Since 1996 scores of classic cars and car lovers alike have been converging on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the annual Cruisin’ the Coast event. Coined as America’s biggest block party, gearheads flock from all over North America (including Canada) primed for an entire week of rock ‘n’ roll, drag races, sock hops, swap meets, headline entertainment, and a cruise along South Mississippi’s beautiful 30-mile stretch of beachside highway. 2012 marked the 16th year for the event, and boy oh boy was it ever sweet.
The event was originally created to promote tourism on the Gulf Coast and has more than lived up to the expectations set. Not only has it created a major tourism boom for the Gulf Coast, it is officially the biggest special event in the entire state of Mississippi. What started off as a relatively large event, boasting of 374 registered vehicles its first year, has grown into a monstrous gathering, with a record breaking 6,169 vehicles registered for this year’s event. That’s not counting the estimated 3,000 unregistered vehicles or nearly 100,000 gawkers that just came out to party.
Speedway Motors was on hand to share with us some of the killer hot rods and classics that flooded the streets of Biloxi, Mississippi. Speedway travels the globe enjoying hot rods as much as their customers so they get to see their labor of love in action on custom’s projects throughout the country.
With fame, often times comes notoriety and throughout the years Cruisin’ the Coast has been presented with its fair share of awards and accolades, including:
- Southeast Tourism Society (STS) “Shining Example Award”
- Mississippi’s “Governor’s Excellence in Tourism Award” – Event of the Year 2000
- “Southern Travel Treasure” by AAA’s magazine, AAA Southern Traveler 2001
- Southeast Tourism Society’s (STS) Top 20 Fall Event 2003, 2005
- Automotive Restoration Market’s Restoration Event of the Year 2007
- American Bus Association (ABA) Top 100 Event 2001, 2011, 2012
Thanks to 16 outstanding years of success and an amazing reputation to match, next year’s festivities are already being planned for the week of October 6-13. As it stands, with 354 days until the big event, more than 700 people have already pre-registered for Cruisin’ the Coast 2013. Visit their website to keep up with the happenings for next year and to pre-register your custom or classic.