If you walk past Constitution Court next Tuesday night, you might see a fire-engine-red 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo with a black vinyl top, a set of 255/60R15 Goodyear Eagle STs mounted on Cragar Supersport mag wheels, a 400 turbo trans and a 411 ratio pos rear end. The proud owner will be gunning its 454 cubic-inch engine fitted out with an Edelbrock high-rise intake and a Holley 750 double-pumper carburetor.*
Along Madison Street, you’ll hear a DJ playing “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Little GTO” and “She’ll have fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes her T-Bird away.”
If you walk a block east, there’ll be a 1950s hamburger drive-in vibe at Shanahan’s, where along with a chocolate malt, you’ll be able to get $3 sliders and fries.
It will all be part of Cruise Night, a show-and-tell for vintage and muscle cars every Tuesday night through Aug. 31.
Twenty-seven businesses have contributed a total of $6,150 in seed money. Organizers hope that the weekly 50-50 split-the-pot raffle will help pay for the DJ.
The event’ s Facebook page has grown from 80 fans a month ago to more than 150 now.
According to Laurie Kokenes, director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, most businesses on Madison Street are taking a wait-and-see attitude before implementing special promotions or staying open past their regular closing times.
Mayor Anthony Calderone was pitched the idea a few months ago by Larry Moskos, part owner of H&R Towing in Forest Park and an organizer of a similar event in Lemont, his hometown. Calderone is running with the idea because, as he told the village council in March, he wants to bring people from outside the area to the village on what seems to be the slowest night of the week.
“We are going to expose individuals who don’t know about Forest Park to the downtown business district,” Calderone told the Review last month. The event, which will run from 6 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday from May 25 to Aug. 31, will be free,
Moskos, one of the local organizers too, said he has no way of estimating how many cars and their owners will show up. But, for Cruise Night in Lemont, Moskos says he see 300 to 500 cars each week. Although most cars there date to the 1960s and ’70s, Moskos says he’s seen some cars from as far back as the 1930s.
He won’t make a dime on this event, Moskos says, but he’s helping pull it together because “it’s fun.” It’s not a competition and there won’t be show prizes awarded.
Since there will be no street vendors or alcohol allowed on the street, there will be only one auxiliary officer walking Madison during Cruise Night’s three-hour stretch, 6 to 9 p.m.
Sally Cody, executive secretary at Village Hall, said that there is no registration required to participate in Cruise Night and no rules governing what kinds of cars can be parked in Constitution Court and along Madison Street. Constitution Court is the parking lot on the south side of Madison between Doc Ryan’s and Louie’s Grill.
For more details, go to www.forestpark.net, call Cody at 708-615-6203 or e-mail email@example.com.
* Credit for this fantasy car goes to Rod Nunley and Mike Winter of Elite Tire and Auto Service, at 7201 Franklin.