Tag Archives: Metro Cruise

Annual Metro Cruise Dust-Off event helps everyone to cruise into summer

The deadline for entries for the annual Metro Cruise annual Pin Up Girl Contest is June 23.

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

joanne@wktv.org

 

The signs of woodies and rag-tops, steel wagons and coupes. Roadsters running the length of 28th street and big-block V8s growling as they pass by. And of course we can’t forget the chrome, lots and lots of it sparkling in the sun.

 

Believe it or not, but the annual kick off to one of the area’s biggest car cruising events is this weekend. The annual Metro Cruise Dust-Off takes places from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Wyoming Moose Lodge #763 located at 2630 Burlingame Ave. SW.

 

The event has become an annual tradition and a kick off to the summer car shows with car owners finally being able to show off what has been stored under those tarps.

 

“We hope to have 100 – 150 cars at the Dust Off on Saturday,” said Bob O’Callaghan, president/CEO of the Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual event. O’Callaghan added that the first 50 collector car owners get a free Dust-Off shirt, which have become a collector’s item.

 

And while the Metro Cruise itself — which is Aug. 25 and 26 — is still about four months away, planning and preparation for the annual event, which marks its 13th year this year, have been well under way with several deadlines fast approaching.

 

The popular Art Cruise hosted by the Wyoming Business Leaders has already put a call out for artists for this year’s show. Similar to Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize, several Wyoming businesses feature the work of various local artists during the month of August, the same month as the Metro Cruise.

 

Interested artists have until June 1 to sign up to participate. The cost is $10, which is used to help cover marketing materials. For more information or to sign up, contact Donna Kuba, who runs Instant Cash Advance, at 616-261-4500 or email her at artcruisewyoming@gmail.com.

 

Entries for the annual Pin Up Girl contest are also being accepted. The Pin Up Girl contest will take place July 8 at the American Legion Post 154, 2327 Byron Center Ave. SW. The final competition will take place during Metro Cruise on Aug. 26, rain or shine according to O’Callaghan who said this year space has been reserved in Rogers Plaza for the contest if the weather is not cooperating.

 

Application deadline is June 23. All contestants must provide a head shot and full body shot with costume and makeup. Those interested should email the JA PR Group at staff@japrgroup.com.

 

For details and up-to-date information, make sure to visit 28thstreetmetrocruise.com or visit the Metro Cruise Facebook page at Facebook.com/metrocruise.

Cruising through DreamWheels!

2016 DreamWheels for newsWith Metro Cruise upon us and WKTV’s DreamWheels! set to film on Saturday, we take a look back on the stories of the people and cars who make the cruise such a large attraction. From the history surrounding the inception of Metro Cruise to the shops and talents it takes to rejuvenate the beauty of a classic car, and everything in between, our full coverage is below:

 

DreamWheels! comes to the red carpet

History of Metro Cruise

Art Cruise

Engine House No. 9

Steve’s Antique Auto Repair

Pal’s Diner

The ‘artwork’ of Dom Federico

Lowriders come to DreamWheels!

Metro Cruise Pin-Up Girls

SoCal Speed Shop comes to Metro Cruise

DreamWheels! Lowriders make a special appearance in this year’s show

Wyoming resident Anbrocio Ledesma remembers as a young boy going down to the local party store and getting the latest copy of “Lowrider” magazine.

 

“I would flip through the pages, looking at the cars and think to myself, ‘One day, I am going to have one of those cars,’” he said.

 

Anbrocio Ledesma with his 1951 Chevy Deluxe
Anbrocio Ledesma with his 1951 Chevy Deluxe

Not an uncommon dream for a young Mexician-American boy from a family of six living in the Grand Rapids area. In fact, the time that Ledesma was growing up, the popularity of lowriders — a car that sits low to the ground and often has hydraulics to raise and lower the car — in the late 1970s and early 1980s, lowriders had become part of the mainstream car culture thanks in part to “Lowrider” magazine.

