So far, 2022 has been a year of change for the Sunset Cruisers. First, they moved their monthly car meets a couple of blocks over to a more consolidated location at 3rd and Daviess streets. Then, gas prices surged early this summer.
Steven McNatton said the location change has been met with some small bits of opposition, but ultimately the decision to move was for the better. It gave them more parking and a chance to have new food trucks, plus their speaker system can now be heard by all who come to the meet.
“We’re closer together. We were so spread out [in the past] that our PA system was not adequate enough. If we announced a door prize or something like that, sometimes it would take 5 or 10 minutes to get the word out to the other side,” McNatton said. “So I personally think it’s a good spot, if not better.”
The change in gas price, obviously, was not one they could control. McNatton said it has created high bills for some owners filling up their tanks.
He said he is usually seeing a price of roughly $50 to fill up his muscle cars, and he considers himself on the low side what it’s costing people to attend the meets. He said based on conversations with some other friends in the club, they’re seeing upward of $400 for their daily vehicles.
During all this change, McNatton said clubs like Sunset Cruisers have maintained a nostalgic factor.
Whether they’re muscle cars or pickup trucks or anything in between, McNatton said that people always think back to a different time when they see certain cars.
“It’s amazing how many people that walk down the street out there and say ‘you know, my dad had 71 Monte Carlo’ or ‘you know, my mother had an old Mustang when she was a teenager.’ We all go back to that time,” McNatton said.
McNatton said attendance has been lower than it used to be but understood that is expected as they are coming out of the pandemic. But he said he often sees at least five new cars and owners each time they meet. The group has also continued to have fun giving out door prizes and changing the theme each month.
July 2 marks the fourth meet of their seven-meet season. On Saturday they are showcasing muscle cars of all types, though McNatton said all cars are welcome.
In the coming months, they will have meets themed around Ford, any model made in 1955-1957, and Jeep.
“We always try to have a different group of people that come out and show their cars as a group and it works out pretty good,” he said.