from The LA Times

Cruise night returns to Van Nuys Boulevard

After a 28-year break, car lovers meet once a month on Wednesday nights to show off their souped-up muscle cars, restored classics and lowriders in a scene familiar a generation ago.

CruisingA 1962 Chrysler Newport makes its way down Van Nuys Boulevard during Van Nuys Cruise Night. After 28 long years, cruising has returned to Van Nuys Boulevard. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

As the souped-up muscle cars, restored classics and lowriders cruise through the old Rydell Chevrolet lot on Van Nuys Boulevard, Reid Stolz takes stock of a scene that was familiar to anyone growing up in the San Fernando Valley a generation ago.

“Remember when we were young and the cops were old?” said Stolz, 51, watching an LAPD patrol car glide by. “Now the cops are young and we’re old.”

After a 28-year break, Stolz and other car lovers have brought cruising back to “The Boulevard,” though the drivers are now more likely to be middle-aged guys with graying hair and grandkids, driven by nostalgia rather than teenage vanity.

The cruising scene on Van Nuys Boulevard once was so popular and rowdy that it all but paralyzed the area and was seen as a menace by merchants and local residents. Police shut it down when turf wars and illegal races got out of hand.

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