Berkley resident Greg Reid has driven his 1965 Ford Galaxie XL  convertible in almost every CruiseFest Classic Car Parade.

Berkley resident Greg Reid has driven his 1965 Ford Galaxie XL convertible in almost every CruiseFest Classic Car Parade.

Photo by Mike Koury

CruiseFest to host hundreds of classic cars on 12 Mile in Berkley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 13, 2019


BERKLEY — Just before the Woodward Dream Cruise gets underway, downtown Berkley will have its own annual celebration of classic cars.

The 24th annual CruiseFest Classic Car Parade will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, on 12 Mile Road. Between 300 and 400 vintage vehicles are expected to participate in the festivities.

Outside of the parade, there also will be a kids inflatable zone from 6 to 9 p.m. at 12 Mile and Tyler Avenue; prize booths and giveaways on Griffith and Robina avenues, south of 12 Mile; a food court from 6 to 9 p.m on Robina, south of 12 Mile; performances by the Tri-Community Coalition Street Dance team from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Griffith, north of 12 Mile; and live entertainment from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Nothing new in terms of events were added to this year’s CruiseFest, Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said, as organizers wanted to keep the focus on the cars.

“It’s about the classic cars,” she said. “It’s about all the people coming out. There’s something for all ages, from the bouncers to food vendors to music of a different era, and I think it’s just a really wonderful event for the whole community and everybody that comes into our community.”

The highlight of CruiseFest always has been the parade, and Patrick Quinlan will be participating in his first one.

The Linden native had been coming to CruiseFest for the past couple of years, but 2019 will be the first time he will drive in the parade, as he decided he wanted to be a part of the fun instead of “watching from the sidelines.”

“(CruiseFest is) well-organized, and I like that they don’t have the burnouts and the revving of the engines and stuff like that,” he said. “They’re very well-prepared.”

Quinlan’s vehicle of choice is a 1967 Pontiac Firebird, which he bought on eBay sight unseen from Washington for $7,500. He found the listing for the vehicle was “completely false,” as the engine needed to be redone, the car had a spotty paint job, its brakes and air conditioning needed to be replaced, and it suffered from a host of other ailments.

Instead of getting rid of his new acquisition, Quinlan decided to fix up the Firebird.

“It had potential, so I took what I had, added what I needed and made it into my personal transportation,” he said. “It only comes out on the weekends and nice days. If you put that much work into a car, you kind of want to keep it nice.”

While Quinlan will be driving in the parade for the first time, Berkley resident Greg Reid said he’s driven in every CruiseFest since it started 24 years ago.

And for about as long as the event has gone on, Reid has owned a 1965 Ford Galaxie XL convertible, which he will be driving down 12 Mile.

A 42-year resident of Berkley, Reid has been around the automotive business since he was 14 years old. Being a former employee of Ford and a high school graduate from the same year that his convertible was released, in 1965, he gravitated toward his Galaxie XL.

“It was a Ford, to start with. I’m pretty much a Ford guy,” he said. “It’s kind of a chestnut or a burgundy color with white interior. It really stands out. It just really caught my eye.”

Reid has owned his vehicle for 22 years and has driven it in CruiseFest every single year, an event he likes better than the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“I like CruiseFest better than Woodward because it seems to be a safer environment,” he said. “Everybody’s following along at a safe speed. … It’s a show. It truly is a show.”