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FEB 1, 2024 | Photos by Bill Cook

Fair-Weather Fast-Food Cruise-Ins Prove A Winning Recipe For Fun

Mustangs at Culvers cruise In

LAKE ORION, Mich. – During the dead of winter is the time when many enthusiasts begin dreaming of those fair-weather days when they could hop into their favorite ride and head off to an early evening cruise-in to check out cars and maybe grab a bite to eat. That’s likely why fast-food restaurants all across the country are popular venues for the cruise-in crowd, and Michigan is no exception. In The Motor City area, the Culver’s franchise in Lake Orion, Michigan, just north of Detroit, hosts a super-popular weekly car cruise-in that begins on the last Tuesday in April and runs each week until the temperatures begin to drop in mid-October.Ford Fairlane

How popular? When the weather is nice, this big cruise-in will attract an average of 400-500 cars, with show-goers typically starting to arrive around 4 p.m. -- and the cars don’t start rolling out until 8 p.m. The restaurant provides plenty of parking space for the variety of classics, hots rods and muscle cars that can be found here, plus offers multiple weekly prizes from sponsors, a trivia contest, a 50/50 raffle and even a live DJ on-site, including (of course) Culver’s gift cards. With so many Fords among the cruisers who frequent this event, it’s easy to see why our own roving Ford retiree enthusiast/photographer, Bill Cook, can be found here at least once a month. So to get our minds off of winter and help us visualize the fun we have while cruising in the sunshine, we looked up Cook’s photos from his visits to these cruise-ins during August, September and October of last year.1960s Ford Mustang

With his August photos, Cook sent us a note saying, “Tuesday was a nice evening for checking out the rides at Culver's and grabbing dinner: A Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Cole Slaw and a Barq's Root Beer. And it’s all only 3 miles from our house!” When he sent us his September photo set, he noted “It was another good turnout on a beautiful Tuesday at Culvers in Lake Orion. It’s always hard to resist . . .” And with his last set of photos he sent us from October, he said, “As we move closer to the end of the car-cruising season in Michigan (“@$#!+”), I have to take full advantage of my opportunities into late October, so it’s off to another Tuesday night at Culver’s. I know I’ll regret it in November if I don’t go!” We sorted through Bill wonderful photos and selected some of our favorites to share with you in the gallery below:1960s ford BroncoFord in red convertibleGrabberBlue ford thunderbirdBlack fordwhite ford thunderbirdGrabber orange mustang with hood openRed Ford mustang foxbodyBoss mustang at culversRed Ford Mustang CobraBlack first gen ford mustangFord Mustang 1960sFord Mustang Shelby ConvertibleMustangs at culvers showShelby F150 at showShelby Cobra in black


FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY BILL COOK