Wheaton cruise-in is crowd pleaser

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
In a 1972 GMC, JJ Jones, of Granby, and Garry Gold, of Aurora, show why the burnouts were the crowd's favorite at the Wheaton Street Machines' cruise-in June 1. Democrat Photo/Joshua Boley

Rumbling engines, squalling tires and laughter filled the air of Main Street in Wheaton, Saturday, June 1 as the Wheaton Street Machines car club hosted its monthly cruise-in.

According to members of the club and regular attendees, turnout for last Saturday's event was lighter than normal. However, despite few numbers close to 30 cars and motorcycles lined both sides of Wheaton's Main Street.

Not only does the cruise-in provide outdoor entertainment for the locals, but it also brings in car fans from surrounding areas including Cassville, Monett and Aurora. These fans included Jan Crist, from Monett, who drove to the event in her 1968 Firebird convertible automatic with a 400-cubic-inch motor.

The first Saturday of every month during the summer, Wheaton's Main Street is the location of Wheaton Street Machines' cruise-in. The event begins at 5 p.m. and ends at dark. Cars and motorcycles line both sides of Main Street and provide a nice evening of entertainment for locals. Democrat Photo/Joshua Boley

"It's a good place to talk to people and see people you may not see every day and talk about cars," Crist said.

While the Wheaton Street Machines cruise-in provides a place to socialize with other car lovers the number one reason to attend the show according to club members and patrons is the burnout. Club president Larry Rogers said the Wheaton cruise-in is the only event in the area to offer burnouts.

"Anyone can sign a waiver and do a controlled burnout on a red/green stoplight 'til you dang near pop the tires, and some of them do," Rogers said.

Part of the reason the burnouts are the crowd's favorite is due to individuals like JJ Jones, of Granby.

"I come to have fun and burn up a set of tires," Jones said. His goal is to literally pop or shred a tire. "I am number one when it comes to burnouts."

Chris Ruscha and wife, Sheila, from Verona, said they started coming one year and enjoyed it so much that they just kept coming back.

"It is a good, safe, clean place to bring your kids." Sheila Ruscha said.

Local Leona Goswick attended the show with her grandchildren and just enjoys seeing all the old cars.

"We have a good crowd for a small town." Goswick said. 'I am really impressed as to the people that turn out."

The Wheaton Street Machines car club will host its next cruise-in on Saturday, July 5 beginning at 5 p.m.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: