By Alan Madeleine
Maybe the Dream Cruise hasn’t totally sated you for looking at classic cars.
Maybe nothing can…
Welcome, then, to version six of the Hamtramck Hustle, Hamtown’s very own vintage auto extravaganza, happening tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 25) at Veterans Park.
Sponsored by the local Dead Last Car Club, it expects to feature approximately 60 to 70 hot rods and “kustoms” (from prior to 1968) and motorcycles (from prior to 1975).
“It started out small, just two guys, ’Nate’ and ‘Dan’,” said member “George” (the members seem to prefer to stay last-name anonymous). “Now, we’re up to 11 in the club.”
The idea, George said, was to keep it local; in the city. Both the founding members lived here, and they perceived a lack of inner-city car shows, so they moved to fill that void.
Nowadays, they try to incorporate local businesses or locally-made products into these shows, he noted. To that end, they drafted a letter and sent it around to some of the bars, seeing if they’d be willing to host a compatible band, feature a few drink or food specials, or the like.
Kelly’s Bar responded, and will host the after-party (see below for details).
And while the Dead Last Car Club is more or less a “closed club,” meaning really just a group of friends who all know each other and have their own vintage rides, they put out a call to other local groups they’re friendly with, to bring their own vehicles on down to Saturday’s event to fill it out.
The club gives out awards as well, George said, among the top ones of which are “Best in Show, Best Hot Rod (any vintage car that’s been significantly re-worked), Best Kustom (a more or less stock car with, generally, only subtle changes), Best Truck, and Best Bike.” He mentioned there will be other awards as well, such as an award for Best Club Participation (other than their own).
There’ll be a few food vendors, but no alcohol sold. Members usually bring their own coolers. Expect a DJ, as well as a blues band.
And help keep area cleaned up, please.
The event kicks off with a 10 a.m. registration hour at Veterans Memorial Park, on Jos. Campau on the south end of town. The event itself officially starts right after that, at 11 a.m.
If you’re showing a vehicle, it’s $20 to register, unless it’s what’s known as a “trailer queen,” that is, a car that’s for show only, and not normally driven around. Trailer queens cost $40 to sign up. Admission to the show for spectators is free. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (313) 673-7845.
The after-party will be held at Kelly’s Blues Bar, 2403 Holbrook (east of Dubois on the north side of the street), beginning at 5 p.m. Their phone number is (313) 872-0387.