Chicago Classic Car Culture

Does Chicago have an active car culture? The answer to that question is a
resounding “yes!” Anyone who has driven past McCormick place during the annual auto
show can vouch for that. Just look around Chicago and you can see the love
affair in action. No place is this more
evident than in the local cruise nights that pop up in many suburban locations
during the summer months. Whether you go
there to show a car, see a classic hot rod, or just get out of the house, the Chicago
classic cruise nights are some of the best.

During the summer months from dinnertime to dusk on practically every day of the week,
you can wander streets from the far northern suburbs to the south side and
check out vehicles from the past. Cars
of all sizes, ages, and colors will be rolling down “Main Street” in the
downtown districts of suburban Chicago.

“These shows are all about community and family” says the
creator of a web site that promotes these shows. “People get out with their wife and kids,
have an ice cream cone, and swap stories on ideas for next weekend’s garage
tinkering project.”

People find out about these local shows from their
newspaper, car clubs, and online resources like
Members of such web sites enjoy the online
format because it allows them to share photos, chat in the forums, and have a
place to share stories when they cannot attend a cruise night. The web format is also popular in that dreaded
Chicago winter season when all classic cars stay bundled up in their garages. has cruise
night listings by each day of the week, as well as by suburban location.

While hot rod culture has diminished over time, it has never completely gone away. Groups of grease monkeys and
car lovers have always gravitated to the classic American car and everything it
stands for.

Today, whether it’s because of an excuse to get the family
out of the house, a reason to polish up the old jalopy, or just a love of
classic cars, cruise nights are flourishing around Chicago.

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