Cruisin' For Classic Cars On A Steamy Summer Night Classic-car enthusiasts descend on the picturesque town square in Milan, Ohio, on Tuesdays, during the summer. Many come to show off their gleaming antiques, while others come just to take in the show and soak up a little hometown camaraderie.
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Cruisin' For Classic Cars On A Steamy Summer Night

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Cruisin' For Classic Cars On A Steamy Summer Night

Cruisin' For Classic Cars On A Steamy Summer Night

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Now, it's time for the latest entry in our series, Summer Nights. We've been taking you to places around the country where people gather on a warm summer evening or, in the case of our next story, a hot summer evening.

Here's NPR's Noah Adams in Ohio with a classic car cruising.

NOAH ADAMS, BYLINE: Milan is a small town in northern Ohio. The graceful town square has lots of trees, and it makes a good gathering spot for the classic cars and trucks of decades past.


ADAMS: A 1923 T-Bucket Ford, a '77 El Camino, a '68 AMX (unintelligible), a '46 Dodge truck, '59 Ford Galaxy. They keep arriving after five o'clock every Tuesday. The owner/drivers park around the square. The engine hoods go up, lawn chairs come out. Let the appreciation begin.


ADAMS: This town, Milan, might sound familiar. And if you do get off the Ohio Turnpike, the answer is waiting.

DON GEFELL: My name is Don Gefell and our shop is called Sights and Sounds of Edison.


ADAMS: Thomas A. Edison was born here in 1847, the world's greatest inventor. That's what they call him in Milan.

THOMAS A. EDISON: This is Edison speaking. Our boys made good in France. The word American has a new meaning in Europe. Our soldiers have made it mean courage, generosity, self-restraint and modesty.

ADAMS: An original Edison celluloid cylinder. Don Gefell has even taken his phonograph out to the gazebo in the square. He plays Edison's voice and Sousa's marches for the car fans.

MIKE INMAN: I brought a '62 Pontiac Catalina tonight, 421 lightweight.

ADAMS: Is it fast?

INMAN: Oh, yeah. It'll get up and go. I think it's 550 horse.


ADAMS: Get up and go is what Mike Inman did with the Pontiac. The temperature was floating up around 100 and several car owners left early. But it's good to sit under the shade trees, see your friends and, this week, listen to a singer named Acoustic Scottie.

ACOUSTIC SCOTTIE: (Singing) I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.

ADAMS: Kelly Guseman owns a store downtown selling T-shirts and hats. She helps the Chamber of Commerce put all this together every Tuesday.

KELLY GUSEMAN: Anybody can have, you know, a car show in, like, a Dairy Queen parking lot. But I think people really enjoy the town square and the old historic buildings. I mean, that's what really makes this car show.


ADAMS: The Milan merchants donate door prizes. If you brought a car to show, you get to register.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Nancy Smith. She's got a Chevy Camaro. It's an '88.

ADAMS: She wins a coupon from Jimmy's Pizza Box. You can also get a yellow perch sandwich at the Wonder Bar, burgers at the American Legion. The Masons are grilling sausage. A car show is, in many ways, like a baseball game.


ADAMS: And here's my favorite engine sound, the quiet precision of a very old maroon and black Plymouth pickup truck.


BRUCE CHRISLIP: 1937, original.

ADAMS: Bruce Chrislip. It's been his work on the Plymouth.

CHRISLIP: I used to be an auto tech. I'm disabled now.

ADAMS: And Nancy Wargo has arrived in her dignified Chevrolet.

NANCY WARGO: It's a 1949 Chevy Deluxe, two-tone green with the visor on it. It's been in my family all 63 years.

ADAMS: It was Great Aunt Betty's car to start with. She had it 20 years. Then Nancy's dad had it for about 40. You could put it right back in the Chevy dealer's showroom.

WARGO: It's a nice solid-feeling car and, even in this 100-degree heat, with, you know, the old 2-55 air conditioning, two windows down and 55 miles an hour.

ADAMS: Nancy Wargo and her husband would like to find a '67 Ford Mustang to buy, the convertible. On a cooler Tuesday summer night, they might find it here in Milan, Ohio. Sometimes, 120 vehicles show up for the Classic Car Cruise-In.

Noah Adams, NPR News.

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