I grew up in southern California, and was in high school 1959-1963. Think American Graffiti. There were lot of drive-ins then, the movie type and especially the food type. Car hops, burgers & fries and vanilla (or cherry) Cokes were the staple and so were cool cars. When it came to the best drive-in, it was a close call: I liked Bob’s Big Boy the best, but a lot of people preferred Nixon’s, which was owned and run by the then-future President’s brother, Don. Both places – and the several others in the area – were as much about the cars as the food. Looking back, it seems to have been the perfect time to be a young guy in southern California – times were simpler and more innocent – we were too – and the cars were really cool.
I guess I’m still a “car guy”. I’ve had some pretty nice cars over the years; a 1949 Ford Tudor bullet nose – my first car – a 1962 ‘Vette, a 1964 Jaguar XKE roadster and others. I don’t have a “weekender” now – that’s what I call a car that’s only for fun and occasional driving – but I enjoy going to local car shows. In this area, one of the biggest and best, Crusin’ for a Cure (HERE), (the “cure” refers to prostate cancer) is held late each September at the Fairgrounds. This year it’s this coming Saturday, September 26th.
These days my tastes run to the pony cars and muscle cars, not that I’d say no to a nice 1956 Chevy Nomad if someone handed me the keys, but my really, really first choices are the 1965-1970 muscle cars; Camaro, Barracuda, Challenger, Chevelle, GTO, that sort of thing. So every couple of months I go to small local car shows, thirty or fifty or so cars parked at a shopping center overflow lot or somewhere similar. I take pictures, and talk to the guys (it’s almost always guys) who own the cars and have spent a lot of money and rubbed a lot of wax on their babies.
I think about buying one now and then, but with a two car garage and two cars now (mine and my wife’s) something would have to give. I don’t want to park my daily driver outside all the time, and I wouldn’t drive a weekender very much, so why spend the money? Speaking of which, these cars are NOT inexpensive. I was sorely tempted by a 1967 Chevelle early this year, but the price tag was $32 large. Wow.
So this Saturday we’ll go look, take pictures, buy a T-shirt, a snack, watch the cars. One of the cool things about this show is they have a “cruising lane”, so you can watch, and listen to, the cars loping around the fairgrounds. No, it’s not Woodward Ave., but most of the shows are static, so it’s fun to see the cars in motion.
We’ll have a great time. The show starts pretty early, which is good because the weather man says it’ll be a scorcher. To get parking we need to be there by about 8 am. That’s okay. There’s lots to do. I just have to remember to take the SPF.