 

“It’s a dream to have one of these, to have a lowrider,” said Holland resident Pablo Lopez, who is considered the founder of the West Michigan lowrider movement. Lopez owns a 1963 Impala SS that has taken him about 30 years to get “where I can say it is done.”

 

Lowriders came out of post World War II with the Mexican-American Barrios of East Los Angeles credited with creating this unique take on an automobile. It was the mid-1940s, Detroit had moved back into production of cars with a lot of used cars available on the market. Returning Mexican-American veterans applied their mechanic skills to build lowriders, filling the trunks with sandbags and cutting the spring coils to make the cars go as low to the ground as possible. “They are low and slow,” Lopez said.

 

There was backlash to the new style and in 1958 California lawmakers passed a vehicle code making it illegal to drive a car with any part lower than the bottom of the wheel’s rims. That combined with the fact that lowriders would scrap the ground lead to customizer Ron Aquirre to develop new hydraulic techniques to lower and raise a car with a flip of a switch. Salvage yards became popular as young lowrider enthusiasts looked for hydraulic pumps from lift gates and aircrafts.

 

“In order for it to be a lowrider, it has to have hydraulics,” Lopez said. “At least according to me.”

 

Pablo Lopez with his 1963 Impala SS.
Pablo Lopez with his 1963 Chevy Impala SS.

Lopez’s car, built in the L.A style, is what one would expect a Lowrider to be. It features wire rims, 13-inch wheels, with a 327 V8 engine. Custom paint by his son Manny Lopez tells the story of Lopez’s heritage and life including the loss of his daughter Rosa Linda Lopez at age 37 to cancer. Even the inside is customized from the poke-dotted red suede seats to a 1940s microphone as the gearshift. The car also includes a record player that plays 45s, brass skulls on the door locks, and fringe on the mirrors.

 

Ledesma never gave up on his goal of owning a lowrider and while in the process of searching for a 1964 Chevy Impala — ideal for lowering because of its x-frame — he was given the opportunity to purchase a 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe. Called a Bombita, It took Ledesma “a good 10 years” to get the car to where it is now. It is a light metallic purple, paint done by Ted Aguliar, with silver accents and white interior. It has a 327 engine out of 1967 Corvette.

 

To create a smoother ride, Ledesma did take out his hydraulics for air bags. “That and when the line breaks with air bags, it’s just air coming out,” Ledesma said. “With hydraulics, when the line breaks, you have a mess to clean up.”

 

Both Ledesma and Lopez said that while there are still lowriders around, the interest has waned.

 

“It is a real expensive hobby to get into,” Lopez said, adding it is the reason why it can take several years for a person to get a car completely transformed. “Many of those I worked with have gotten married, gone off to college, started families and they just can’t financially keep it up.”

 

Even for Lopez, he didn’t get involved in the hobby until after his children were grown.

 

“I saw these antennas at a show in Lansing,” Lopez said pointing to an antenna from a 1956 Oldsmobile. “They were $90 at the time. I had enough money to either get the antennas or a hotel room for the night. I bought the antennas, drove all the way home and then came back to the show the next day.”

 

Lowriders are also associated with bad behavior which Lopez said those who own them are not interested in working with “bad kids.” “I’m not interested in helping bad kids,” said Lopez whose family owned Familia Lopez Slow & Low. “This isn’t about that. It’s about tradition, It’s about family. It’s about talking to people and having them sit in the car and connecting with each other.”

 

Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels” show which will be broadcasting live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.

DreamWheels!: Pin Up Girl Contest set to take place at Rogers Plaza

Pin ups
The preliminary round for this year’s 28th Street Metro Cruise Pin Up Girls Contest featured 14 young ladies who were narrowed down to 10 finalist. Those finalists will compete for the title this Saturday.

 

A few years ago, Stacey Davis was walking through the 28th Street Metro Cruise when she happened upon the Pin Up Girl contest at Rogers Plaza.

