ESCONDIDO, Calif. — If you’re into classic cars, antiques and hot rods, then this is the place for you. Cruisin’ Grand happens every Friday night along Grand Avenue from April through September. It is rated one of the best classic car cruises in the nation.
“We have a 1957 Chevrolet 150 Handyman,” said car owner Nancy Enlow, who calls her car Tweety because of it’s yellow color. “We bought it pretty much like it is. We haven’t done much to it. It’s got a 350-hp engine in it. We just have lots of fun with it. We drive it. We take it out for ice cream.”
A few seconds after our interview, Enlow got some great news.
“We hadn’t won. This is our first time. So we’re very excited. Thank you.”
Cruisin’ Grand features pre-1970’s vintage cars that slowly cruise up and down Grand Avenue.
“We love it–every bit of it,” said attendees Nancy and Pete Loya. “There’s some gorgeous cars here. We’re in the market. We’re just looking around. Hopefully, someday we get to own one. I like street rods. Muscle cars are good depending on what type they are. I like the Bel Airs especially the ones with the wings on the back.”
American hot rods, classics, antiques and customs are all welcome here.
“This is a 1931 Ford Model A,” said car owner Bill Hussar, who has California Highway Patrol seals on both doors of his antique car. “They built Model As from 1928-31. The Highway Patrol started out in 1928, motorcycles only. About 1930, they decided they could use cars. So they paid the officers $600 to use their own cars. It was a good deal because these Model As cost $550.”
One of the cars that got the most attention is this 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 best known from the movie Back to the Future.
“I bought it after sitting in a friend of mine’s time machine,” said car owner Tony Franceschillo. “I remember these when they were new when I was a teenager. As soon as I sat in it, I thought, I’ve got to have one. I sold my Prius and found one after a while. It was my daily driver for three years. Then, I brought it to Cruisin’ Grand. People started asking where’s your flux capacitor? So I put that in there first and everybody loved it. I thought, ‘All right, they loved that. So I’ll start looking at adding other things.'”
Franceschillo even purchased a Hover Board directly from the manufacturer (Mattel). It sits on the passenger seat next to other props and memorabilia from the classic film. He made a Mr. Fusion home energy reactor out of a Krups coffeemaker.
“It’s just a matter of finding the perfect unit, that one I got on eBay,” he added. “The time circuits I got from a guy in Europe. That was kind of expensive, but they work. The one in the movie didn’t work. They had to do it manually and film it step-by-step.”
Don Hughes owns and operates the Pin Up Culture store right on Grand Avenue. He also showed off his royal blue 1932 Ford Roadster.
“My store kind of evolves into this car cruising and stuff,” Hughes explained. “It’s a full ’40s-’50s’60s inspired clothing store. We’ve got dresses for pin ups, bowling shirts, old school flannel shirts, a full-service salon and and old school barber shop that does shaves. It’s everything to do with back in the ’50s. We do get a boost in business. It makes my Saturdays bigger. People come back.
Denny DuVall owns a 1950 Ford F-1 pickup truck with over 1 million miles on it. He gave his truck the nickname Henry.
“The Borrego Sun was kind enough to publish my three stories,” DuVall said. “Then, at the end of that, I asked the editor, ‘What do you think of the truck having its own column?’ She said, ‘That will be fun.’ So, I have published 33 columns–the truck has and I’m still doing more.”
For more information about Cruisin’ Grand, visit www.cruisingrand.com.