Real Wheels: Elida’s Elvis Rides a Harley

ELIDA – Don’t think it’s time to see an eye doctor if you think you’ve seen Elvis Presley driving a 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King or driving a 2005 Corvette on the streets of Allen County.

You just ran into Richie Crouse from Elida.

Crouse is an Elvis Presley impersonator who loves hot cars and good music. He will host many car shows this summer, where he will remind people that there is no place for rumba in a sports car.

Crouse has been singing and dancing at Jailhouse Rock for more years than he can remember. He couldn’t help falling in love with Presley’s music or his blue suede shoes. This left Crouse all shaken.

“My sister Cheryl made me an Elvis costume for Halloween one year. It kind of grew from there,” he said.

His love for cars and motorcycles dates back to his teenage years at Perry High School, where he graduated in 1974.

Crouse bought his Harley from longtime friend Kelley Lesk, who bought it new. It is part of a special edition released to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. Only 6,500 Road Kings were made, according to Crouse.

“He is almost 20 years old and has only covered 5,500 miles. Elvis rides in style,” Crouse said.

The Road King has a proud history. The modern Road King is a highly refined touring machine that evolved from the fat-framed bicycles that roamed the American roads in the 1940s. As the automobile company developed larger engines, designers built specialized frames for track racing, off-road racing, climbing and transport.

As for his 2005 Corvette, it replaces a 1965 Dodge Coronet that Crouse once owned. The 2005 vette is the sixth generation of one of America’s favorite sports cars.

“It’s flawless,” Crouse notes, “an Elvis-worthy car.”

Both vehicles are housed in a garage that Crouse calls his man cave. It includes memories of past years.

“I had a choice: I could put up drywall in the garage or take the path of memories. I went with the memories,” Crouse said. “I don’t think you can find room for one more memory.” I have everything from drive-in theater speakers to eight-track players.

As he will tell you, this is a great place to stay, not a Heartbreak Hotel.

Crouse will wrap up the summer by hosting The King car show on Sunday September 18th. This year marks the ninth year of the event, which will once again be held at Parc Faurot. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the show is from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“All the money made from the car show…every penny goes to the Salvation Army. Last year we raised $6,700.

He calls the show a good time to shake, rattle and roll.

Richie Crouse’s 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King is almost 20 years old and has only done 5,500 miles. Only 6,500 Road Kings were made that year as part of Harley’s 100th anniversary.

Automobile and Elvis Presley memorabilia fill the walls of Richie Crouse’s garage-turned-man-cave.

Elida’s Richie Crouse hosts many car shows throughout the summer as he shakes, rattles and rolls in his Nancy Strayer-designed Elvis Presley outfit.

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