Friday cruise fills Coconut MarketPlace parking lot

WAILUA — More than 20 cars — classic, vintage, sport and street — took advantage of an invitation by the Coconut MarketPlace to collect and exchange stories in a “cruise” coordinated by the Kaua‘i Classic Cars.

“Darrell Low called and asked if we wanted to do the Friday night event,” said Harvey Maeda who brought out two of his cars, “They even provided the lights for the parking lot to help light up the cars.”

Maeda said the event was just from about 5 p.m. until around 9 or 10 p.m., and the invitation was extended to anyone who wanted to come.

The Friday night event came on the heels of a successful Father’s Day car show at the Kukui Grove Center where Maeda said they had the largest turnout since the event started.

“The weather was good, and the people came out,” Maeda said. “George Nitta of Honolulu, host of a weekly auto radio show, came down and did a show by cellular phone from the event.”

On Friday night, the weather cooperated: no rain fell, despite the gathering of threatening clouds. More than 20 cars turned out, much to the thrill of visitors who browsed through the collection, stopping to get photos with the vintage cars and hot rods.

“We have to do something,” said Low, who coordinates the twice-weekly farmers market. “The farmers market draws a certain amount of people. We have the parking lot, we might as well make use of it.”

Low, happy with the response of the public and visitors to the event, said the Coconut MarketPlace will host the Friday night cars event once each month.

“In July, we’ll move the event to July 20 because the Koloa Plantation Days parade is on July 28 and the Kaua‘i Classic Cars will be participating in that event,” Low said. “Otherwise, we’ll do it on the last Friday of the month and see how it goes.”

Wade Yamamoto of the Kaua‘i Classic Cars took advantage of the meeting to browse through the Coconut MarketPlace shops, which were open, taking time to study the menus of the eating places before returning to the car enthusiasts.

Among the visitors, people stopped to chat with the car owners, bringing their tales of cars from their hometowns.

John Kaohelauli‘i of Soul Mates, one of the shops at the Coconut MarketPlace that was still open, said it was nice to see the parking lot full. His wife Juliet noted that she didn’t know about the show until she went outside and saw the parking lot filled with cars.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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