St. Clair ShoresAugust 20, 2012
Cruisers excited for ‘down-home’ feel of Harper Ave.
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
It’s the small-town feel that draws car-lovers to the cruise on Harper each year.
“The Harper Cruise is nice and quiet; it’s lots of fun,” said David Olsen, of New Baltimore, who grew up in St. Clair Shores. “The Harper Cruise is more of a family (event), not a show off.”
Kris Stoicevich, of Clinton Township, agreed. She said her husband, Tom, takes his 1969 Plymouth Road Runner to many cruises, but the Harper Cruise is the only one she accompanies him to.
“It’s got that down-home feel, and it’s just cool,” she said. “I really, really enjoy it, and I think the organizers do a great job, and we’re looking forward to it.”
This year’s cruise is set for 5-9 p.m. Aug. 29 along Harper Avenue, and Olsen will be among the automobile enthusiasts filling the streets with his 1939 Buick Doctor’s Coupe.
Buick made only 250 vehicles of the model.
“It’s a very rare car,” Olsen said. “It had the shelf in the back to put all your paperwork on, and that’s what distinguished them.”
He’s had the ice blue car for almost seven years and spent eight years longing for it before he was able to buy it from the man across the street from his workplace in Roseville.
“Everybody wanted to cut the car up and turn it into a hot rod,” Olsen said.
But he didn’t — he’s spent the past seven years getting it back into its original condition, complete with the same engine stickers a buyer would have seen in 1939.
“Everything on the car was pretty well dry-rotted,” he said. “Basically, I took everything apart on the car and put everything back on the car and cleaned it. It’s been a job.”
He’s put miles on it during Sunday drives and traveling to car shows and cruises — “I’ve been to Woodward,” he said. “They keyed my car there; they did a lot of damage to it.”
But he likes the feel of the Harper Cruise, which he’s been attending since 2007, because it isn’t as congested as some other shows.
“It’s for the charity, for the kids. I’m all for that,” he said.
So is Tom Stoicevich, who will be cruising the avenue in his “Bahama yellow” completely restored Road Runner, like he has been for at least the past seven years.
The muscle car has “mini-tubbed” tires, which are “enormous tires in the rear of the car that are tucked under,” he said. “It’s an enhancement for appearance and traction. It’s always better to have a larger tire on the back of a muscle car.”
The Stoicevichs have a large group of fellow cruisers that they always see at the event and spend most of their time socializing with the different groups.
“The Harper Cruise seems to be a little more personable, a little more eastside-ish,” Tom Stoicevich said.
“We’re drifters because Tom has, over the years, developed rapport with a number of business owners along the way, and they’ve got their spots,” agreed Kris Stoicevich. “We like to drive through and check out all the vehicles over at the Kmart on Harper. We make a couple stops and get back into the cruising lane … enjoy the view of the other cars that are going up and down.”
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