LONDON, ON – More than 3,000 vehicles and 25,000 spectators filled the sprawling Plunkett estate last weekend for the ninth annual Fleetwood Country Cruize-In.
The three-day event, organized by Cadillac collector and self-confessed gearhead, Steve Plunkett, is billed as "an automotive extravaganza like no other" – and that description is accurate.
Acknowledged by some experts as the largest outdoor car show in North America, spectators are drawn to this event because of the vast number of vehicles on display.
Here, visitors can get up close to several gems from that era, including a couple of priceless one-of-a-kind cars that are highlights of the collection: a 1934 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Coupe built by Fleetwood and a 1938 Cadillac Series 60 Roadster with the body custom-built by Brunn.
In addition, there’s also another museum housing many of Plunkett’s collection of more than 70 vehicles, including about 40 other Cadillacs, many of historic significant to the brand.
Vintage cars sit shoulder to shoulder with immaculately restored muscle cars. Modern performance machines share space with pristine classic sports cars. In one area there’s a gathering of beautiful old commercial vehicles, including the Labatt brewery’s sleek Streamliner transport truck.
In addition to the cars, the Fleetwood event is also a tribute to the tunes and people of the rock ‘n’ roll era. Celebrities from the ‘60s and ‘70s drop in, some to smile and sign autographs; others to entertain at a couple of fund-raising concerts held under a huge big-top tent.
This year, Mary Wilson from the Supremes, Mitch Ryder, the Association and Paul Revere’s Raiders jammed for the crowd Friday evening, with one-time teen idol Bobby Vinton rocking under the canvas Saturday night.
Proceeds from the event, which has generated more than $1.5 million to date, help support more than 30 charities in the London area.
Be sure to check out our full gallery of photos from the 2013 Fleetwood Country Cruize-in.