 

“My dad restores classic cars so I grew up going to car shows like the Metro Cruise every summer,” said Davis, whose stage name is Ginger Snaps. “I grew up seeing the girls in the poodle skirts, the Marilyn Monroe impersonators and I saw the Metro Cruise contest and decided to sign up.”

 

Last year, the former Grand Rapids resident, who recently moved to Midland, was crowned Miss Metro Cruise 2015.

 

“It definitely helped with my confidence to know that I had won that title,” Davis said, adding that it has been a fun time visiting with little girls and meeting new people. “It was a great experience.”

 

This year Davis is joined by Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll and Jeremiah White, owner of Reflections Salon, to judge the 2016 Pin Up Girl Contest which is part of the Metro Cruise fun. The even takes place Saturday, Aug. 27, from 1 – 3 p.m. at Rogers Plaza.

 

ginger snaps
The 2015 28th Street Metro Cruise Pin Up is Stacey Davis a.k.a. Ginger Snaps.

The Pin Up Girl Contest has been a longstanding tradition at Metro Cruise, said Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce Bob O’Callaghan. And it makes sense. Flip through any car magazine and within the first few pages you will see a very pretty girl next to a candid apple red street racer or a bright green hotrod.

 

The pin up girl is an interesting American phenomenon which was born in the 1800s through magazines like Life, boomed in the 1930s due to the calendars of Brown and Bigelow, and peaked during World War II. Today, pin up girls remain a fabric of the American cultural and an ode to what many have called “a simpler time.”

 

For the 28th Street Metro Cruise Pin Up Girl Contest,  there was a preliminary contest in July where the number of girls were narrowed down to 10 finalist who will compete for the title on Saturday. The girls come from all over to compete in the contest, which this year is being organized by JA PR Group.

 

Spectators are welcomed to watch and cheer for their favorite.

 

Rogers Plaza serves as the central spot for the Metro Cruise with a host of activities taking place all around the mall. The “DreamWheels!” television program will be broadcasting live from Rogers Plaza as well Cascade’s Pal’s Diner from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Pete Chapouris from So-Cal Speed Shop will be signing autographs at the Rogers Plaza tent for Steve’s Antique Auto Repair.

 

For more, visit 28thstreetmetrocruise.com.

DreamWheels!: The artwork of Dom Federico

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

At its base, a car is a machine built of metal with an ability to transport people from point A to point B. However, cars — especially classic cars — are never seen at their base level. For some, cars are an expression of individuality. A way to make a statement on their own personality and interests. For others, cars are a model of engineering at its finest and how far that engineering can be pushed.

 

For Dom Federico, cars are works of art.

 

IMG_1767“I just love them, and when I got this car and I looked at that fin,” said Dom with his finger pointed towards a fin on a beautiful teal 1961 Cadillac Convertible, “All of a sudden I realized that what I really was doing wasn’t collecting cars, but collecting art. Each one of these is an art form, if you look at the faces of each one of these cars, each one is completely different.”

 

Dom and his wife have been collecting art since 1973 with the goal focused on every car as an individual. Their private garage houses more than 30 unique and classic cars, but simply filling the garage was never the focus. Instead of seeking out cars one by one, Dom waits until the cars “find him.”

 

His approach stems from Saturdays in August during his childhood where he would take his bike from one car dealership to another in hopes of seeing the new cars set to be unveiled and introduced in September. Throughout August, the new cars would be in the back with high canvas coverings on the chain link fences to conceal the cars. Dom would climb the fences just to get a look at what was in store for the next year, and when the right car came along, it left an impact.

 

IMG_1777“When the ’63 Corvette came out, I stayed in the showroom for hours. I couldn’t stop looking at it because of the artwork of it,” he said.

 

Those late summer Saturdays led to an infatuation that couldn’t be quelled with a single car. What started as one car eventually became two, and then three, until one day Dom finally came to the realization — thanks to his daughter — that what he owned was a little more than an extension of a normal garage.

 

“When I got to 10 cars, my daughter who was 8 at the time, said to me, ‘Dad, we’re in double-digits.’ And it hit me.”

