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Wilmette Couple Showcases Classic Car in St. Charles

Picture-perfect summer evening greets owners and visitors alike during the 1st Street Cruise Nite on the downtown's East Side.

There was no flux capacitor, but Mer Crow, seated next to his wife, Marti, said that when their DeLorean “hits 88 miles per hour, it really takes off!”

Not that they really drive it that fast — but it was clear from Mer’s answer that it was not the first time he had heard the reporter’s question about the driving force behind Doc Emmett Brown’s DeLorean-turned-time machine in the 1985 movie Back to the Future.

The Wilmette couple were among those who turned out Tuesday night to show off cars — old, new, classic and muscle — as the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce hosted the 1st Street Cruise Nite along Riverside Avenue, immediately east of the Fox River.

Mer said he and Marti came largely at the urging of their granddaughter Molly VanKerkhoff and her boyfriend, Tyler Baldwin, both of St. Charles, who are car enthusiasts. With the young couple was their friend John Harris of Belvidere, another car fan.

Ron Jaeger, owner of Tutor Doctor and one of the event’s sponsors, also was on hand. Jaeger was showing off his car, a billboard on wheels of sorts. The vehicle is encased — almost shrink-wrapped — in several layer of vinyl with information about his business. The vehicle, he said, gives him a chance to promote his St. Charles business as he drives around the Fox Valley.

Tutor Doctor, he said, employs classical educators who offer one-on-one tutoring in the home, teaching a body of knowledge that helps develop critical-thinking skills.

Across Walnut Street from Jaeger sat Roger and Connie Sibley of DeKalb. They were enjoying their seats on a shady section of sidewalk where the warm evening’s slight breeze seemed most steady. Before them sat a 1951 Mercury Coupe with a custom-cut top. Roger said the body sits on a 1979 Buick LeSabre chassis, and the vehicle is powered by a 403 Oldsmobile engine. The stunning cool-blue body was decorated with painted flames along the side. It stood out in the fading daylight.

Roger said he’s had the car for 12 years, during which time the couple have put 40,000 miles on it.

His pride in the car was apparent by the expression on his face as he rattled off details about it.

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