ELIDA – Don’t think it is time to see an eye doctor if you believe you just saw Elvis Presley riding a 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King or driving a 2005 Corvette on the streets of Allen County.
You just came across Richie Crouch of Elida.
Crouch is an Elvis Presley impersonator who enjoys hot cars and good music. He’ll be providing the entertainment at many car shows this summer, where he will remind folks there’s “No Room To Rhumba in A Sports Car.”
Crouch has been singin’ and dancin’ to the 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. It left Crouch all shook up.
“My sister Cheryl made an Elvis costume for me for Halloween one year. It kind of grew from there,” he said.
His love for cars and motorcycles goes back to his teen years at Perry High School, where he graduated in 1974.
Crouch purchased his Harley from longtime friend Kelley Lusk, 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 Crouch.
“It’s almost 20 years old and has only 5,500 miles on it. Elvis rides in style,” said Crouch.
The Road King has a proud history. The modern Road King is a highly refined touring machine that evolved from the big frame bikes that hogged the American roads in the 1940s. As the motor company developed larger engines, designers built specialized frames for track racing, off-road racing, climbing and hauling.
As for his 2005 Corvette, it replaces a 1965 Dodge Coronet that Crouch once owned. The 2005 ‘vette is the sixth generation of one of America’s favorite sports cars.
“It’s immaculate,” Crouch notes, “a fitting car for Elvis.”
Both vehicles are housed in a garage that Crouch calls his man cave. It includes memorabilia from years past.
“I had a choice: I could drywall the garage, or go the memorabilia route. I went with the memorabilia,” Crouch said. “I don’t think you could find room for one more piece of memorabilia. I have everything from drive-in movie speakers to eight-track players.”
As he’ll tell you, it’s a great place to dwell, not a Heartbreak Hotel.
Crouch will be closing out the summer when he hosts The King car show on Sunday, Sept. 18. This year marks the ninth year for the event, which again will be held at Faurot Park. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the show is from noon to 5 p.m.
“All the money made from the car show … every dime, goes to the Salvation Army. Last year we raised $6,700.”
He calls the show a good time to shake, rattle and roll.