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BY JONATHAN BARNES or some, the smell of car wax, the heat of the sunshine and the strains of ‘50s music take them back to their younger days. In their minds, they go back to a time when having good weather and a great car for the afternoon, and the free time to enjoy it, were all that you needed for some fun. Thankfully, it’s been a good summer to lower the convertible roof on the car and go cruising, allowing the wind to blow through your hair, smelling the flowers and watching the gawkers staring at you as you roll past them in your classic car. After all, what’s the sense of having an antique car or a classic muscle car if you can’t show it off and allow others to enjoy it? Sharing the love of design, beauty and mechanics of a classic car or muscle car is

part of the joy of collecting such vehicles. Car cruises are an American tradition in which owners of classic and high-performance cars meet together in parking lots and other wide-open spaces, to show off their vehicles and to enjoy an afternoon or evening of fun with other car lovers. Often these events include music or entertainment and food, and sometimes, they even have races. Western Pennsylvania is home to many of these events, thanks to the many gearheads who live in the region. Here is a sampling of some of the many popular car cruises in the Pittsburgh area:

• Mineral Beach (in Finleyville) — This popular event

happens every Friday night and often includes motorcycles as well as cars. This larger cruise usually includes several hundred cars.

• Wendy’s (in Peters Township, along Rt. 19) — This

cruise is every Monday night and is a smaller cruise that usually has about 50 to 100 cars.

• McDonald’s (Meadowlands - Racetrack Road) — This event is held every other Saturday all summer long. It is a medium-sized cruise is sponsored by The Washington Cruisers Car Club. www.washingtoncruisers.com

Wexford Star Lite Car Cruise (Wexford) — Wexford Star Lite Car Cruise is held every Friday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Labor Day. This is one of the largest weekly cruises in the region, and usually has more than 1,000 cars attending each week. The Wexford Star Lite Car Cruise is free and is hosted and presented by North Way Christian Community. www.starlitecarcruise.com

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