View the Cruise pulls 15,000-20,000 people to downtown Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

View the Cruise pulls 15,000-20,000 people to downtown Gulfport

Richard Bennett's 1939 Diamond T truck turned wrecker was a big attraction at View the Cruise in Gulfport on Saturday. Richard Bennett's 1939 Diamond T truck turned wrecker was a big attraction at View the Cruise in Gulfport on Saturday.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Cruisin’ The Coast got a big official kick off in downtown Gulfport Saturday.

And big is the key. It was a record-breaking year for View the Cruise, with 15,000 to 20,000 people strolling the streets and taking in the cool rides. There’s only one problem with five-year-old event: There’s too much to see.

But it’s hard not to focus on Mike Murray’s Funky Rat Mobile.

It’s a converted – for the lack of a better term - 1964 Chevrolet truck, and features nearly everything imaginable; including 125 miniature cars and 92 rats.

“We take it to the schools - also in Ocean Springs - to show the kids how to create things that are different than everybody else,” Murray said. “To think outside the box and have fun in life.”

But just steps away was another main attraction in downtown was Richard Bennett’s 1939 Diamond T Truck turned wrecker that he trailered all the way from Connecticut.

It was a scene stealer.

“I think it’s because it’s so different,” Bennett said. “You always see the same kind of hot rods. You know, people put their hearts into these cars. But this thing here was made for fun and kinda want to be different.”

The event took over downtown with cars, but also music on every corner - including Mayor Billy Hewes adding to the beat.

In addition, there was plenty of food and refreshments along the route.

“It’s about the best family attraction when you're bringing large numbers of grandchildren,” said Millie Hyatt of McHenry. “Kids have a blast when they’re coming down to these events.”

Stephanie Dodd of Biloxi visited View the Cruise for the first time.

“I’ve enjoyed just walking around looking at the wonderful cars, and meeting all the people from all over the United States.”

Joe Kemper of Vancleave comes every year and a 1959 Pontiac reminded him of the one in his family.

“It belonged to my dad. I used to use it to go on dates and stuff. Enjoyed riding around in it. I just wish I’d have bought it from him.”

For additional coverage of 2016 Cruisin' The Coast, including a schedule of events, click here.   

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