Cruisin on Columbus

SANDUSKY A little rain wasn't enough to put the brakes on the 16th annual Cruisin By the Bay. Event organizer Rodger B
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



A little rain wasn't enough to put the brakes on the 16th annual Cruisin By the Bay.

Event organizer Rodger Best said that they lost a few cars because of rain, but they still had plenty to go cruisin'.

The event continues today.

Early Friday evening there were already nearly 300 classic and custom cars downtown.

"You see a lot of nice cars and meet a lot of nice people," said Terry Ross, who worked at Mathews Ford for 17 years.

Denny Luma, 52, took his 1949 Cadillac to the car show.

"This is the first show it's been to actually," Luma said.

"It looks like jewelry," one woman said, peering into the sparkling engine compartment.

Originally from Sandusky, Luma now works as the President of Superior Aluminum in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Luma also displayed a 1957 Pontiac that belonged to his father, Bernie Luma, who passed away a few years ago.

"We always bring it back down here in his memory," Luma explained.

The cars bridge a gap between the generations.

Walking down the street, grandfathers stopped to tell their grandsons about the cars they'd driven when they were young. Wide-eyed little boys in baseball caps studied every inch of the old cars.

"There's a lot of fellas here that have $30, 40, 50 thousand and more in their cars," Sandy Best said.

Ray Semon, 63, of Parma restored his red '39 Chevy twice.

Semon met friend Bart Wagne, 54, at the Autorama car show in Cleveland and have been friends ever since. Wagne has a 1940 Ford.

Both said they weren't too concerned about the rain that spattered downtown Sandusky on Friday afternoon.

"These cars get driven," Semon explained.

Cruisin By the Bay is organized by Rodger and Sandy Best and Lee and Diane Maschari.

Rodger and his wife Sandy were high school sweethearts and will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary this year.

The sounds of doo-wop songs took the classic cars back to their glory days at Cruisin By the Bay.

"It's bringing back the '50s," Sandy Best explained, as one car after another rumbled down Columbus Avenue. It was called "Buzzin' the Ave," Sandy said, when the cars would roll up and down the streets.

Rodger's son Tony Best, 41, brought his silver 1972 Chevelle.

"I did the car for Cody, for when he turns 16," Tony Best said. Cody is his 8-year-old son.

Saturday's Cruisin By the Bay events include a Lions Club pancake and sausage breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Adams Junior High School.