 

Dom’s interest and passion had become a collection, something worthy of sharing with others around him. His garage has hosted parties and charity events with the cars as the main attraction, but one of his favorite showcases is the 28th Street Metro Cruise and on the red carpet at DreamWheels!. Since the inception of Metro Cruise in 2005, Dom has only missed one year and loves sharing his artwork with people who truly appreciate cars.

 

IMG_1764Lately, Dom’s participation in Metro Cruise has shifted towards being an annual member on the red carpet at WKTV’s DreamWheels!. This year he plans on bringing his ’79 Ferrari.

 

“We had been to Metro Cruise multiple times in the past and actually stopped going because it became too crowded to even drive cars. With DreamWheels!, we can still drive our cars and show them off. It’s kind of like a tradition now.”

 

Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels!” show which will broadcast live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.

DreamWheels!: Restored local diner setting for this year’s ‘DreamWheels!’ show

Some people restore cars. Barry Brown and his wife Sam Choi-Brown took it one step further — they restored a diner.

 

“Diners fit with cars, cars fit with diners,” said Brown, the owner of Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St SE, the home of this year’s “DreamWheels!” production. “They’re both restored items. They’re both unique to look at.”

 

Those classic American diners that dotted much of the United States landscape in the fifties and sixties actually were an extension of the wagon carts that would come to sell food to employees at businesses and manufacturing sites. Walter Scott is credited with creating the first diner in 1872, a horse-pulled wagon he would bring to employees at the Providence Journal in Rhode Island.

 

However, it wasn’t until the late 1930s that the diner began to be prefabricated into the familiar shape of a railroad car.

 

“People often think that the diners were old railway cars,” Brown said. “They weren’t. They were just designed to look that way.”

 

In fact, it was Roland Stickney who inspired by the streamlined trains, especially the Burlington Zephyr, who designed a diner in the shape of railroad car calling it the Sterling Streamliner. That railroad-style would carry on much through the history of the classic diner until about the 1970s when fast food restaurants began to dominate.

 

Like a mobile home, the original diner is narrow and elongated to allow for roadway transportation. In fact, it was by road in 1993 that the Browns transported Pal’s Diner from New Jersey to Grand Rapids. It was a 950-mile trip that included getting permission from four state road commissions to shut down major roadways and utilize the highways, not to mention a cost that was well into six figures.

 

And while the move was about 23 years ago, Brown can still remember it like it had happened yesterday.

 

“It took a lot of guts,” Brown said with a laugh. “But I will tell you that Sam and I were partners in this together. I sat down with her and we talked about it and we knew, that if we did this, we had to be partners.”

 

The couple could sense that if they did not move the now 62-year-old diner it would be lost like so many others. The land lease where the diner sat in New Jersey was up. Several others had looked at moving it, but passed. The Browns were the last ditch effort to save it with Pal’s former patrons and staff knowing it.

 

“It was a sad day when it left New Jersey, but it was good because it was going to be saved,” Brown said.

 

When the diner finally got here was when the real work started for the Browns because just like a classic car, to rebuild you have to start from the ground up taking everything down and putting it all back together the right way. The restoration and finding its current home took about three years.

 

Now open since 1996, Pal’s Diner succeeds in allowing each visitor to touch the past. Like traditional diner floor plans, the service counter dominates. Accented in pinks, seating is along the sides of the car with a Wall of Fame area — featuring pictures of celebrities such as One Direction who have visited the diner along with the diner’s history — just before the bathrooms. The main kitchen is through the swinging doors.

 

Brown takes pride in that they still make shakes the ol’ fashioned way — by hand — and the restaurant features classic fifties’ fare.

 

But the true success is just like the diner owners of the past, the Browns have made a lot of friends, sharing a lot of stories and memories with all who have walked through Pal’s doors.

 

“The people we’ve gotten to know, the people we’ve lost that have passed away they are like family,” Brown said. “My wife knows birthdays and everything with a lot people. That means a lot.”

