The 2019 Chattanooga Cruise In Breaks All the Records!
The evolution of the Chattanooga Cruise In has shocked everyone on the Coker Tire staff. We designed this event to be a casual hang out for car enthusiasts, and it has turned into quite the spectacle. Its intense growth led us to the decision of moving the event from the streets of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee to Camp Jordan, a giant park on the East side of town. While hesitant to move the event away from our headquarters, we also knew that a larger venue was necessary to accomodate the big crowds. The good news is that the folks from East Ridge Parks & Rec welcomed us with open arms, and most cruise in participants were glad to hear that we were making more room. We had a great plan for our vendors and sponsors inside the Camp Jordan Arena, and we thought there would be PLENTY of room outisde for a swap meet, participant parking and spectator parking.
On a beautiful Saturday morning, the cars began arriving at around 5:30am to unload, clean up and find a spot. It was apparent by daylight that we'd be filling the giant facility by day's end. And by 10am, we were scrambling to find additional parking for spectators and participants alike. Luckily, the park has additional parking areas throughout, and we used nearly every square inch of it. The unusually wet winter was still wreaking havoc on some of the fields, so we did our best to stay out of the soggy stuff. The turnout was incredible. Cars were parked for as far as the eye could see. People were everywhere, and smiles were a common sight! The Chattanooga Cruise In offered more than 3,000 cars, trucks and motorcycles, and our estimate on total people in attendance is approximately 20,000. Without question, we learned a lot and we plan to do it all over again next spring. We'll have a new traffic plan, and hopefully even more parking space, so let's get ready to make it even bigger and better!
We couldn't pull this thing off without the Coker Tire Staff, East Ridge Parks & Rec, the East Ridge Police Department and more! We'd also like to thank our sponsors, Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, American Powertrain, Somernites Cruise, TMI Products, Packer Industries, Chattanooga Trailers and Shuford's Smokehouse. We'd also like to thank the crew at Brainerd Motorsports Park for allowing us to include a drag racing element into this year's event. We had a blast at the drag strip, and quite a few of our pariticpants made fun runs, attended as spectators or entered the King of the Cruise In Shootout. The inaugural King of the Cruise In is Dee Hale in his slick 1969 Corvette, running a 6.574 in the finals against Josh Dillon's sleeper station wagon, which ran a quicker 6.572 elapsed time, but lost due to a holeshot advantage. It was a TON of fun and we hope to continue adding fun elements to our event as it grows each and every year. For now, take a look at some of our favorite moments at the 2019 Chattanooga Cruise In while we plan next year's event.