Cruisers able to ride out bumpy ride on Wall Street

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - "Good morning," a smiling car owner said to the Crusin the Coast volunteer at the D'Iberville Civic Center.

"How are y'all doing today?" was how she responded.

It was obvious then you own a classic cruiser, nothing seems to bother you, not even an economy that's taking some of the shine off of some sparkling street rods.

Albert Husley is one of the car enthusiasts.

"If I find one I want, I'm going to buy it," the Biloxi man said.

Husley bought and rebuilt a coral rose Chevy Business Coup. And if he saw something drive by that tickled his fancy, the Biloxi man would likely buy that as well, "If it ain't too bad," he said with a grin on his face.

Car buffs put so much of their hearts, their souls, and their hard earned money into their four wheel investments. But when the economy's running on empty, they admit it's hard to keep those investments running.

Terry Williams brought his 1934 Ford Cabriolet down from Arkansas. It's one of four classic cars in his garage.

"I'm thinking about selling some of them to get the cash money instead of having them invested in the cars," he said. "But now you're money's not worth anything, so you might as well have it invested in the cars."

The halloween set up around Mike Hobson's 1937 Zephyr reflects the nation's current economic crisis. A fake foot and a fake arm with blood on them were trapped under the Zephyr.

"As you can see, this car has cost me and arm and a leg," he laughed.

But the Illinois man won't let the financial struggles on Wall Street keep his Zephyr in the garage.

"You save your money for special weeks like this. This is our vacation," he said.

And on this trip, classic car buffs are putting America's financial meltdown in their rear view mirrors.

By late Friday, more than 4,200 car owners had filled out registration forms for Cruisin the Coast. And 400 had pre-registered for next year's event. Cruisin the Coast 2007 had 3,800 classic cars rolling through the three coastal counties.