 

Come to Pal’s Diner Saturday, Aug. 27 as WKTV shares more stories about the people like Brown who are dedicated to preserving a piece of American history by restoring classic cars. The show runs from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

 

Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels” show which will be broadcasting live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.

DreamWheels!: Sparking the fascination of firefighting is Engine House No. 5

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Get a group of young children together and ask them what they want to be when they grow up and inevitably at least one will say a “firefighter.” Attend an event and its the fire engine all the kids want to climb on. Even adults cheer as the bright red truck with the siren goes by in a parade.

 

But what is the fascination about being a firefighter?

 

“It’s their courage, their dedication,” said Jeff Blum, who is the board president of the area’s only fire house museum, Engine House No. 5. “I went on a 24-hour ride with the Grand Rapids firefighters and they got a call to a neighborhood that I was looking around going this isn’t safe and when are the police going to get here.

 

“As I sat there, these guys were already out of the truck, running into the house without any regards to anything else. It’s that dedication that is amazing.”

 

It with some of the same dedication that Blum and the volunteers at Engine House No. 5, located at 6610 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale, share the history of firefighting. The 6,000 square-foot building contains displays from the various nozzles to communication equipment along with a photo displays of the history of the first 11 stations and major fires in Grand Rapids.

 

Engine House Board President Jeff Blum stands next to the 1976 Silsby Steamer which will be part of this year's "DreamWheels" production.
Engine House Board President Jeff Blum stands next to the 1876 Silsby Steamer which will be part of this year’s “DreamWheels” production.

The original watch room on the main floor is dedicated to the history of Engine House No. 5, which was built in 1880 on the corner of Leonard and Monroe avenues. The station served the Grand Rapids community for about 100 years before being slated for demolition in 1980. Museum founder Jeff DuPilka purchased the building and moved it to its current location.

 

But the main attraction is the fire engines, of which the museum has seven, ranging from a manual hand pump from Plymouth, Mass, that was featured in the 1934 Chicago World Fair to a 1972 Ward LaFrance pumper sitting out front.

 

In fact, the museum’s 1876 Silsby Steamer will be featured at this year’s “DreamWheels!” television show. Part of the 28th Street Metro Cruise, the show is set to record Saturday, Aug. 27, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE. The Silsby Steamer is part of a tribute to David Knisley, a former “DreamWheels!” host and Grand Rapids firefighter who died in a boat fire this past May.

 

“Actually, firefighters originally pulled their own equipment to a fire,” Blum said. “They felt that using animals was beneath them which shows how manly man they were. In fact, if you used a horse to pull your cart, you were often ridiculed.”

 

Eventually as firefighters acquired steam pumpers, it was decided animals were better at moving the equipment. In 1910, Engine House No. 5 was the first in Grand Rapids to get an Oldsmobile outfitted to carry hose, called Hose Cart No. 5. It marked the end of the horses at fire stations with many stations converting the hay lofts to lounges for the firefighters.

 

The two-story museum has been cleverly designed to give visitors a sense of what firefighting is about, its history and why the American public remains fascinated with the profession leading many, like DuPilka, to want to preserve its past.

 

“We really want this to be a destination spot,” Blum said. “Travelers are looking for those unique, special spots, especially as they are going from one place to another. We want to be one of those places.”

 

Blum, who got involved with the museum four years ago, admits he is not a curator, but a person with “an insane passion” for firefighting and its history and most of what he knows he has learned along the way and through the questions that people have asked, such as one boy’s about where the water comes from that lead to the discovery of why a hydrant is called a “fire plug.”

 

To discover that connection and much more about the world of firefighting, you’ll have to go to the Engine House No. 5 yourself.

 

Engine House No. 5 is open from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday – Friday and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. For more information, visit the website or call 616-895-8121. Engine House No. 5 is marking its 30th anniversary with a Birthday Bash Sept. 17 from 7 – 11 p.m. Tickets are $30 per couple or $15 per individual.

