In my life I have 3 passions: Air Travel, Golf and Classic/Muscle Cars. Air Travel is obvious – you know how I feel about Lufthansa. Golf? I get in 3-4 rounds per week. Muscle and Classic cars? That’s my therapy. When I get home from work , off comes the suit and tie and on go my mechanic cover-alls. There’s something holistic for me about working on an engine, body panel, interior etc. If things go well, I usually leave them better than I find them, and to me thats the rewarding aspect of the car restoration hobby. What I spend on classic cars and restoring them would probably have been dollars going to therapists and Prozac anyway! 🙂
Anywho, on a recent trip to southern California I had the opportunity to take in the Donut Derelicts Car Show. Donut Derelicts started in 1986 when 4 friends would meet at a local donut shop each Saturday to talk about and admire each other’s cars. As time went on, more and more people joined this gathering each Saturday and the group has now grown to well over a hundred. The gathering happens each Saturday morning between 6:00a and 9:00a in the parking lot of a strip mall on the corner of Magnolia St. and Adams St. in Huntington Beach, California. If you ever visit, come early as cars start to head for home around 8:00a.
Being a ‘car guy’, I had no problem immersing myself into the gathering and meeting fellow gear-heads. What I found was typical: A group of friendly guys and gals who love their cars and love to talk about them even more. Tips, tricks and emails were exchanged and I went away with an invitation to bring out my own vehicles next time. That most likely won’t happen unless I can check my cars in as oversized luggage.
What I’ve assembled below is a collection of some of my favorites, ranging from ‘warmed over’ classics, Resto-Mods, and untouched “survivors”.
For those of you not familiar with these terms, a “warmed over” car has had minor performance upgrades, such as engine or suspension modifications, or modernization of a component or 2. A ‘Resto-Mod’ is a full-blown restoration of a car that basically replaces all the original major components with modern technology. New engines, electronics and drivetrains are part of a Resto-Mod’s DNA. These are my favorite and what I specialize in. You may have a 1968 Corvette on the outside, but underneath, its a lot of technology from the last 10 years. A ‘survivor’ is for the purist. A survivor is usually untouched, all original, and shows wear and tear typical of it’s age and has never been restored.
These car shows are a great way to be taken back to an era when cars still had character and personalities. You could also tell them apart. Ford, Pontiac, Buick, Chevy and Dodge all had their “looks” and you can identify a model based on how it sounded and looked from a 100 yards away. With today’s relative garbage & cookie-cutter cars being offered where most vehicles look the same regardless of manufacturer (like how Hyundai makes some of their models look like BMW’s and Benz’s), I for one am glad that there are thousands of us ‘gear-heads’ holding on to the past! 🙂