The Cache Valley Cruise-In began its annual event Thursday, welcoming car enthusiasts from all over the nation. Restored Camaros, Model-Ts, and Impalas are only a few of the estimated 1000 cars lining the grass at the Cache County Fairgrounds. Since its humble beginning in 1982, the show has come to be called one of the best in Utah. Del Fridley, a regular at the Cruise-In, definitely agrees. “There’s a lot of shows out there, and it’s one of the best,” Fridley says.For this year’s show Fridley hand-built a red and white 1936 Buick. He’s been tinkering with cars since he was 12 years old and, over the years, has restored many cars as a hobby. The Buick, mainly made from sheet metal, fiber glass, and aluminum, took him three years of 10 hour days to complete. “I got way more into it then I ever expected!” he said. Fridley and his friend Al Gines could certainly be called pioneers of the Cruise-In. Cache Valley residents, the two belonged to a car club called Brigerland Early Iron in the 1970s. The club started a summer get-together on the fairgrounds for other car enthusiasts in Cache County. “We used to have volleyball games,” he remembers. “We had tug of wars across the creek and maybe if there were 50 cars that was a big turn out.”Since then, these summer gatherings have grown into the Cache Valley Cruise-In that includes activities, concerts, a parade, good food, and of course, lots of vintage cars. They never expected their passion for vehicles would morph into this. “It’s really getting big,” Fridley says. Each car on display holds its own stories. Larry Rosen’s 1964 Chevy Impala has been in the family for three generations. A ‘survivor’ car, meaning it’s completely original and never been restored, was purchased straight off the lot in 1964. His grandfather was diagnosed with Polio. Due to his condition he was limited in outdoor activities he could participate in. Boating proved to be something that was easy and became his passion. The car he had wasn’t powerful enough so he turned to Chevy’s popular sports vehicle to tow his boat to the lake. Since then, the car has sat in the garage, rarely used with only 4,000 miles on it. Rosen treasures the Impala, saying it is a good investment having it around. “Instead of depreciating like a normal car they appreciate over time as long as you keep them nice and take care of them,” he says. Rosen has no plans to sell the car and will pass it down to his sons when the time is right.The show’s appeal varies in people’s opinion. Some enjoy seeing what has been done to the cars, while others come to buy. Rosen believes it is the beauty of the vehicles.”I think a lot of people look at cars as a work of art, especially these older cars. The other thing is there’s a nostalgic factor,” he adds.”Everybody looks at these cars like this Impala or any of these other cars and they can remember when their grandpa or dad had one or they grew up as a kid going everywhere in a car such as these,” he comments.”It brings back a lot of memories of different times and just let you relive some of your youth.”The show continues Friday and Saturday at the Cache County Fair Grounds. A significant draw each year for the car show is the annual giveaway of a restored classic. This year the Cache Valley Cruise-In will be giving away a 1967 Pontiac GTO. To enter the contest, visitors must purchase a ticket to enter the fairgrounds and hang on to the ticket stub. The lucky number will be called Saturday, July 3, followed immediately by the famous Cruise-In Parade down Logan’s Main Street.
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