 

Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels” show which will be broadcasting live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.

DreamWheels!: Rev up for Metro Cruise by taking in some local art

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By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
joanne@wktv.org

 

It seems logical that an artist like David Reinbold would be interested in participating in Wyoming’s Art Cruise. After all Reinbold has built a reputation out of creating stained glass sculpture replicas of peoples’ cars and Art Cruise is part of West Michigan’s biggest car event, Metro Cruise.

 

Art Cruise is an annual art event similar to Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize in that several Wyoming businesses feature the work of various local artists during August, the same month as Metro Cruise, which is Aug. 26 and 27. In a way, Art Cruise helps people get revved up for the big event, said Art Cruise Coordinator Donna Kuba, who runs Instant Cash Advance and is part of the West End Business Group that founded Art Cruise.

 

This year, more than 25 artists will display their work in 17 Wyoming businesses with a list of business locations available at 28thstreetmetrocruise.com.

 

“It’s really just a way to support the community,” said Jerry DeGood, who owns Auto Finance/J’s Motor Sales, at 2939 Division Ave. DeGood said his place has a nice open space for an artist and is excited about featuring the work of former General Motors employee David Townsend.

 

“I’ve always painted as a hobby,” Townsend said. After the 36th Street GM plant shutdown, Townsend said he decided to paint on a more regular basis. This is Townsend’s first year participating with his work showing at two locations, Auto Finance/J’s Motor Sales and The Chiropractic Doctors at 4415 Byron Center Ave. SW.

 

Outsider Artist Dirk W. Hughes said he loves the grassroots feel of the event. “It’s just people coming together with no alternative motive other than to support each other,” said Hughes, whose work will be at Edward Jones, 185 44th St. SW.

 

This also is why artist and Grand Rapids Public Schools fourth-grade teacher Holly Peterman decided to participate as well.

 

“I grew up in Grandville and I saw the flyer for Art Cruise where you could display for a whole month and thought, ‘I want to do that,’” said Peterman who’s prints and etchings will be at El Informador, 2000 28th St. SW and Maya Mexican Grill, 1020 28th St. SW.

 

“It’s an opportunity where people can see a lot of art,” Peterman said. “It’s a great opportunity for both the artist and the business owner. The business owner has people coming in to view the work and the artist is able to get the word out about what they do.”

 

And that is the main reason Reinbold has been participating in Art Cruise since almost its inception.

 

“I really got to know and meet a lot of different people last year,” Reinbold said. During the event, “I pretty much show what I can do. People can give me a picture of their car or motorcycle – I can even do an airplane – and I create 3-D sculpture out of glass.”

 

It’s also not about making money either, but about the experience as Hopkins High School student Madalyn Hatfield can attest. Three years ago, Art Cruise gave her the opportunity to get her “feet wet” in the art world and now she is looking to pursue a career in animation. She once again will be showing at Marge’s Donut Den, 1751 28th St. SW.

 

For details about the artists and businesses participating in this year’s Art Cruise, visit 28thstreetmetrocruise.com.

 

Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels” show which will be broadcasting live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.

Classic Cars and Renovations abound at Leadfoot Muscle Cars

Leadfoot Showroommike_dewittWhat was once a night club, pumping the bass and serving drinks to thirsty patrons, is now a car showcase full of muscle and metal. Classic muscle cars and exotic Ferraris and Porsches fill a room teeming with energy. While the nightclub is no more, it’s impossible not to feel the thrill of rising heart rate upon entering, no loud music necessary.

The cars in the showcase are all road-ready. Some needed tweaking here and there, but they’re eagerly awaiting a driver – after all – cars are meant to be driven. Where they currently sit, it’s impossible to tell if any of them have had any work done. They’re all in tip-top shape and manicured to a ‘T’. The horses have all been stabled and primed, and now are ready to be unleashed!

Leadfoot Muscle Cars 2
A nightclub has been turned into a jaw-dropping showcase

Welcome to Leadfoot Muscle Cars, a classic car dealership located in Holland, with a little something for every car lover.

