It’s time for Beaver county memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. In today’s edition, we take a look at a popular Beaver county Activity that centers around memories, car cruises.
As early as 1985, organized car cruises began to appear in Beaver County. Of course, the concept of cruising around in a classic car dates back much earlier than that, but in the summer of 1985, WBVP and then sister FM radio station, WWKS organized and promoted two very successful car cruises. The first of which happened at Hank’s Frozen Custard and Mexican Food on Junction Stretch between New Brighton and Rochester. Hundreds of vehicles showed up that evening and circled the parking lot of Han ks’ listening to oldies music on the radio and simply enjoying the camaraderie of being there with other vehicle owners. There were no judges, no show trophies, no criteria, a new phenomenon was born, and it became known as the “car cruise”.
The other venue where some of the earlier car cruises were held was Safran’s on Duss Avenue in Ambridge. Safran’s had the perfect set up with a cruise lane driveway that circled around the restaurant and emptied out into the busy four lanes of Duss Avenue. Occasionally, the parking lots belonging to a manufacturing company on the other side of the street from Safran’s were opened up to handle all the additional visitors on cruise nights. WMBA radio continued to host car cruises at Safran’s into the late 80’s and even after the restaurant changed hands and became known as Mr. C’s, it was still the place to cruise in Beaver County.
The 90’s saw the rise of the community wide car cruises. The Happy Days Car Club in Beaver Falls started a cruise in 1990 that originally drew about a hundred cars and was held entirely in the Big Beaver Falls Area High School Parking Lot. Now, some 27 years later, the Beaver Falls Car Cruise is now organized by the Beaver Falls Car Cruise Committee and still happens on the second Saturday of June every year, but now spans the entire city and draws several thousand cars each year. Shortly thereafter, Beaver, Rochester and New Brighton would begin to organize successful car cruises of their own that continue every summer with very successful followings.
One of the more memorable early car cruises happened at Pappan’s Family Restaurant on route 18 just North of New Castle in 1986. WBVP and WWKS did a live broadcast of the cruise which featured a guest appearance of the zz top “Eliminator” coupe. A car featured on the Texas based classic rock band’s Album of the same name released the year before.
The “world famous” Midway Bar in Potter Township enjoyed a very successful twenty plus year run of weekly car cruises that were very popular up until the gathering place was sold to the Shell chemical plant currently being developed on the same site.
This has been a Beaver County memory, about the concept of reliving memories, centered around classic cars at car Cruises. Beaver County Memories has been presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. Tune in everyday at this time for another Beaver County Memory. You can also visit beaver county radio dot com for a complete transcript of this segment, and archived versions of previous Beaver County memories aired right here on Beaver County Radio, 1230 WBVP and 1460 WMBA.