I was standing in line at 6am this morning to buy a donut and a bottle of water. I don’t drink coffee. The cute little girl handing me my change was the typical California girl in every way – if the Beach Boys made music videos in ’65, this girl could have been the star. If you asked this girl where she worked, she would brush back her blonde hair, smile, and tell you about this little mom&pop donut shop. And she may or may not mention in conversation that on Saturday mornings at this particular shop, all these old cars that show up. The Donut Derelicts is what car culture is all about in Southern California. You could bring someone from Albany Georgia here, they could spend 2 hours in the parking lot of this donut shop, talk to ten guys about their cars, and understand exactly the mentality of a California car guy. Outside of So-Cal, has anyone seen an under-construction belly tanker and a stocker ’32 Roadster at a weekly parking lot BS session? In Florida, this would be fully of ’38 Chevy 4-door sedans and rat-turd rods….unreal.
For years I have read about Brian Brennan attending the Donut Derelicts on Saturday mornings. He has mentioned it in his editorial so many times over the years, and of all the years I’ve been out to SoCal for various auto events, I never seem to be here on a Saturday with nothing scheduled. We were up this morning at 5am pacific to head down there. We piled into my ’32 and shot down the 57 to Huntington. It was just about daylight when we pulled into the parking lot – and it was slammed – we were already “row-two”… Stocker ’32 , a land speed belly tanker chassis, a ’35 roadster survivor custom that was in unreal shape, and an A roadster on an A frame – with a McCulloch blown flatmotor…. just an average Saturday morning coffee and donut event….
Next stop was a car show in Fountain Valley – this was sort of a miniature concourse type deal…they even had a drive-through awards lane, decorated with plants and flowers just like Pebble Beach(ha) – it was even on grass. Instead of the fairways of Pebble Beach, this was in the outfield grass of the ball fields in Fountain Valley; not the same, but I will say as a golfer, this was some very plush turf for a softball outfield – maybe we need some input from TR? I really like this little show, as my tastes in cars is pretty widespread – I can look at a mid ’56 Porsche just about as long as any ’32 Ford..I just like cars. The show was divided up…hot rods, muscle cars, british sports cars, a couple Ferraris, etc. I spotted a couple of early Mercedes and snapped some pics of those for my friend Mike in Daytona…the ’53 120 coupe was super dialed I will admit.
Back on the road – the goal today was to attend 4 car events – and the next stop was the HAMB BBQ. This was up in El Monte…back on the 405 to the 605, to Peck Blvd. Its funny how the Californians say “the 5”, “the 10” East coasters say “I-10”, “I-95”, etc. I’m going to try and start saying “the 4”, the 95, etc at home. My personal exposure to Californians over the years has led me to say “freeway” in Florida…and I’ve noticed some of my friends have picked that up from me lately…
It is amazing that Ryan built a website ten years ago – with a message board, and now people 1000’s of miles away are having a BBQ with there friends they met via an internet message board – and branding their Saturday afternoon picnic in the park, the “HAMB” BBQ. Unreal power the internet has to market an idea or product.
As soon as we exited the 405 we saw some cars lined up on the side of the street – a couple ’54 Chevys, a ’50 Ford, a ’40 Mercury, and an absolutely slammed ’62 Impala on huge rollers. We were a bit early, so we parked the roadster with those guys and walked over to McDonalds to get a drink. After a few minutes of BS’ing with the Reyes guys, we headed over to the park and met up with Bad Bob from the HAMB, and Larry, aka tinknocker. It is funny how I go to some gatherings with 100 cars, and there are only 10 or so that really interest me, but at 11am, there were 20 cars here, and they were ALL interesting to me. Funny how HAMB events work that way…
Back in the car, on the 60 to San Dimas and LaVerne. Every year the city of LaVerne has a show downtown the week before the LA Roadster show – this was seriously not our style of event – there was a couple cars picture worthy, but not many. There was an entire row of PT Cruisers and Prowlers. Just when I couldn’t say enough about how SoCal guys were into cool cars….ouch. Apparently the big deal with the world of custom PT’s is to have some kind of diorama in the back door – a tribute to Spiderman, a water fall, plasma tv running a loop of Cabbage Patch doll commercials…you get the idea…
Here is an idea for a YouTube Video – two guys walk through one of these super-ghey car shows, take all the crybaby dolls and lame decorations from the cars, pile them in the middle of the street, and either fire rounds from a tommy gun into the pile exucution style, or light them on fire – Director/Producers Option –
We parked across from a super sanitary maroon roadster – it had a pretty normal look to it, and at first I thought it was just a nice hot rod, but on further inspection, the entire front suspension was original ford, it had a new dropped axle, but it was running round Ford spindles, ’40 brakes, ’32 perches, shackles, spring, chrome wishbones, stock Ford tierod, etc. And a fantastic chrome job on all those parts.
We decided to have some lunch in LaVerne…and I spotted a little joint that looked like it would be dialed nightspot. 77 beers on tap. So the stop in LaVerne wasn’t a total loss! I scanned the tap handles and there it was – Fat Tire – on tap – 28oz of glorious amber goodness for only $3. Thoughts of home ownership near downtown LaVern raced through my head. Back in Daytona, my friend Tom is addicted to Fat Tire. It is no available anywhere in our area within reason, so he scams our various friends into bringing him a case or two when them travel down from the Carolinas. He had our friend Jon bring him two cases a couple weeks ago, and when another of our friends and his wife recently planned a trip to NC in a motorhome, Tom inquired as to how many cases they could fit under the bed in the back. Tom’s addiction to Fat Tire is turning our friends into Prohibition-era ‘shine runners. I texted him a pic of my mug…cold and frothy…he texted me back asking for the nearest airport to LaVerne.
Tomorrow morning is the Antique Nationals in Fontana – drag racing – Max is sitting here trying to figure out how we can run my roadster down the strip – apparently if we don’t break out of a 13.99 second pass – we can run the car a few times – so will my 2400 lb, 300 hp, 3.55 geared roadster going to break 14 seconds? I’ll let you know tomorrow – but I’m predicting upper 12’s at least?
End of Day Two – Odometer reads 443. People talk about driving a hot rod 1000+ miles to a car show – I’m thinking we are going to drive well over a 1000 miles AT a car show?
Qik Video from Donut Derelicts –