Our NEW Country Cruisers Gear Etsy Store

Shirts – Hats – Stickers – Coffee Mugs – Swag

Greetings Cruisers! Our NEW “Country Cruisers Gear” Etsy store is open for business. Last week I uploaded 19 different shirts. The shirts start at $19.99 and are printed on the front and back.

To stop by for a Look-See, CLICK HERE!

Here are six of our nineteen new Lake Country Cruisers shirts.

By the end of February, we’ll have the hats, stickers, coffee mugs, and other swag items available.

As new items are available, we’ll let you know! Continue reading “Our NEW Country Cruisers Gear Etsy Store”

Our COLDEST Show Ever!

Slide Show Below!

Greetings Cruisers! It wasn’t “cool” last Saturday, it was COLD! But that didn’t keep around 75 hardy souls from coming out for a car and bike show.

All of Florida was experiencing a cold snap, but when Russ Ryan and I arrived at the American Legion at 8:15, it was 38 degrees according to the Legion’s electric sign out front. Plus, we had a 15-mph northern breeze for a wind chill of around 27 degrees! Yes, there are many colder places, but when you’re used to 80-degree weather, a 27-degree wind shill will shiver yer timbers!

The official car count was 34 cars, plus around 10 that didn’t register. We’re sure that if the weather had been warmer, we would have had at least 75 cars. Interestingly, we had seven old-style hot rods, which are always fun to see.

But despite being all bundled up, everyone had a good time. We’ve never seen so many sweatshirts, coats, and jackets at one of our shows. And a big THANKS to Russ Ryan, Bob Wolf, and Paul Fry for the help last Saturday!

Our Door Prize winners included Marvin Garwood, Mel King, Leonard Miller, Herbert Conley, and Billy Stewart.

Our Cruiser of the Month was Keith Lang and his silver 2017 Corvette convertible. And Lloyd Hill was our lucky 50/50 winner and took home $100 cash! Gary Burdell was our 50/50 Runner-Up and took home gift cards!

And

We want to thank everyone for coming out to play in the cold. Hopefully, our February show will have more typical, delightful Florida winter weather.

(Click any of the Slide Show images below to make them big) Continue reading “Our COLDEST Show Ever!”

The Amazing History of Hot Rods

Hot Rod History Viedo Below

Greetings Cruisers! It’s hard to believe that “hot rods” date back to the early 1930s. Yes, nearly 100 years ago! Back then, they were called “Jalopies” or “Buggies”. And I’m sure that many were called “Junkers” by the adults back then.

Building Hot Rods

Hot rods were built in backyards and garages using parts found in junk yards. The used-up and not-so-old junkers were typically stripped of their fenders, running boards, and hoods – to save weight. Those old flathead Ford four-bangers were “hopped up” for more horsepower. And of course, the mufflers had to go. “Must have lots of noise!”

According to the story, the term, “hot rod” came from all the horsepower enhancements. Those connecting rods could get pretty hot (not that regular rods didn’t!) and if the engine was run too hard, a “hot connecting rod” might go through the engine block! Hence, “Hot Rods”.

In the earliest days, the cars weren’t pretty because they were built on a shoestring with found used parts from the junkyard. Looking back, you can clearly see that the first wave of Hot Rods is what inspired the modern Rat Rods. Hot Rods didn’t become “pretty” until the 1950s with the Custom Car Craze that started the whole “Car Show” concept. Continue reading “The Amazing History of Hot Rods”

Next Cruisers Show BACK at the American Legion!

Greetings Cruisers!

Just a brief reminder that our next Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show will be back at the Lake Placid American Legion, this Saturday, January 14, 2023.

The Car & Bike Show will start at 10 am and run to 2 pm.

We will have Door Prizes; 50/50; a 50/50 runner-up gift certificate to one of our Lake Placid restaurant sponsors; and “Cruiser of the Month”; and “Bike of the Month” license plate awards! Rock’n Roll music, good cheer, and comradery will be the order of the day.

The American Legion’s “Mess Hall” kitchen with be serving up “American food” for lunch; hot dogs, burgers, cheeseburgers, fries, and onion rings. Often the Lady’s Auxiliary has cookies, brownies, and cakes.

Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Shows are family-friendly

So being a car buddy, bring the kids, and the grand kiddos. We love seeing young car guys and gals. And, we’re Dog Friendly, too. Just keep Fido on a leash and clean up after him. (dogs LOVE car shows!)February Swap Meet Show!

Our February Car & Bike Show Swap Meet will be held on February 11 from 9 am to 2 pm. Yes, we’re starting an hour earlier. This show will be our first Swap Meet, so if you have car or bike parts you no longer want, reserve a space, and let us help clear out your garage a little. For full information, CLICK HERE.

