So many drivers were cruising Hines between Dearborn Heights and Westland Sunday, that the organizer of Cruisin' Hines said the event has grown to the point where “the main problem is to get everybody in.”
After the 7.5-mile course on Edward N. Hines Drive between Outer Drive and Ann Arbor Trail drew 40,000 classic cars and hot rods last year, Don Nicholson could not say how many cars turned out for the August 25 cruise this year, “but there was a lot more than last year.”
Every vendor which worked last weekend's event has already booked up to participate in next year's event, Nicholson said. There were also “quite a few car clubs this year” participating in Cruisin' Hines, though Nicholson added that he could not tell if more of the clubs were joining the event, or whether more belonging to the club membership rosters came out to join the cruise, “but either way, the park was pretty full this year.”
The director of the Friends of Nankin Mills was sitting and watching the cruise, Nicholson also said, and had counted seven different states and two provinces issuing license plates for cars driving in Sunday's cruise. Nicholson had also talked to a couple from Germany, who had found out about Cruisin' Hines by seeing it on Facebook, so they chose to spend their vacation this week in Michigan.
“They were really excited about it,” he said. “They never saw anything like this before, it was the exact opposite of being on the Autobahn.
“Everybody who got into the cruise loved it, the only problem was getting in,” Nicholson said.
At one point, according to Nicholson, the cruisers waiting to enter Hines Park from Merriman Drive had actually backed up as far as Plymouth Road, “so we have to look at moving things along.” Last Sunday, as the wait to get into the park stretched out from an hour to two hours, Nicholson said, there was more of an effort to rush the cars through, even to the point of opening up a second entrance into the park.
Right now, there are talks in progress to lure a major sponsor to the event, he said. If the sponsorship does not materialize, Nicholson said, then next year each car entering the park will be charged $5, “so we get enough people to ensure the cruise keeps running properly.”