Admittedly, the idea sounded a bit far-fetched at first. Spend 10 glorious days in paradise and drive that prized classic Chevy around Hawaii's ultra-scenic Big Island. Talk about the ultimate fantasy (car) vacation! But thanks to the efforts of some very dedicated hot rodders like (Hilo) Hawaii Classic Cruisers' Herbert Leite and Tony Rodriguez, Maui new car dealer Damian Farias, and former Big Island resident and current mainlander Fred Capellas (California Classic Cruisers), the "Cruise Paradise," or the "Big Island Cruise" event became a reality.
"The idea sort of came together after a 2000 meeting in California with Herbert Leite and Tony Rodriguez," recounted Capellas. "The first year (2001) we had a total of six cars come over from the mainland. This year we shipped more than 68!"
Of course, the shipping logistics were monumental, not to mention anything but cheap. But those who could afford the fare to attend Cruise Paradise II really had themselves a spectacular time touring the Big Island hot spots like Volcano National Park, famed Parker Ranch, and the Hamakua Coast.
Sunday's huge Fourth of July outdoor car show in downtown Hilo saw close to 425 cars attend, including at least four dozen vehicles shipped over from the outer islands of Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. Not surprisingly, Chevrolets of all years, models, and styles counted for a very large portion of Cruise Paradise II's entry list.
For those of you who missed the 2003 edition, you'll have plenty of time to get ready for the 2005 event. But in the meantime, take a gander at some of the high quality Bow-Tie iron that attended this year's event. You won't be disappointed!