Friday Night Cruising in other media

Print media:
Kamera-lehti, 8/2004,
published 17th august 2004

Tuulilasi: Turbo 3/2004,
published 16th september 2004
Kamera-lehti, 8/2004>
Tuulilasi: Turbo 3/2004>
  Friday Night Cruising in Helsinki – What is it about?

First Friday in every month, from May till September, or maybe till October, is dedicated to Cruising in Helsinki. It means loose gatherings of car and motorcycle enthusiasts in various places. The most spectacular place to be is the parking place of the Old Ice Hall. The phenomenon began in the beginning of 1980’s, when American car enthusiasts decided to have meetings. In the beginning there came only about ten cars. The cars awoke anyway so much interest that the local radio station Radio City (FM 96,2) started playing fifties records in their “Cruising Show”. Soon they started making live program from the places where the action was. They even gave prizes for different categories like “The Coolest Car”.

I’ve been photographing this theme from the end of 1980´s. Pictures have been published in the Finland’s largest car magazine, Tuulilasi (Windshield) and its motor sport version AutoXpress. I have taken pictures also just for my self and there has been years when I have forgotten the whole thing. In the June 2003 I went to see if this Cruising-thing could be photographed with a digital camera. I didn’t have great expectations. I thought that I could just watch relaxed, because the camera would be useless in low light and a lot of action going on. But o’ how I was surprised by the performance of this Canon G3! It coped extremely well with the night scene. It focused right and exposed right. The turning viewfinder gave extra possibilities. I could take pictures from low viewpoint without having to put my jawbone to the ground and from high above the others so that I didn’t have to use a wide-angle setting to get what I wanted. Let alone anything between these extremes.

The choreography in the Old Ice Hall parking place goes like this: Cars drive slowly past “a lane of honor”. People try to stimulate the drivers to have a burn-out. As I remember the progress, in the old days there were less burn-out, more just beautifully restored cars passing by. Now it seems that the main reason to drive through this “lane of honor” is to get the thickest cloud and loudest explosions.

All in all, Helsinki looks like a place, where Steve Lucas film “American Graffiti” could have been filmed.

Helsinki, Finland, July 28, 2004

Reino Laukkanen
Burning rubber -How to do it and how not
Kumin poltto - kuinka se tehdään ja kuinka ei
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Friday Night Cruising in Helsinki