SVRA is Coming to Town! Continue reading “Next Cruisers Show BACK at the American Legion!”

The AMAZING Harold LeMay Car Collection VIDEO

A “Trash Man” Makes Good!

Greetings Cruisers and Happy 2023! We hope that everyone had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

It’s no secret that “there’s BIG money in trash!” Harold LeMay was an amazing car guy. Born in 1919 in Yakima, Washington, Harold was into cars as a kid. As soon as he graduated from high school he went into the auto business. This was just Harold’s first enterprise.

After WW-II, Harold launched Lucky Towing, HELM Trucking Company, and Lucky Sales & Service. Eventually, Harold started his refuse company, Harold LeMay Enterprises, in Tacoma Washington.

Lots and LOTS of Cars!

Along the way, Harold bought cars, trucks, and motorcycles. LOTS of them! At one time, Harold’s collection numbered over 3,000! In 1997, three years before his death in 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records listed the LeMay Collection as the largest privately-owned car collection in the world.

Typically, car collections are sold-off after the owner passes. In 1996, Harold came up with the idea of starting a non-profit museum so that his collection would not be broken up and sold off. But as they say, “Life got in the way”. Harold didn’t live to see his museum idea work out. However, later, his wife Nancy and son Doug made his dream a reality.Of course, the entire collection was left to his wife, Nancy. Talk about a strange inheritance!

80 Acres of Cars!

In 1991 the “LeMay Family Collection Foundation at Marymount” in Tacoma, Washington opened an 80-acre estate that was once a military academy-style school for boys. Marymount was founded by Dominican nuns in 1923. In 2012 the establishment was renamed, “The LeMay America’s Car Museum.”


With 80 acres and thousands of vehicles, it must be a marathon to take in or an all-weekend experience. Clearly, Harold’s family also has gasoline in their veins too. You’d have to, in order to make such a thing come together. Of course, Mecum or Barrett Jackson would have loved selling off all those vehicles! Continue reading “The AMAZING Harold LeMay Car Collection VIDEO”

Don’t Miss the $20 Discount on the Feb 2023 SVRA Tickets!

Hey Cruisers! The SVRA SpeedTour will be coming to Sebring International Raceway on February 23-26, 2023.

Just a quick reminder that the SVRA’s $20 ticket discount runs out after December 31. The discount takes the cost down to just $30 for ONE car and TWO people!

Call Toni Strollo at 863-698-8620 to buy your tickets. Tickets are ONLY available by phone.

After December 31, 2022 tickets are $50, and available ONLY by phone. Call Toni Strollo at 863-698-8620 to buy your tickets. The ticket price is $50 for ONE car and TWO people.

SVRA is Old-Style Sports Car Racing

The vintage racing is big fun to watch and the infield car show is always excellent. You’ll see ALL KINDS of cars and race cars. And at 12 noon you’ll be able to take your car out on the track for a lap or two “cruise”!

Cruisers, we will gather at the Moose Lodge, on Rt. 98, a few miles from the track at 8:15 AM. Whoever has gathered there by 8:30 AM, we will all go to the track TOGETHER so that we can all park in the same place in the parking field. Continue reading “Don’t Miss the $20 Discount on the Feb 2023 SVRA Tickets!”

Lake Placid Florida 2023 X-mas Parade, Best Ever

Lake Placid Christmas Parade Slide Show Below

Greeting Cruisers! We hope that everyone had a delightful Christmas and is planning a fun New Year’s Eve.

December 10, 2022 was a BIG DAY for Lake Placid. We had our Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Cruise-In at the Lake Placid Historical Society Depot; Santa came to Lake Placid on the U.S. Sugar “Santa Express” (yes, Santa has his own train!); and Lake Placid hosted their annual Christmas Parade.

Also, the Santa Express had been parked at the depot overnight and departed promptly at 12 noon; WHAT’A SIGHT! If you’ve never stood next to a steam locomotive as it is departing, you have been missing a unique experience!

Oh, What Fun!

I have been attending the Lake Placid Christmas Parade since 2017 and we have to say, it doesn’t get more “Small Town Americana” than this, folks! “Oh, what fun!” In 2021 Lake Country Cruisers had eight vehicles in the parade, this year we had 15 street machines in the parade! (let’s make it 30 next year, guys and gals!)

And the Weather Was Perfect!

That is more, the weather was perfect “jacket weather” somewhere around 60-degrees, the sidewalks were packed, and the curbs in the street were lined with happy residents. After the parade, a small group of Cruisers met at the GC Grillhouse for eats.

In closing, the Lake Placid Christmas Parade was the perfect ending to a happy day! Lake Country Cruisers will definitely be back for the 2023 Lake Placid Christmas Parade. For all of the Cruisers that participated in the parade, a BIG THANKS! – Scott, Pete, & Ron

PS – We want to let you in on something, we are already making plans for the 2023 Christmas Cruise-In and it’s going to be big! Details to come.

