This weekend at Somernites Cruise, the fives are coming alive.
The featured car of the June Cruise is the "Tri-Five Chevy" -- models from the years 1955, '56, and '57. It's a favorite theme at Somerset's classic and custom car show annually, and with good reason.
"Usually if you ask somebody to name their three favorite classic cars, one of those ('55, '56 or '57) is probably going to be in the top three, if not at the very top," said Mark Hansford, Cruise Team Member and the voice heard all around downtown each fourth Saturday of the month, April through October.
"The '57 (had) the tail fins and the whole '50s-era sleek jet-inspired look," he added. "You gotta think about the time period in which the cars were introduced. In 1957 the jet age was just starting. Jets were starting to replace propeller-driven airplanes, and auto manufacturers included elements of jet planes into the automobiles, with the tail fins and nose cones. It gave it a futuristic, high-teach look."
The iconic '57 tail fin even made it into the Somernites logo design itself.
"It's just a part of the car culture," said Hansford. "Even a casual classic car fan can immediately identify the '55 or '57 Chevy."
So bring in those Tri-Five Chevy cars -- and trucks and wagons too -- "Even if you've got a Corvette, if it falls in those years; not too many of those left, but if you've got one, bring one," said Hansford -- and park them on the south end of Main Street, near the library this Saturday for the downtown Show-and-Shine.
And while you're there, stop by and see Patrick Glenn Nichols, who has his own YouTube Channel and feature called "Musclecar Barn Finds." Nichols will go around the country connecting with people, finding cars stashed away and barns and talks to their owners about them.
"It's a pretty good size," said Hansford of Nichols' online presence. "He has a pretty strong following on YouTube. He'll be there for a meet-and-greet on Saturday."
There's also a first for Somernites this month: The Hot Rod Builders Showcase. Individuals who own shops that build hot rods in the region have been invited to come display their projects on the Fountain Square.
"If you're looking to have a hot rod built for you specifically, you might want to come down and talk to these folks," said Hansford.
Other regular Cruise activities include Thursday's Tune-Up Cruise In at the South U.S. 27 Dairy Queen on 7 p.m., a chance to eat treats and share stories; the Cruiser Meet & Greet Friday at 10 a.m. at Danny's Rod Shop on North U.S. 27; the Friday Night Thunder Block Party at the Somerset Mall, presented by the mall along with the Don Franklin Family of Dealerships; and the Saturday Morning Fun Run.
Meet for a free breakfast at the South Hardee's location at 8 a.m., then head out for Russell County on the "Fun Run" to take a tour of the classic car collection of Terry Stephens, owner of Stephens Pipe & Steel.
"It's not open through the week, it's a private collection, but we made arrangements to open it up to us," said Hansford, who noted that the tour is free of cost.
For those who like food, over 40 vendors are expected to fill up Vendor Alley, an unusually high number, noted Hansford, and people are invited to set up at the swap meet for used parts for only $20. Only one thing could spoil the day -- rainy weather.
"It looks like about a 50/50 (chance of rain)," said Hansford, "but we'll be here anyway."
The Friday Night Thunder Block Party at Somerset Mall returns this weekend.