Fans of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In filled Fraser Hwy between 264th Street and 272nd Street with an estimated 1,400 cool vehicles, and many times that number of visitors, who packed the street and several side roads and parking lots for the Saturday, Sept. 10 event.
A slightly frazzled Riccardo Sestito, president of the Cruise-In said it was hard to provide an exact number, because in the scramble to accommodate so many vehicles, some didn’t didn’t formally register, but still made donations to the charitable fundraiser.
“We’re crammed,” Sestito summed up for the Langley Advance Times.
“We’re full. We ran out of room. We’ve cars parked on every little cranny you could find. It’s one for the records.”
Even harder is estimating crowd size when people can come and go anywhere along the route. But based on the sheer congestion, it may have been a record.
‘It’s fantastic to see the crowds come out to support us,” Sestito said.
Southern California custom car legend Jimmy Shine was back, looking for a winner of the coveted Shine Speed Shop Award of Excellence, with the previous year’s winner Sean ‘Hollywood’ Sinclaire, a former Langley resident who lives in Parksville, and Karl Fisher of Missions’ Make It Kustom shop.
Shine explained he can make suggestions about worthy candidates, but the pick was up to the previous winner, Sinclaire.
“The final decision falls on this man, here,” Shine said.
Sinclaire was looking for someone who “put their hearts and soul” into their creation, and so was Fisher.
“You can tell how someone loves a car,” Fisher remarked.
“That’s what I’m looking for.”
Late in the day, the winner was announced — Trevor Williams from Nanaimo, who will be making the pick at next year’s Cruise-In.
Aldergrove’s Menno Wiesehahn brought his never-restored, immaculate 1966 Acadian.
“It’s never been painted,” Wiesehahn said.
“The interior’s original, the paint’s original, the chrome’s original — it’s completely untouched.”
It looked like it had just driven off a showroom floor.
He explained it had one previous owner, a Saskatchewan woman who never took it out when there was salt on the road.
“She brought it brand new, she didn’t like driving in rain or snow, so she just didn’t.”
Wiesehahn has been a faithful Cruise-In participant since it started.
“I definitely like the fact that it’s now in Aldergrove, because I live like three blocks from the car show,” he commented.
Chuck Dudek brought his 1956 Buick Special two-door hardtop, with a small sign suggesting it might be for sale.
Dudek, who moved from Nanaimo with his wife Rose to their new home between Langley and Fort Langley, explained the sale was being forced by a lack of space for vehicles.
“We don’t have room for them all, and something must be sacrificed, and I begged the wife to keep me,” he laughed.
Rose, he added, is a car fan herself, one who ranks the Buick as her favourite ride.
“An enjoyable partner for a car person like me,” he said, smiling.
After COVID restrictions prevented In-N-Out Burger from coming across the border last year, the iconic American hamburger chain’s portable restaurant returned, and so did the the long lineups of patient burger lovers.
Dan and Deirdre Taylor from Willoughby arrived at 8:15 a.m., and by 11 they were nearing the front of the line.
Deirdre explained they developed a taste for the fresh-tasting In-N-Out burgers during a visit to California.
“[It’s a] fresh tasting burger,” she explained. “They take pride in the food they make.”
Dan said “they do one thing and they do it well,” adding the wait is part of the experience, and worth it.
“Absolutely,” Deirdre agreed.
More photos from the day can be viewed on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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