Click any of the images to launch the slide show.
Then just click the arrows to the right or left!

 

Lake Country Cruisers Christmas Cruise-In… HOORAH!!!

Our Christmas Cruise-In Was A HUGE Success! SLIDE SHOW!

Greeting Cruisers! What a PERFECT day we had for a car show. Things started out a wee bit foggy, but by 10 am it was perfect. Although the location was a tad small, by noon we had 57 cars registered. Park Avenue slopes down and we had cars lining both sides of the street, the parking areas to the left of the Historical Society Depot were filled with cars, the grassy lot to the right of the building was stuffed with cars, and cars were parked on the hill and side yards!


Click the above graphic to launch the Slide Show.

Cars were everywhere and at different levels. It was not your typical “parking lot” car show.

Our Feature Cars were very special vehicles. Dick and Marilyn Roddie brought BOTH of their 1931 V-12 Cadillacs. Marilyn was beautiful and looked like a 1930s Hollywood movie star. For many, it was the first time they’d ever seen anything like that in-person. Continue reading “Lake Country Cruisers Christmas Cruise-In… HOORAH!!!”

R.I.P. Lake Country Cruiser, Larry Dudgeon…

Our Cruisers friend Larry Dudgeon has gone on ahead for his Eternal Cruise…

Greeting Cruisers! Note: Before I get into Larry Dudgeon’s passing, a quick mention about our posts. The “date” you see published just below the subtitle of each post does not correspond with any of our events. It is just the date I posted the article. – Scott

Last week, John Meyerhoff from Highlands County Corvettes e-mail me to let me know that on November 17, 2022, Larry Dudgeon passed on. Larry was 88 years old.

Larry was Lake Country Cruisers February 2022 Cruiser of the Month.

Last February I had a chance to talk at length with Larry. Here’s what I learned.

Larry resided in Spring Lake, close to the Sebring, Florida airport, but was from Blufton, Ohio. Larry spent six years in the United States Military and served fifteen months in Korea. While in the military, Larry worked in ordnance repair and was an electrical and fuel technician. Larry was first introduced to fuel injection and supercharging while working on military V-12 engines. Continue reading “R.I.P. Lake Country Cruiser, Larry Dudgeon…”

All Aboard! The U.S. Sugar Express Train No. 148 is Coming to Town!

Here’s the Story of the Restored U.S. Sugar Express Train!

Greetings Cruisers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Sunday we told you about our December 10 Car & Bike Show that will take place, only for December, at the Lake Placid Historical Society Depot, located at 12 Park, Avenue in downtown Lake Placid, Florida.

Our Special Guest Star for the show isn’t an automobile, but it does have wheels (14 of them) and can move people and big things from here to there. U.S. Sugar Express Train No. 148 is a local historical artifact. Instead of the 102-year-old “static” display piece, this slice of history still works and sells rides!

Here’s some interesting info about the U.S. Sugar Express Train No. 148 from the Wikipedia page for the locomotive…

No. 148 was the eighth member of ten 4-6-2 Light Pacific class 141 steam locomotives built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Richmond, Virginia in April 1920 for the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC).

It was assigned to haul passenger and freight trains on the FEC’s Overseas Railroad between Miami and Key West, Florida until 1935 when the Labor Day Hurricane destroyed many of the route’s long bridges and the FEC permanently closed it down due to the Great Depression.

During that time, the FEC began to retire most of their older 4-6-2 locomotives for scrap or selling them to other railroads in order to recoup their financial losses.[4][5] No. 148 remained in service with the FEC until June 1952, when it was sold to U.S. Sugar Corporation (USSC) in Clewiston, Florida, where it worked alongside its sister locomotives Nos. 98, 113, and 153 to haul sugarcane trains from the harvest field to USSC’s sugarcane mills.”

So, what that means is that our “Guest of Honor” is 102 years old! Continue reading “All Aboard! The U.S. Sugar Express Train No. 148 is Coming to Town!”

Got Car Clutter in Your Garage? We Can Help!

Lake Country Cruisers First-Ever Car Parts Swap Meet!

Greetings Cruisers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Our February 2023 Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show will have an added feature… a Swap Meet! We all have car stuff stashed in our garages, so what better way of cleaning out the garage than a classic Swap Meet?

So, while we are having our regular Car & Bike Show, the Lake Placid American Legion has given permission for us to host a swap meet on the grassy area to the immediate south side of the Legion’s parking lot and in the grassy area behind the parking lot.

Space sizes for rent for the day will be a 10′ x 10” area for just $15 and a 10′ x 15′ area for $20 for the day.

To reserve a space at the Swap Meet, call Scott at… 863-699-6355, or e-mail him at… lightoak@comcast.net .

