Vintage Japanese vehicles shine at the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC, held in the Danish capital of America!


35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC You could say that the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC organizers and participants have a cozy relationship with their host city, Solvang, CA. Allocated just one street in the heart of The Danish Capital of America, 75 vintage Datsun roadsters, sedans, coupes, trucks and Zs performed an early morning ballet of parking precision as they snugged-into their assigned spaces on First Street, right next to Solvang Park.

This popular two-day event attracts participants and fans from all over the world. The itinerary included a “Meet & Greet” dinner on April 28th at Mendenhall’s Museum of Gasoline Pumps and Petroliana in Buellton, the outdoor “Show & Shine” on Saturday the 29th in Solvang, and a post-show banquet held at the Solvang Veteran’s Hall. Part of the proceeds from the event are donated to the American Diabetes Association.

As in year’s past, the lion’s share of the entries in the show are not surprisingly Datsun Sports convertibles, which are now better known as Datsun Roadsters – like the three I photographed very early on Saturday morning for our report’s lead image. First released in the 1960s, the Japanese domestic market roadster was badged Fairlady and featured 1500 and then later, 1600cc motors. It was also exported to Australia. In 1967, before the 1968 emissions and design changes, Datsun unveiled one of today’s most sought-after collector models, the 2000 Roadster. In 1952 Datsun had produced a predecessor to the Fairlady, the 20 horsepower DC-3. Only 50 were ever built.

35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSICBeginning in 1969, Datsun unveiled its game-changer 240 Z Series. This 2-door, 2-seat, rear-drive, high-performance “economy” car sold over 160,000 units in the United States in just four years of production. I’m excited about presenting two 240’s here in the show report.

As you scroll down, you’ll discover engineer Rick Johnson standing by his gray ’73 240Z.35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSICThis car may look like a docile Datsun but one look under its hood reveals part of its street and drag strip, built-for-speed secret – a 350-inch, 410 horsepower Chevy small-block.Please enjoy this 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC Gallery. Some of my favorites are the right-hand-drive ‘59 Datsun 1000 sedan sporting fat whitewalls that went on to win the “Pre-’63” category, Larry Knorr’s black ’67 ½ Datsun 2000, Steve Pharr’s time-capsule, custom ’73 Datsun 620 pickup with a ’73 Yamaha 175 Enduro in its bed, and Solvang UPS Store owner Christian Tokchia’s very rare, right-hand-drive ’71 Datsun 1600 SSS “Bluebird” Coupe. That’s Christian in the Datsun hat and sunglasses, standing next to his “I’m leaving everything as is…” pale-yellow Bluebird.




Words & Photos ©Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalam.com/

For more information about the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC, please visit https://solvangroadstershow.wordpress.com/


Jim Palam moseys over to the Red River Ranch in Los Olivos, CA, and rustles up some tasty images from the CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS.

CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS.There are over 31,000 residents in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the communities of Solvang, Buellton, Ballard, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. It is also home to the Santa Ynez Chumash Indians’ reservation and casino.

If you’re out and about in the Valley you will inevitably encounter winemakers, farmers, equestrians, gamblers, and dusty-booted cowboys. In the 11 years that I’ve lived in the Valley, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a small but active community of local carguys who have tucked in behind their businesses, homes, and ranches, an exceptional collection of sports, classic, exotic, historic, rare and racy cars. So, I suppose it was just a matter of time before someone would connect the dots and bring together Cars & Cowboys for a major attraction that would benefit members of the community who need a helping hand.

Now you don’t throw a shindig like the Cars & Cowboys Extravaganza 2022 in The Valley without having fun as one of the goals. In addition to the show cars on display at Red River Ranch in Los Olivos, there was also numerous appetizer and tasting stations set up – along with two live bands, silent and live auctions, craft and clothing vendors, a bountiful, sit-down al fresco dinner and stagecoach rides – plus trick roping and horsemanship exhibitions. But the main goal of the event was to raise funds for the SYV Meals on Wheels program that serves seniors and veterans in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS Extravaganza drew in over 350 attendees. It wouldn’t have happened without the tireless efforts of a lot of amazing volunteers, sponsors, donors, community members, and businesses. Special thanks have to go to Al & Denise Frink who opened up their beautiful Red River Ranch for the event, C&C committee co-chairs Pam Gnekow and Kathi Heringer, Pete Thomsen who wrangled the show cars, and the support of the SYV Community Outreach Program that helps subsidize the cost for the Meals on Wheels operations.

Car Guy Chronicles is honored to bring attention to this special event. Word is already out that there will be another C&C shindig next year, so stay tuned. If you weren’t able to attend, here are some tasty event images rustled up by our contributor Jim Palam for you guys to enjoy. The original Elvis shirt was one of the unique auction items on display.




Words & Photos © Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

For more information about the organization and CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS, please visit https://carsandcowboys.com/

To learn more about the SYV Meals On Wheels program, check out https://syvcommunityoutreach.org/meals-on-wheels


We asked CGC West Coast contributor Jim Palam to scoot up to the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA and bring back a special two-wheel report for the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING, the return of two-wheel splendor to the grass of Carmel Valley. Mission accomplished!


