Featured Member of the Week: Bruzen Cruzer

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I just retired from the military after 26 plus years of service, over 18 years of active duty. I am married and have four children and four grandchildren. I play softball, volleyball, golf, and enjoy photography.

How did you first get interested in this hobby/passion?

As a young man I was always interested in hot rods. I paid $50.00 for my first car, a 1965 Chevy Bel Air. I put some big tires on the back, installed a set of air shocks, and painted it purple. I then graduated to a 1970 Chevy SS Chevelle. That was one of my favorite cars. In 2001 I saw the PT Cruisers and liked the retro look of it. I decided that I wanted to own one.

What Rides do you currently own?

Right now I own the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser and a 2007 GMC Canyon pick-up truck. The PT was my daily driver but it was costing me money to get the front spoiler painted all the time because of uneven driveways or parking bumpers. I decided to park the Cruiser and just use it for shows.

What do you like most about your current rides?

I like the look of the PT Cruiser and the ways that you can make it personal. Because of my military background I wanted to incorporate that theme into my car. I have an American flag installed as my headliner, my waterfall painted as a flag and also soldiers air brushed at the bottom. The custom boxes that are in the rear seat area are also wrapped in a American flag theme. I then had a local shop wrap my hood, front fenders and half of the front doors in a patriotic/Air Force theme. At all the car shows that I attend, I am the only one that has a waterfall, so that draws a lot of people. My car is a tribute to the military.

What is/are the fondest memories you have while owning your Cool Rides?

The first time that I drove my 1970 SS Chevelle was on I-65 between Montgomery and Birmingham, AL. My friend wanted to sell the car so I wanted to see what it would do. After putting the pedal to the metal, I was cruising over 100 mph. At that point, I told him, “I have to have this car.” With my ’65 Chevy, the gas gauge was broke so I always filled it up after 100 miles. On the interstate, I pushed it to 150 miles. One Christmas Day, while stationed in Alabama, I raced a Cadillac on the interstate on my way to work. I had that Bel Air over 100 mph and it scared me to death. I don’t remember who won but I was glad that I survived. With my PT Cruiser, everyday is a fond memory. I really like the car and how it looks. I wish it was faster some times, but it is a fun car.

What was the first car you ever owned?

My first car was a 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air. I paid $50.00 for it and my father and I fixed it up and got it on the road. It had a 283 ci engine, so it was fast enough for me at the time. I had it painted purple and added some nice rims and tires. I drove it from Pennsylvania to Alabama. I owned it for a few years and sold it to my brother-in-law, who cracked the block in it.

What is/was the BEST car ever made?

I do not know if I am qualified to answer that question but I think the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle was a fine car. It was quick, looked good and was very easy to work on. I have always had an affection for Chevrolets. The 1955-57 Chevys were also great looking cars. You always see them at car shows. I wished that my father would have given me his 1956 Chevy station wagon.

What is/was the WORST car ever made?

The Pontiac Aztec. At the time, there were all sorts of polls going around about how ugly it was.

How did you first hear about the Cool Rides Online website?

I don’t remember. I think a friend told me about the site. Since I think I have a nice looking car, I want every opportunity to show it off. Cool Rides Online was a great site to display my car. I never imagined that I would be selected to compete for a Cool Ride of the Month.

Is there anything else you’d like the Cool Rides Online members to know about you?

I have always loved hot rods, antiques and classic cars. I wish I could own some of them. I would love to put a Hemi in my PT Cruiser. That way the car would perform as cool as it looks. There are a lot of customized PT Cruisers out there and they do not get the respect that they should. They are some cool cars too. I am not taking anything away from the hot rods and classics, but please give the PTs a chance.