The time for the Car & Bike Show / Swap Meet will be from 9 am to 2 pm Continue reading “Got Car Clutter in Your Garage? We Can Help!”

Lake Country Cruisers Christmas Cruise-In

December 10, 2022, at the Lake Placid Historical Society & Depot Museum

Greetings Cruisers! This might seem a little early, but we want to get ahead of this special event!

Our next scheduled Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show is on December 10, 2022. It just so happens that there’s A LOT going on that day in downtown Lake Placid!

To be part of the day’s festivities, the Lake Placid Historical Society & Depot Museum invited the Cruisers to have our December Car & Bike Show at the museum. Here’s what’s going on in downtown Lake Placid that day.

The fully restored U.S. “Santa” Sugar Express will be arriving at 12:00 Noon and departing for the south later in the day. If you have never seen a steam locomotive before, this will be a treat! These giant machines “breath” and sound like beasts “resting”.

Our December show will be in the Historical Society’s parking lot and side yard. And while you are at the show, the U.S. “Santa” Sugar Express will be coming into the Lake Placid Train Depot/Historical Society Museum!

The Toys For Tots folks will be there, so bring a toy if you like. Continue reading “Lake Country Cruisers Christmas Cruise-In”

A Beautiful Day For Our Vets! – SLIDE SHOW

Greetings Cruisers! Our November Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show was a delight! A BIG THANKS to everyone that attended. We had 85 cars and bikes registered, which means we had around 120 in attendance and a few doggies, too!

Lake Country Cruisers bought 48 lunches for our great Vets! Thank you ALL for your service!

The Legion’s Mess Hall Kitchen had a great day too, serving up just short of 250 hamburgers, plus the hot dog count! You folks were HUNGRY! Between Lake Country Cruisers and Highlands County Corvettes, we bring in a lot of business for the Lake Placid American Legion.

And speaking of our wonderful Lake Placid America Legion, Post 25, a few weeks ago Commander Fred Pierce told me that at a recent Florida Commanders Meeting, many of the Post Commanders said, “We want to be like Post 25!” Many told Fred that they had sent recon teams to Post 25 to see why they are doing so good!

So, it is an honor and a pleasure to support and help Post 25! Continue reading “A Beautiful Day For Our Vets! – SLIDE SHOW”

Happy Veterans Day!!!

Greetings Cruisers and a salute to our great Vets!

Since today is the day our nation stops and says “Thanks!” to all that served and all those serving, we thought it would be fun to dish up a few videos about the history of America’s special day.

Tomorrow, November 12, 2022, will be our Veterans Day Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show. Every Cruiser that is a Veteran that enters a car will get a ticket for a FREE LUNCH at the Legion’s Mess Hall kitchen. It’s our way of saying, “Thank you for your service!”

Also, our special Feature Vehicle for the show will be Bob Neely’s 1942 Ford-built Willys Combat Jeep with a replica .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun! Bob is part of the Convoy Advance Unit with the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, 2021 Yellowstone Trail Section Convoy.

We met Bob at last month’s show. Bob and Bill Hoppner from the American Legion Department of Disaster Preparedness were leading the Lake Placid leg of Hurricane Ian relief for Arcadia, Florida. Bob has recently relocated to Sebring. Lake Country Cruisers welcomes you Bob, and appreciates all that you and your team have done!

This is “America” folks, and we know that you know that. When disaster strikes, we set aside our differences and help our fellow Americans. Continue reading “Happy Veterans Day!!!”

Tiz the Season For Toys For Tots!

Bring a toy to this Saturday’s Veterans Day Lake Country Cruisers Car & Bike Show

Greetings Cruisers! I just learned that our Lake Placid American Legion, Post 25 will have a Toys For Tots donation box that will be located by the Legion’s Mess Hall kitchen counter where you order your lunch.

Toys For Tots is in its 75th year and is a U.S. Marine Corps charity. According to their website, to date Toys For Tots has distributed 627,000,000 toys since 1947! For more information about their program, CLICK HERE.

And for some background history about Toys For Tots, CLICK HERE.

For our Veterans Day Car & Bike Show this Saturday, every Veteran that enters a car or bike will get a ticket for a FREE LUNCH at the Legion’s Mess Hall kitchen. It’s our way of saluting our great Vets and thanking them for their service.

And to add to our Veterans Day theme, Bob Neely from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association will be with us and his fully-restored 1942 Ford-built Willys Combat Jeep will be our Feature Car of the Month!

Here’s an interesting article about how the Willys Jeep became an American World War II icon! CLICK HERE.

Showtime this Saturday is 10 am to 2 pm. Norm, the Kettle Man, and Divine Ice Cream Dave will be on hand dishing up sweet treats! Continue reading “Tiz the Season For Toys For Tots!”