The blast of horns. The wail of sirens. The growl of the engines.
The 24th annual Car d'Lane is here.
Cars and trucks of all makes and models dating 1974 and earlier went "Cruisin' by the Lake" Friday night, beginning at 6.
Flames shot out of tailpipes and "aHOOGa" horns trumpeted as thousands of spectators yelled, clapped and did some trumpeting of their own when the classics crept along the cruise route.
The route began on Lakeside Avenue and continued to Fourth Street, north to Wallace Avenue, west to Second Street and south to Sherman Avenue. Camaros, Stingrays, Volkswagens, Mustangs, Chevelles, Model Ts, lowriders, old military vehicles and a vintage Hollywood ambulance with the license plate "Gonner" were among the custom and restored classics that paraded along the downtown streets.
Laura Quesnell, 41, of Coeur d'Alene, said it's the sights, the people and the party afterward that keep her coming back to Car d'Lane. She has lived in Coeur d'Alene 10 years and said she has only missed it twice.
"I like to see how old people are compared to what kind of car they're driving. It's just a fun kind of gauge of human ingenuity," Quesnell said.
Sam Travis parked her '45 Chevy on the north side of Sherman when it began getting hot. The pickup is black with red trim, and has a keg for a gas tank atop the wooden bed.
"It's a rat rod thing," said Travis, 21, of Coeur d'Alene. She described "rat rod" as being "chopped, cut-up and ratty. That's a rat rod."
Travis said she's been to many Car d'Lanes, but this is her first year driving her own vehicle in the cruise. She's been working on the pickup since she purchased it for a trade three months ago, but said it's now probably worth about $12,000.
Just around the corner from where Travis pulled over, another car overheated. As Kevin Staggs, of Spokane, turned off the cruise route, it looked as if a sprinkler was under the hood of his shiny, dark red '65 Chevelle as water spewed skyward. He blew a radiator hose because "traffic's too slow," he said.
"I'm putting water in and getting back on the road," Staggs said as he swiftly worked to pour water into the radiator.
Tully Fedele, 20, and Trinity Hill, 19, both of Post Falls, were taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the flood of people at Second and Sherman.
"It's just kind of fun to have everybody get together down here, to see everybody," Hill said.
Fedele said his grandpa is into old cars and he wants to get into them himself someday.
"The '68 Chevy Chevelle, that's my car, that's the one I've seen that I like," Fedele said. With a thumbs up, they blended back into the crowd.
Jerry Hunsanger of Spokane said he's lived in the area 10 years and comes every year. He said he enjoys the crowd excitement. He is showing his '64 Ford Thunderbolt in the Show and Shine portion of the event (from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today). He said it's "a great civic event."
"Most of the fun is finding a good spot, picking cars out with friends, walking around and seeing all the cars, and then staying by your car," he said. "People always come up and have stories about their background, and being able to tell (you) about earlier in their life, high school or something. The car reminds you of that."
Kayla Myers, 23, of Hayden, has been to two other Car d'Lanes. She said her favorite rides are the ones with flames.
"I don't really know any of the names of them, I just like looking at them," she said, adding she planned to stay until after dark, when the flames really come out.
Adults and children alike laughed and smiled as they squeaked by each other on the crowded sidewalks, while the car engines of Car d'Lane continued to growl into the night.