairgrounds, the vehicles with the Rusted Knuckle Car Cruise window sticker received a police escort to the cruise route.
If you did not have the sticker, you were not allowed on the cruise, so no random minivans or basic traffic were in the mix. The cars would make their way from one end to the other and loop back around. Two lanes each direction for two miles were packed full of all kinds of cars.
The cruise packed a little bit of everything including pro-touring, pro-street, cruisers, drag cars, muscle cars, hot rods, low riders, and even a few vintage cab over semis could be seen on the cruise. It lasted from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, cruising back and forth all night.
Normally a lot of events like this, we do not encounter too many other Mopars. This time around was different and we found Ram Chargers, Super Bees, Challengers, Dusters, Darts, Shelby Chargers and even a Super Bird. Many of them showed up ready to cruise.
The community treated this event just like a parade with people and their families packed on the sidewalks to watch, smell, and listen to these machines. If your car started to overheat, if you needed a break, or if you wanted a bite to eat or watch the awesome cars roll by, street parking was available only to the cruise participants.
We cruised and then parked for a little while to mingle with the crowd. We had some great conversations about our Super Bee.
There are much bigger events and some with a lot higher grade vehicles, but this felt like we stepped back into time. We almost forgot that fuel was $4 a gallon. A lot of the businesses stayed busy all night and the town was very welcoming of the cruise night. We hope to see more events like this soon.