The Clubs winter project for fourteen years in a row was an Auto-Rama display. Our last display at Cleveland’s largest car show would be in the year 2000. Fast forward nearly eight years. The Rock – N – Roll Capital Street Machines are planning a come-back for the 2008 show! New cars, new people and new ideas. The 2008 show which will run from March 14th through the 16th will feature approximately 8 to 10 Club cars as well as a fire truck.
The year 2003 started off with the news that our Tuesday night cruise had been selected by Cruisin’ Times Magazine as the “Number One Cruise” in Northern Ohio.
Several CTC meetings were scheduled in 2003 at the Solon Historical Society building. The first was on Friday, January 17th. A follow up meeting was held on Friday, February 21st at 7:00 PM. Pizza and pop took the edge off the discussions about the same old issues. What cars are to be allowed in? A youth Night?, Classes, awards, and entertainment. Many exciting things were discussed. After all the debates and discussions the end result would be NO CHANGES from the previous year. The 2003 cruise season started with the first Tuesday in May.
We may have missed the 2003 Cleveland Auto-Rama but we did not miss the other shows. The Club put on a grand display at the Canton car Show from January 31st to February 2nd. We had eight Club cars displayed in the “Glass Room” of the Civic Center. All of the Club cars received awards!
The bus trip to the Detroit Auto-Rama on February 22nd was a sellout with 56 Club members and guests. Forty seven people attended the Cobo Hall show and seven others tried their luck at the Greektown Casino. On the return trip a stop was made at the Hometown Buffet in Toledo.
The next car show on our agenda was the IX Center. A full day of set up preceded the nine day show which ran from March 1st to the 9th.
The Clubs “Spring Fling” social dinner/dance was held on April 12 at the La Casa Bella Party Center. The menu included three meats, a vegetable, potato, fruit cup, salad, rolls with butter, corn fritters, pastry, coffee and tea. Cost per person was $32.00. The Club contributed $20.00 toward each members’ meal. We dined and dance the night away at a cost of only $12.00 each. May I add that it was nice to see people all dressed up.
Anyone familiar with Cleveland Magazine would be aware of the fact that they will periodically rate the best of a wide range of topics such as best cities, restaurants etc…
In the late Spring issue an article was written by John Carollo on Car Cruises. Of the top ten car cruises in Northern Ohio ours was rated number 1!
The next Club Cruise/Picnic was held on June 1st. Free passes and chicken dinners were motivation enough to entice forty nine (49) cars to Six Flags Park. We made up about a third of a promotional car display for the park. Unfortunately, this would be a one time only event.
On June 26th our Club was featured at the regular Thursday night cruise at the Streetsboro Wal-Mart. As always, we were there with an impressive display of cars.
Three Test-N-Tune events were on the calendar for 2003. These race events at Thompson Drag Raceway were scheduled for June 29th, August 17th and September 28th. Early morning rains kept some people home on June 29th. The August and September dates were a great success.
Participating in parades has always been a part of our Clubs history and tradition. We have never missed the Bedford/Bedford Hts 4th of July parade. The Solon Home Days parade has become another regular event. We also display our cars each year for the Bedford Hts Home Days.
When the City of Bedford Hts changed the hours of operation at the Civic Center we needed to find a new home for our 6:00 PM Sunday meetings. The Club was given an opportunity to hold a trial meeting for the month of July at Solons’ new Community Center. The meeting was held on the third Sunday of the month (as usual). The meeting took place at 4:00 PM, two hours earlier than normal. The Club was welcomed by the Mayor and members of City Council. We debated the pros and cons of the locations, days of the week and hours that would be most convenient for our members. The third Monday of the month at 7:00 PM won the vote. On Monday August 18th, 2003, at 7:00 PM our Clubs first official meeting at the Solon Community Center was called to order.
The weather did not work in our favor in 2003. Four and a half of our first seven Tuesday night cruises were rained out. Wednesday nights became a rain date for cancelled Tuesdays.
The biggest single summer club event was our 7th Annual Charity Cruise. The August 19th fundraiser was to benefit Ronald McDonald House. The Club raised more than $10,000 that night!
Some of the more fun and relaxing events of the 2003 summer included a Club car display at the Market Place at Four Corners in Aurora on August 16th. On September 14th we held a Club picnic at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Park. This would be a multi-Club event where we displayed our cars and grilled steaks and burgers. Club members brought side dishes and desserts. Out of the 13 car clubs participating in this show our Club shined by having the most members in attendance. We brought 28 cars to the event and by days end we were able to win 14 door prizes.
On the 19th of October 33 Club members went on a scenic cruise through the hills of Tuscarawas County. The cruisers destination was the Zoar Tavern and Grille in the bucolic city of Zoar. It was a perfect way to end the cruise season.
The City of Solon held a grand opening open house of it’s newest Fire Station at SOM Center and Pettibone Roads on Sunday, November 9th. The Club was honored to display nine Club cars on the front driveway for all to see.
Each year ends with our Club Christmas Party. On Sunday, December 21st we held our first Christmas party at the new Solon Community Center. To date, this may have been the largest party yet with 160 plus adults and children in attendance.
The Club Christmas party is one tradition that has not changed in all the years that we have been together. Other things, such as our Cruise have changed in ways that would have been beyond the wildest dreams of our founders.
Twenty or thirty cars at a 1987 Cruise was considered a good turn out. A nice summer night at the CTC today could attract 500 cars. Some of our Clubs special events have drawn thousands of cars that have gridlocked the streets of Solon.
By the year 2004 history is beginning to cross that fine line that separates the past from the present. Most of you have been with us for several years now and have great Club memories of your own.
In March of 2006 Club President Richard Johns asked me to write a history of the Rock-N-Roll Capital Street Machines. The seventeen chapters I have written only begin to scratch the surface. If all the names and events were included in this brief history we would have more material than the average person would be willing to read.
What I have tried to do here is try to explain to all of you where our Club came from and how we got to where we are now, as well as to fill in any grey areas that may have existed. Everything in these seventeen chapters can be considered fact and can be proven. There is one small item that remains in a grey area that I could not confirm. Unfortunately, all the people with the answers have passed on.
I would sincerely like to thank the following Club members for their help: Terry Taggart for the tech support with the pictures in the early chapters and Linda Sammon for typing my handwritten text. Bob Shimits gets the “Golden Fingers Award”, for his typing/editing work on the last 14 chapters. Thanks also to Dave Zuber for providing me with a near complete collection of newsletters dating from 1991. Finally, a special thanks to all the Club members who helped me research our history and provided details of long forgotten adventures. I hope that you have all enjoyed this trip back in time as much as I have enjoyed writing it and found it both enlightening and entertaining.
Your fellow cruiser, Joe Artale, member since 1987.