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! 🙂





A beautifully restored 1967 Ford Mustang GT350



1938 Chevy Coupe


This Chevy beauty is an example of a Resto-Mod


Perhaps the most iconic America car of all time: A Chevy Corvette, this being from 1958, the first year that the Vette had 4 headlamps.


A gorgeous 1957 Chevy




Being a Cougar guy, I love this 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator


1971 Chevelle SS — RestoMod


This was my favorite of the day….a GORGEOUS 1950 Mercury


Chevy Camaro Z28 – Today’s Camaro can’t hold a candle to this one!

Cuda Survivor

A great example of a survivor: A Dodge Barracuda with Hemi Engine — affectionately referred to as a Hemi ‘Cuda.


Dodge Coronet 500


Another beautiful Hemi Cuda — Some of these can fetch a MILLION dollars or more.


A beautiful Pontiac Firebird ‘Resto-Mod’. If you’re in your 40’s or 50’s how many of these did you see around your high school?? I still have flashbacks and regrets….

Ford Woody

Huntington Beach always has it’s fair share of Ford “Woody’s”!


Stunning Ford Thunderbird


So beautiful that it deserves a second photo…..Unfortunately they don’t make ’em like they used to!


This Mustang is unique because of the “H” that you see behind the GT350 logo on the side of the car. The “H” stands for Hertz (as in car rental). Back in the day, Hertz would rent these ‘track-ready’ mustangs to anyone who wanted one. Most guys would rent this car and take it to their local drag strip for a weekend of 1/4 drag racing and return the car on Monday morning. The beauty of this is that you did not have to invest money into building a track-ready car – you just rent it. Today, these are extremely hard to find and are fairly valuable. Seeing this up close was a real treat for me.


A great example of a Restomod Roadster.


1967 Buick Riviera


A beautiful Studebaker Pick-Up “Survivor”…..actually a rolling piece of art!


A mid-1960’s Chevy Corvette hardtop


A Corvette Stingray – For you Vette fans, the stinger is red.


Yet another “Woody” – I love the license plate on this one…..