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Dozens Cruise in Memory of Local Veteran

Updated: 08/25/2013 10:38 PM
Created: 08/25/2013 9:26 PM KSTP.com

(ABC News)-- His wish was to have one last ride. Family and friends of local veteran and car enthusiast Mike Janning gathered in Austin for a cruise and car show today.

Car enthusiasts from around the area came for the classics and the muscle cars, but the real hot rod everyone gathered for was the 1972 Pontiac Ventura.

"There's a lot of pride in this car," said Eric Janning, Mike’s son.

It's not necessarily the car people care about, but it's the man who put his heart into building it.

"His wish was to have one last ride and unfortunately he didn't make it," said Janning.

The car show began as a benefit for Mike Janning, a local Vietnam War Veteran.

But when he lost his battle with cancer just a couple of weeks ago, "this now became a memorial and we are donating the money in his name to different charities," said Mike Lahann, organizer of the event.

"He's here in spirit and this whole day is all about my dad and the hot rod culture and the thing that he helped motivate," said Janning.

What better way to honor Mike than to take a ride in his pride and joy named Taz.

"It pretty much proceeds itself, it might not be the fastest thing the in world but it's darn quick and it barks," said Janning.

His son Eric takes the wheel and one after another drivers took turns on their "ride with the devil."

"That's just something he wanted to do for his last ride," said Lahann.

Family and friends cruising the open road with Mike in mind.

"Just trying to make him proud and hopefully he's happy and looking down on it," said Janning.

There was one winner in each class during the car show. They even had a Mike Janning choice award that was chosen by their long time neighbor and friend. The money raised will help with medical expenses and be given to local charities.



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