Orangeville’s weekly cruise nights return under new leadership
Wednesday night Cruise Nights in the Canadian Tire parking lot have become a favourite for local car lovers and members of the community over the years. Each Wednesday evening throughout the summer, part of the parking lot is roped off and filled with all kinds of cars – from classics, to antiques, hot-rods to Europeans, sports cars, modern cars and more. Once in a while, the Batmobile sometimes makes an appearance too.
This year, the format will be switched up a little, as the Road Hazards Car Club, which has run the event since its inception, is no longer active (for more on the reasons, visit www.theroadhazards.ca). David Murphy, Business Relations Manager at MacMaster Buick GMC, has stepped up to take over the event this year, and feels confident that the Cruise Nights will continue to grow.
“Orangeville is a big community, with a lot of car lovers, and it needs a cruise night,” explained David. “The next step for this is that it needs to build a community – not just members of the car clubs, but an extended community of car lovers, and people who just like to come out and look around.”
When David found out that the Road Hazards were unable to continue running the weekly cruise nights, he approached Danny Brackett to see if taking it over under the sponsorship of MacMaster was a possibility, and things progressed from there.
“It’s still going to be the same format for the most part,” said David. “We’re still going to have door prizes, draws, music, great cars and a great community. But, I also want to mix it up a bit. I’m looking at having specific theme nights.”
These theme nights, he added, would consist of nights throughout the summer dedicated to hot rods, or European cars, Mustangs, or Corvettes. There was even a mention of a possible sock-hop, though that one isn’t definitive yet.
“The Cruise Night is something that a lot of people have come to depend on, whether they are car owners or not,” said David. “When word first got out that it might not be happening, some people’s response was ‘what am I going to do on a Wednesday night now?’”
Although David is only 24, his passion for cars has driven his life since childhood, making it no surprise to some that he was so interested in taking over the Road Hazard’s event.
“David has been going to the car show since he was 8 years old, and he has been coming to MacMaster since he was a kid,” explained Danny Brackett, President of MacMaster. “He went to school to be a car designer, and came here shortly after. We are extremely proud of David, and we saw the talent in him. He’s someone dedication to do more for our customers, for our business, and most of all, for our community.”
According to David, there has been some people who have wondered whether taking on an event dedicated to classic cars might be a little out of his capabilities, but he’s confident his knowledge and experience will win out.
“There have been a few people who think it will be difficult for me to take over, because most of the cars at the event are older than me,” he said with a smile. “But really, even the cars I own are older than I am.”
David sees the cruise nights, which are now being referred to as Orangeville’s Cruisin’ On First, as having the potential to become so much more than just a place to look at and share cars – but rather, to become a place to spark the interest of younger people and provide opportunities for everyone to learn more about them.
“There’s not a lot of young people involved in the classic car industry, largely because of financial issues, but also because they just don’t have access to the stories that drive much of this community,” David explained. “I want the show to become more than just an event to look at cars; I’d love to include an educational component. Where people can come and not just learn about cars, but learn specifically about the individual cars and their owners.”
He added that while a car may have been one of 500-600 to come off a production line, each car has a completely different story, with interesting facts and details due to the individual and particular owners they’ve had.
“Everyone will have done something custom to their cars, taken their cars different places, focused on different designs,” said David. “You can have 500 of the same car, yet not one of them will look alike, and not one of them will have the same story.”
With the hopes he has for the show, as well as his interest in bringing in a younger crowd, David feels that his age contributes perfectly to help do that.
“It could mean seeing a move towards bringing in some of the newer cars, and some more modern vehicles,” he explained. “The classics can get to be a little pricey for the younger crowd, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t car fanatics and aren’t interested in being a part of a community like this.”
With MacMaster on as a co-sponsor with Canadian Tire, there is more hopes to see the car show grow, with greater resources at their fingertips.
“As a dealership, we now have a strong focus on customization and performance, we have one of the largest used car inventories in Headwaters, and we have a very strong focus on community,” explained Danny. “Those three aspects of our business really made it the perfect fit to sponsor this event; the cruise nights really fit in perfectly with our vision at MacMaster.”
He added that of course, the cars were another big reason for sponsoring.
“It’s no secret that I am a big car guy, and that many of my staff are big into cars as well,” said Danny. “David was incredibly passionate about taking this on, and when he asked me about it, it really made sense. We are all about cars – many of our customers are all about cars – so that was another reason it just fit.”
The first Orangeville Cruisin’ On First night was on June 10, and will continue weekly throughout the summer from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the Canadian Tire Parking Lot. For more information, or to see pictures of some of the vehicles that can be seen at the cruise nights, check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/orangevillecruisenight.
Written by Tabitha Wells