• Frank Oles

Downers Grove Cruise Night 2016


With the demise of the Elmhurst Cruise night on Wednesdays, the Downers Grove Cruise Night just keeps getting better and better, with more unusual and high-end cars every time I go, like the Lister above. High dollar exotics, unusual curiosities, and some hand-built ingenuity make for an interesting mix. It helps when the weather is perfect, because the turnout is even bigger. I wish we lived just a little closer because it is a bit of a hike to drive the Beetle to from our house, but it is possible with a little extra lead time. I still have to wonder though - where are all the NEW GT350s? It would seem the perfect new car to bring to one of these shows, but they are still surprisingly rare on the streets. I need to hear that flat-plane crank roar!

This E30 M3 was for my neighbor Jeff, who also has a race-spec version. After years of unreliability, Jeff swapped to an S54 - totally bad-ass! This particular example still had its S14 mill, upgraded to Evo spec. Very eye-catching on the street.

There were quite a few Fiat 124 Spiders in attendance. It seems like the new version has brought the old ones out of the garage. Or maybe I am just noticing them more now. Either way, it’s a nice bit of variety.

Also nice to see these X1/9s. I am still dreaming of one of these with a Honda K20 swap, which gives this very capable chassis the kind of power and precision shifting it deserves. I dig ‘em!

My wife Cindy's dream car is this 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo. It looked stunning in black on black. Only 34K miles on the odometer - this is easily a 100K car now.

A real Hemi Cuda? Yes please! Immaculately restored and perfect in every way. The want is strong with this one.

This Mk4 Supra was incredible in white - just the way Paul Walker would have wanted it. That basket handle wing! Those drag slicks on the back! This car was ready for some action!

Next to this Supra was this striking FD RX7. The purple shade on this was really something to behold. The size of these cars is just perfect. If only the engines were not hand grenades and the trannies were not made of glass. And yet, I think swapping in an LS motor just ruins the car. Most of my NSX friends started with an FD, and then moved on when they could not stand the repairs.

I still lust after a nice 240Z - I only hope I get to own one before the price on these starts to get out of hand. Yes, they were definitely faster than the 911S at the time - get over it. One of the few cars that I sat in and immediately felt comfortable - very inspiring handling with no quirks. Time to start checking Craigslist again...

A Morgan 3-wheeler! What a sight to behold. Crowds of people around this thing! I want to drive one so bad, and see what it’s like. I bet it is every bit as thrilling as the reviews make it out to be. Even though they are expensive, I think it’s probably a good investment because they are just too thin on the streets and they are just too freakin’ cool to ignore!

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