The Wanda/AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise
by Martin Libhart
Check one more item off of my bucket list! The Wanda AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio is a must-see event for every car guy or car gal. This event will bring back many memories that you only thought you had forgotten!
To fully-understand the quality of this event, some background is in order. This facility has been owned and operated by the Bader family since 1974. Currently under the leadership of Bill Bader, Jr., Summit Motorsports Park is a remarkable facility in every way. The focus of the facility’s management team is family and the customer. The grounds are always immaculate, the restrooms are clean, the food is great, and they still offer their trademark pound of ice cream (in many flavors, by the way) for $1. There is no charge for parking, electricity is provided at no cost to racers and participants, as are camping facilities. As Bill Bader has said…”we do it the Bader Way.” And that is obvious!
The Blue Suede Cruise is an annual event in July that encompasses everything imaginable having to do with cars, drag racing, music, clothing, and lifestyles of the 50’s and 60’s. Even the track employees dress in period-correct attire, and the event is continuously backed by good ol’ rock and roll music. This is one of the largest street rod events in the Midwest – but don’t let that fool you. This gathering includes 3 full days of serious nostalgia drag racing, fun runs by the show ‘n shine participants, and the Cruisin’ Times magazine Hot Rod Build-off. There is a sock hop, vintage fashion show, cookout, live concert (featuring The Van-Dells this year), the famous Bader fireworks show, and did I say it yet…… some serious nostalgia drag racing!!
As further evidence of the popularity of this event, Bill Bader opened registration for next year’s cruise on the final day of the event, and over 1,000 have already registered for the 2015 Blue Suede Cruise.
I’ll see y’all there!!
The beautiful Norwalk facility
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Nostalgia Drag World - Martin Libhart text and photos; Martin Libhart Photography
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