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Classic cars arrive at Guptill's

Bob Richardson always wanted to buy a Ford Fairlane like he had in high school. When he finally found one, it provided more than a link to his past: It helped him make friends.

Richardson had moved to the Albany area for his job and found it a little lonely.

I didn't know anyone, he said.

That changed when he started going to car shows and cruises with his Fairlane. Richardson formed some close bonds with fellow car owners, which only tightened when Guptill's Arena announced it was going to move the day it held its monthly cruises. The car club that was staging the cruises couldn't do it on the new night, Richardson said, so he and his wife, Joan, decided to form a new club dedicated to keeping the Guptill's cruises alive.

That club, the Capital District Cruisers, holds cruises at Guptill's in Latham once a month during the summer. The next one is Monday, Aug. 9, from 4 to 9 p.m.

If you go, expect a crowd -- Richardson said there are typically 600 to 700 cars and upwards of 5,000 spectators.

"I've lived a lot of places, and I've never seen anything this size," said Frank Alguire of Ravena, the club's president.

Like Richardson, Alguire got involved in car clubs after he moved to this area and was looking to meet people. He got into cars not because he was looking to recapture a piece of his youth, but because he likes "cars that catch your attention."

"When they drive by you on the road, you're more likely to notice," he said.

Alguire noticed the car after which his custom hot rod is modeled while watching "77 Sunset Strip" when he was younger. The television show featured a character named Kookie who drove a 1923 Model T.

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