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Out for a spin: Cruise Nights in Tinley Park kick summer into high gear

Vintage classics and hot, exotic cars lined the streets of downtown Tinley Park at the opening night of Cruise Nights.

Held on June 6, the four-hour showcase offered an opportunity for area residents to strut their cars, enjoy some food and show support for the Bremen Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2791. Cruise Nights is a tradition in Tinley Park, which kicks off the Village’s summer festivities. Cruise Nights is sponosred by the Tinley Park MainStreet Commission and presented by Post 2791.

“When they come by, the guys like looking at the cars,” said Walter Koziel, junior vice commander of Bremen VFW Post 2791. “They like talking shop.”

Bill Vetterick, of Oak Forest, brought his 1929 Ford Model A Phaeton Convertible for others to view.

“This was my father’s car,” he said. “My father recently passed. He left me and my brother the two Model A’s that he has. This is one of those.”

Vetterick’s father had found an advertisement in a newspaper for the car and bought it from its previous owner in 1989.

“It’s all original, but it’s completely re-done,” he said. “Me and my dad did that in the last few years.”

The convertible takes Vetterick down memory lane.

“My favorite part about the car was working with my dad on it and stuff and enjoying the shows and stuff that we do, too,” he said.

Don Niven, of Homer Glen, was seated in a lawn chair right next to his car.

“It’s an all original 1950 Chevrolet,” he said. “It’s a Styleline Sedan Deluxe. It’s got 59,000 miles on it, and everything about it is original. That makes it very special.”

Vetterick and Niven regularly attend car shows, which allow them both the opportunity to view others’ most prized possessions.

“It’s a good car show,” he said of Tinley Park’s Cruise Nights. “I’ve been coming here since it started. It’s a good car show — a lot of cars, a lot of different cars.”

Unlike Vetterick’s convertible that he inherited, Niven bought his car from someone out in Indiana to add on to his collection.

“I’m into any kind of nice car,” he said, noting he now has seven. He added that he is “hoping to find the right buyer” for his sedan, especially since it is so customizable.

“It has many, many options from the factory, and that’s one of the things that makes it so appealing to people,” Niven said.

Cruise Nights event organizer Jim Palermo said the Tinley Park summer tradition can bring out as many as 220 cars on any given night, and it allows people from all over the southwest suburbs to see what his town has to offer.

“They come, and they eat,” Palermo said. “They’re coming here and doing different things.”

Any proceeds earned throughout Cruise Nights helps the veterans of Post 2791, as well as other local organizations and charities.

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