FARMINGTON – Classic cars, ice cream and word of mouth is Ice Cream Shoppe owner Rob Gardner’s recipe for a fun summer and early fall. On Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. he hosted what he hopes to be the first of many weekly “Cruise Nights” at the Route 4 location of his Ice Cream Shoppe chain.
A small crowd of car enthusiasts gathered at the shop for the classic car show. Models were discussed and restoration jobs admired. The crowd was seemingly familiar with one another, proving Gardner’s theory that a Facebook post and word of mouth through the tight-knit car lover’s community would be sufficient advertisement for this first show. Though the event got off to a slow start, more car owners arrived with their roaring classic cars as the night went on.
One such attendee brought a 1938 Ford pickup truck with a 305 motor that he built “from the ground up” with his wife’s grandfather. Craig Hutchinson brought his 1972 Corvette and looks forward to coming back for next week’s car show. For him, every car show, big or small, new or old, is a good one.
The idea for the event was born out of Gardner’s own personal hobby for restoring “hot rods” as well as observing the success of the Snack Shack’s own Cruz-In Nights in Skowhegan.
“I’ve wanted to do it for years, I just didn’t know how to get it going,” Gardner said.
But after discussing the idea with other enthusiasts in the area and being told to “just go ahead and do it” he arranged what he hopes to be an annual summer event. Looking ahead, the Cruise Nights will run every Monday night 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gardner anticipates a larger turnout with the later time. The weekly event will continue until the last week in October when the Ice Cream Shoppe closes for the winter. Every attending antique car owner will receive a free cone of their choice. Gardner hopes to eventually host the event at the Shoppe’s Skowhegan location as well as in Farmington.