Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss Bentley Cruise In nights which run every Monday evening downtown.
Launched by Chris and Debbie Tasa last fall, the event has already proven to be quite the hit with both local residents and folks from across the entire Central Alberta region and beyond.
“We started it last fall – we had a couple of meets in September and October,” said Chris. “It’s a gathering for car guys to come out, show their cars and to meet other car guys,” he explained, adding that the Monday night get-togethers run from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Last fall, I bought a classic car and thought that it would be great to meet out in Bentley because it’s a nice cruise for everybody,” he said. “Everyone seems to think it’s also going to be a huge gathering because we are so central. We are half an hour from Rimbey and it’s always a nice drive down the back roads,” he said. “We also had a guy here last week from Sherwood Park! So we will also be pulling from Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Red Deer, Rocky and of course Rimbey and all around here.
“Anyone can just drop in. And it doesn’t even half to be a classic car – you can just come by with your ride,” he said, adding he was into bikes during his younger years but then along came a passion for classic cars.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a rusted out old clunker or if it’s your 2012 Mustang or Jeep or whatever,” he added. “It can be anything. We’ve had 2012 and 2013 Camaros that come; there have also been some cars from the 90s, like a Mustang from then that comes out quite regularly,” he pointed out. “It’s whatever your ride is.”
“There is the nostalgia to it, too,” he said.
“My car is way older than I am, but a lot of the guys have cars that they grew up wanting or driving,” he said. “There are also a lot of them who have re-built cars with their dads.
“One guy showed up, he was in his 30s, and he was driving a Mustang that he and his dad built when he was a teenager.”
Chris also pointed out that there are likely plenty more cars in the region that really deserve to be shown off.
“It’s amazing how many cars are hidden around the area,” he added. “Sometimes, they are just in a garage with no place to go,” he said, adding that the cruise nights are also perfect for just grabbing a hot dog or a piece of pizza and exploring the cars on any given Monday evening.
Things got underway again just recently for the season, and right off the top there was a solid turn-out. And most recently, they had about 60 cars onsite.
“Our first one last year had 47, and then I think it was 38. The weather hasn’t been great so we’ve had an average of about 30 the past couple of weeks. But now that the weather is getting nice, I can really see this attracting upwards of 150 to 200 cars,” he said, adding that downtown Bentley has a nostalgic feel to it so it’s really the ideal setting as well.
“It’s also free – just come out and have a good time.”