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Cruise Down Rose Parade Route 12/31

Tim McNiff | Published on 12/31/2021

Cruise Down Rose Parade Route 12/31

New Year’s Eve and time for the classic car cruise down Colorado Blvd. I pick up my son, Paul, at 7am and we head for East Pasadena and the gathering point for the classic car cruisers. The weather was very cold and still damp from the earlier rain.


When we arrive at the mini-mall next to the Corner Bakery, there are only a few cars in the parking lot. Within minutes Phil Caliva arrives in his ‘53 Chevy, which he has been refreshing. Followed moments later by Chuck Lakowski in his white Jensen Healey.


While we were eating breakfast in the bakery, more and more cars started arriving and the parking lot started to look like past years – lots of cool cars! Peter Roses stopped by the table to announce that he and Alexandra had arrived. When Paul and I headed back outside to scope out the cars we discovered that Lon Bender and Steve Gerow had arrived and parked next to each other. As we walked the rows of cars, we ran into George Merino and Bob Gomez who had squeezed themselves into George’s Lotus. Dan Burrola then showed up followed shortly by Jack Gies and his daughter Julia, who were giving their recently restored ‘64 BJ8 its maiden outing with a rebuilt engine. As everyone gathered to check out the car Win and Sue Phelps drove in. Paul and I continued to check out the varied and interesting cars when I ran into Lou Fisher’s son-in-law, Mike, who indicated the BMW behind him as his and Lou’s ride. Dennis Williams finally showed up in his yellow Porsche and we were ready to cruise.


Peter had charted a short drive up into the hills between Pasadena and Glendale that would follow our reaching Orangegrove Blvd, where all the TV channels set up. We turned off Colorado Blvd and descended into the Arroyo and headed for the Rose Bowl. We pulled off the road, took some pictures and then headed up Linda Vista Ave to Inverness Drive. This twisty narrow street with blind curves and cutbacks took us to the crest of the hill by Flintridge-Sacred Heart School on Saint Katherine Drive. The panoramic view was breathtaking and everyone got some pictures. We then descended down to Chevy Chase Drive, where people turned right or left to head toward home.