It started with my first Hot Wheels car, a lifelong addiction for which there seems to be no cure. Cars, car culture and anything automotive has been my passion, but not mine alone. Millions of people worldwide share my love for automobiles and the opportunities they have created for our livelihood.

As I grew older, my Hot Wheels changed to Revel models, and then it really began – 16 years old, a drivers license and my first car in 1986 – a black 1977 Pontiac Firebird my dad rebuilt for me. Of course it didn’t take long for me to drive my way into two speeding tickets, and dad promptly sold that beautiful car. After driving a Chevy Chevette to lessen my lead foot, I was eventually able to get back into the kind of cars I loved – fast, American muscle. Franklin was a big part of this, as downtown Franklin was the place to cruise on Friday and Saturday nights.

Back then I was known for two cars: a 1967 blue Plymouth Barracuda and a bright orange 1973 Chevy Vega with a 400 small-block engine. Eventually cruising the Johnson County Courthouse went out of favor with the city council, and cruising was halted. I remember my mother going to a council meeting to complain about the cruising ban, as she and so many other parents felt it was a safe alternative to their kids cruising the southside of Indianapolis.

Years passed and I went on to own dozens of different cars, trucks and motorcycles. Cruising and car shows became less and less of my summer routine, yet my hunger for my “hot wheels” never waned, and eventually I knew that cars were still my favorite toys, so as life allowed, I eased back into hot rods and cruising.

Fourteen years ago I was asked to take over the car cruise-ins for Discover Downtown Franklin and for the Franklin Parks and Recreation Department. We created a Facebook group called Cruising the Courthouse, and our little gathering of a dozen cars quickly grew to hundreds of cars, so much so that we routinely ran out of space. Downtown Franklin is, to me, the most beautiful downtown in Indiana, and it looks even better when Main Street is lined with our beautiful classic cars and hot rods.

carThis year I decided to retire from running the cruise-ins and was fortunate to find a local car club, the Franklin Cruisers, to take over the shows for 2024 and beyond. This change gives me more time to enjoy my own hot rods and, as it turns out, to write this column. My favorite two cars have always been Barracudas and Vegas, so I came full-circle all these decades later, as I once again own one of each. The Vega has been with me for a decade now and is well-known as the VooDoo Vega. This is no ordinary four-cylinder Vega from the Lordstown assembly plant in Ohio. It now sports a massive, supercharged big-block Chevy engine with dual carbs and nitrous. Underneath the car, the frame is highly modified and narrowed to fit massive steam-roller tires. The car is considered a pro street build, a custom car design that was huge in the 1980s and is now experiencing a resurgence, due to Gen Xers who lusted after this style we saw on the pages of Hot Rod Magazine but couldn’t afford in our youth. The Vega was featured in the Summit Racing booth at the Indianapolis World of Wheels earlier this year, where it one first place in the Pro Street class.

This summer, with no car shows to run, I plan to spend a lot of time actually going to car shows to enjoy the time with my friends, and enjoy the beautiful cars and trucks of my car-cruising peers.

This monthly article will be used to share the hard work and dedication to the car craft by my fellow car enthusiasts. If you have a cool vehicle and a great story to share about it, I want to hear it and share it with our readers! Please send your contact information, a picture or two, and a little about your special ride, to, and maybe you will see your car in the pages of Franklin Magazine!

Until the next time…keep cruisin’.

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