“It’s always fun working on these muscle cars. These are what I grew up with in high school, and now they’re classics!” Explains manager Marty Boysen, his passion revving up and hitting second gear. Before Leadfoot, Marty owned his own dealership in the 90’s. Some of his former employees came with him to Leadfoot when the dealership opened a little over a year ago.

For Marty and the rest of the crew at Leadfoot, to say cars are an important part of their life might be the understatement of the century – like saying the Titanic hit an ice-cube. Cars are so integral to their existence that if you cut them open, an engine might purr in place of a heart!

Leadfoot Muscle Cars 3
A warehouse full of classic cars awaiting renovation

Leadfoot started a little differently than most dealerships, with an initial purchase of an 80-car collection. Some were ready for sale while others needed a full renovation, which Leadfoot was more than happy to furnish in their full detail and body shop. A warehouse a mile down the road houses more classic beauties awaiting their renovations, in addition to those in the showroom.

In total, Leadfoot owns an astonishing 250 cars.

As a young company, albeit one ripened with experience, Leadfoot is gearing up for Metro Cruise this upcoming weekend to entrench their name in the West Michigan community.

“We’re looking to get exposure and present our cars out at Metro Cruise. We’re bringing our five-car trailer. Expect to see some Mustangs and Chevelles,” mentions Marty. “We’ve sold our cars all over the country, but our home is in West Michigan. Metro Cruise will only help us connect to our community.”

Leadfoot Muscle Cars and their trailer will be next to WKTV’s DreamWheels! red carpet event at the old Klingman’s parking lot.

28th Street Metro Cruise Celebrates Cruisin’ Back to the 20th Century

Metro CruiseThe Wyoming Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids New Car Dealers Association will present the 28th Street Metro Cruise® on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22, 2015, along 15 miles of 28th Street. This marks the 11th year the annual celebration of classic cars has descended on 28th Street, in what has become West Michigan’s premiere auto show and cruise, attracting car lovers with unique vehicles from throughout the United States.

Additions to this year’s official Metro Cruise festivities at Roger’s Plaza include: a blood drive hosted by Michigan Blood Center from 2 to 6 pm; a seminar for lady cruisers presented by Kandi Blaze, lady gearhead and professional pin up model Friday from 4 to 5 pm; and an appearance by Pete Chapouris of So-Cal Speed Shop.

Metro Cruise The ConcourseChapouris is best known for his creation of “The California Kid” car and will be available for autographs both Friday and Saturday courtesy of Steve’s Antique Auto Repair and sponsored by J&H Family Stores, Marge’s Donut Den, Top Stitch Trim & Upholstery, Pinkies Ice Cream & Desserts, Travis Truck & Auto Collision, Inc., Vanguard Fire & Security Systems, Inc. and Wade & Jane Jennings.

The food court and vendors officially open at 4 pm Friday. At 6 pm, Cruise goers can cheer on their favorite Pinup Girl as 20 lovely ladies vie for the title of Miss Metro Cruise 2015. Across the street, WKTV will host its one-of-kind, red carpet event “DreamWheels” from 8 to 10 pm, featuring rarely seen automobiles on a live TV show. This is the only show of this kind in the nation.

On Saturday morning, the Metro Cruise re-opens at 9 am. Throughout the day there will be prize giveaways, performances by Sneaky Pete Blues Band of Kalamazoo and, of course, thousands of cars of every variety to enjoy.

The event has grown through the years to average more than 250K visitors and more than 15,000 vehicles each year. There has been momentum within the 28th Street merchants’ community to increase event participation. Being the premiere classic car attraction in Western Michigan, the 28th Street Metro Cthruise® generates a welcomed injection of tourist dollars into our community and represents a huge marketing / promotional opportunity for local and regional businesses.

Go to the Metro Cruise® website (www.28thstreetmetrocruise.com) and Facebook page for the latest information.