Car enthusiasts wheel in for Cruisin' Keesler

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "It's good times. It's the best hobby I've got into, ever," said car enthusiast and Cruisin' Keesler organizer Joey Olier.

It's easy to brag about your hobby when you drive around in a restored 1939 Plymouth. Car enthusiasts, like Olier, cruised into Keesler Air Force Base from all over South Mississippi for the 7th Annual Cruisin' Keesler car show.

It's a cool hobby because you meet a lot of interesting people, and it gives you something to do and gives you something to spend all your money on," said Mike Oatman who owns a powder blue 1955 Chevrolet.

Almost 100 hot rods, street rods, muscle cars and classics filled the Marina Park to compete for best in show prizes or just to compare rides. For many, building and cruisin' are lifelong hobbies.

"When you're born, you're into cars, and I'm a car guy," said Oatman.

"We started getting interested in it because it's a family thing. We've got two kids, and I built a '39 Plymouth. And we started cruising," explained Olier.

For some enthusiasts, thousands and thousands of dollars will be put into their cars. For them, it's preserving history, and they say that is a true labor of love.

"It is hanging on to a piece of history because my car is 55 years old, and they don't make them anymore," said Oatman.

"We're trying to keep them alive," said Olier.

However, car shows like Cruisin' Keesler aren't just about the wheels you drive.

"My favorite part is just relaxing and talking to people, little kids get it. Older folks get it. Everybody gets it," said Oatman.

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