GHD Celebrates Classic American Iron

By Daniel Meyer

Automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts have Saturday, Aug. 8 circled on their calendars for Gowanda Harley-Davidson’s seventh annual Kustom Kruise-In. This is a family-friendly event that does not charge the owners of old-school cars and bikes to display their rides and it remains admission-free for anyone wanting to check them out.

“What we have seen happen over the past six years is the Kustom Kruise-In became an annual gathering for people who like to customize their cars, trucks and bikes, and it allows them to interact with each other, get new ideas and show off what they have,” said Delaney Peters, Gowanda Harley-Davidson’s marketing and sales manager.

“It really is a great time and people love it because it doesn’t cost anything for the owners and there is no admission charge to come check out these incredible vehicles.”

Kustom Kruise-In VII, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is a car and bike show that truly celebrates classic cars and pre-1984 American-made motorcycles. While diehards are familiar with terms such as rat rods, rat bikes, pinstripes, gasseers, greasers and rust, even the casual observer of automobiles and motorcycles will find something that will fascinate and perhaps even inspire them to explore the possibility of restoring a car or bike.

“The thing about customizers is that they are passionate, and it’s great to see so many enthusiastic and dedicated people together,” said Peters. “They feed off of each other and inspire each other. It’s incredible to see.”

Trophies will be awarded in various categories, including Best Painted Car, Best Painted Bike, Best Motor Car, Best Bike, Most Original Car, Most Original Bike, Overall Best of Show and Overall Best Rat. Just as in years past, audience participation is encouraged and is the sole deciding factor on how each trophy is awarded.

“All of the awards are decided by the crowd,” said Peters. “They decide who should get trophies and it’s a great way to get them involved and allow them to show the owners which cars and bikes they like the best.”

Live musical entertainment is one of the focal points of the annual event, with Kustom Kruise-In VII to feature the blues-infused and loud rock-a-billy sound of “The Heavenly Chillibillies” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We have the same musical act as last year because they are popular and they are really good at what they do,” said Peters. “They have been a main draw for many years now at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island and we had so many people tell us they really enjoyed the music they played last year.  So they are back and we are really excited about that.”

Refreshments will be sold by players, coaches and parents from the Gowanda Area Youth Football organization as a fundraiser. After the musical entertainment and food is served, a police-escorted group cruise featuring the cars and bikes participating in the event will head toward the Dunkirk Pier at approximately 2:45 p.m.

Registration for Kustom Kruise-In VII will begin at 10 a.m. and judging will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Owners of classic cars, muscle cars, rat bikes, choppers and other vehicles that “celebrate classic American iron” are being encouraged to participate in this year’s competition.

“This is fun, it is free and it is family-friendly,” said Peters. “We hope to see everyone back who has experienced one of the first six Kustom Kruise-Ins, but we also hope to see some new faces and welcome anyone who has even the slightest interest in checking out some incredible cars and bikes.”

For more information about Kustom Kruise-In VII, visit or call (716) 532-4584.