Rain holds off for 19th annual Cruisin’ Gratiot

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published June 20, 2017

Seeing all the hands that come together to make this happen is great.”

Robert Baker, 2017 Cruisin' Gratiot grand marshal

The 19th annual Cruisin’ Gratiot June 17 had nothing but partly cloudy skies and peeks of sunshine to bring in classic car enthusiasts near and far.

Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter provided his 1942 Hudson Commodore convertible for the cruise as the grand marshal’s vehicle.

Eastpointe resident Robert Baker was nominated by his daughter, Maia, to be the 2017 Eastpointe Cruisin’ Gratiot grand marshal.

“It was fun and exciting. I just had a blast,” Baker said of the VIP parade of convertibles.

After being a part of the cruise, Baker said he appreciates the efforts of the city and committee behind the event.

“I got a better feel of all the work and the people behind the scenes. It’s a lot. I understand it a little bit differently now, and I have a greater appreciation for it. Seeing all the hands that come together to make this happen is great,” he said.

The cruise lane officially opened at 1:30 p.m.

Eastpointe Deputy Chief Eric Kaiser explained the traffic setup for the cruise.

“While it looks very complex, this is the 19th year that we’ve done this and it flows very smoothly. We have written plans; we start the week before putting everything in place — that’s the grooming of the medians, the porta-potties, the food, the aligning of (Department of Public Works) and public safety to make sure everybody has a safe and fun time here. It really goes off without a hitch,” he said.

During cruise day, the inside lane closest to the median is closed off for those who want to cruise in their classic cars without traffic.

About 40 Eastpointe police and reserve officers were directing traffic at different intersections, according to Kaiser.

Eastpointe resident Anthony Migliore brought his 1946 blue Buick Sedan and admired the Hudson collection on display.

“My car is displayed over at East Detroit High School, and I’ve been to the car shows this week,” he said.

“This is the largest collection (of Hudson vehicles) you’ll get to see out of the museums. You don’t see that many. The only time you see this many is at the Gilmore (Car) Museum,” said Migliore.

Eastpointe residents Gary and Michelle Miron bought their Caspian blue 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang convertible three years ago.

“A guy in California was selling it. He brought it here eight years ago, and he stored it in his garage. It’s never seen salt, winter, no bad moisture or anything. He was 84 years old and his name was Bud,” said Miron at the cruise June 17.

The couple brought their Mustang to the First State Bank car show June 14 and won the car show Sponsor’s Choice Trophy.