It was Friday-the-13th when I drove past Valhalla Drive in Solvang. I was on my way North to cover the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING in Carmel, after the show was put on-hold for a two-year hiatus thanks to Covid. For a moment I couldn’t escape the irony that according to folklore, Valhalla was where the 13 Norse gods were having a death-arrow dinner party and the superstition of Friday-the-13th originated.

This harbinger of bad luck quickly faded when I reached Carmel Valley Road, turned into the bucolic setting of the Quail Lodge and headed onto the manicured show area where they were beginning to set up for Saturday’s much anticipated event. I thought how good my fortunes actually were as I watched some of the best bikes in motorcycling history being carefully rolled off their trailers and moved onto the beautiful show field. This was going to be special.

By noon on Saturday some 3,200 motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world had gathered to enjoy The Quail’s events – which included the display of 250 iconic motorcycles from the last 100 years, appearances by icons of motorcycling history and design, vendor tents, a silent auction – and tasty offerings of unique foods and beverages. Judged motorcycle classes included British, Italian, Other European, Japanese, Competition On-Road, Competition Off-Road, Antique, Custom/Modified and Choppers.

Special thanks as always to Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events, the hard-working event crews, presenter GEICO Motorcycle – and of course all the owners, builders and restoration experts who put endless hours and resources into making The Quail Motorcycle Gathering one of the best, two-wheel show events in the world. I’m already looking forward to 2023!

Mat Hazan ‘s stiletto-shape, custom ‘51 Vincent Rapide took not only the “Best of Show” honors, but also the “Design & Style” award. Now many would argue that the Rapide – or any Vincent for that matter – is already a fully-realized and strikingly-beautiful motorcycle, and that altering it in any way is sacrilegious. But Mat’s fabrication skills and customization visions are quite possibly heaven-sent and arguably beyond reproach.

This spectacular ‘15 Henderson “Long Tank” may look like a stretch of the imagination, but it was actually shortened six inches during its restoration. In its unmolested configuration this Henderson would have had a 65-inch (axle-to-axle) wheelbase. I was lucky to grab photos of this Machine Age classic on set-up day, because it didn’t take long for the Henderson to fade from view thanks to an ever-present wall of admires on show day. The Long Tank was on the judges short list, as it earned 2nd Place honors in the Antique class.

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGThe ‘06 Ducati Fuse from Revival Cycles of Austin Texas and designer Ed Boyd burned its way into the hearts of the judges, winning AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award. The Fuse started as a Ducati Monster with an 1,100cc motor. There are few parts, if any, that weren’t custom made by the artisans at Revival. I regret not dragging a ladder along to grab a bird’s eye view of this tapered red rocket. It’s from above that its unique shape truly astounds.

There was intense competition in the Japanese Class as there was an impressive turnout from the Honda collectors and enthusiasts – in addition to a strong showing of Suzukis, Kawasakis and Yamahas. Perhaps it was because my very first motorcycle was a ’73 inline-four CB500 that this ’82 Honda CBX Super Sport from Scott Steel’s collection got my heart pumping and my camera clicking. With six cylinders, six carburetors, 24 valves, two overhead camshafts, 100 horsepower and two upswept-3-stacks of chromed exhausts blasting chasers from behind, the CBX in its 1982 configuration was an unfortunately short-lived and pricey Sport-Touring experiment. It sold for $5,600 before taxes and fees.

Now this is BIG! Originally presented in 1961 as an attraction at Honda’s Tama Tech amusement park in Hino, Japan, this tiny bike quickly garnered praise and press – so in 1963 Honda began mass production of a street-legal Honda CZ100 Mark I Minibike. It was outfitted with a 49cc motor, a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission, 5 inch wheels, a white and chrome tank and bright red frame. The CZ100 was only available in European and Asian countries. Thanks to Joe Carrillo for bringing this rare icon to The Quail.

It’s been over ten years now since ARCH Motorcycle Company co-founders Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger took their shared dream of building a sleek and powerful bespoke motorcycle of unbeatable quality from idle chatter to high-revving, head-snappin’ actuality. I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Gard– pictured here on the right – and his company’s Client & Communication Manager Jordan Mastagni as they indulged my set-up day questions and showed me two of the company’s latest offerings. My ARCH pick for The Quail show was the bike in front of them – the ARCH 1s high-performance Sport Cruiser. The fit and finish of each ARCH motorcycle is carefully tailored to its owner.

Speaking of partnerships, in the world of motorcycle collecting and show circuit competition it is more often than not, a partnership of a discerning and motivated collector with a master level restoration shop or craftsman. Leather-clad collector Eric Meithke is pictured here with Tony Digati, his – and I’m quoting Eric – “Michelangelo of Motorcycle Restoration.” Before them is just one of their many projects, a spectacular ‘68 Suzuki Cobra 500. It features a duplex cradle frame, has a 492-cc two-stroke twin, does the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds and has a top speed of 105 miles per hour!

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGEach time I’ve seen Clay Baker at The Quail Motorsports Gathering he’s brought with him impeccable, show-winning Honda motorcycles – like this very special ‘67 450D Super Sport. There are only 35 known 450 “D” bikes in the 450D registry. This one was made even more rare by the orange paint “D-Kit” conversion. The 53-part kit was a dealer option to help sell off their 4-speed black bombers by converting them to 450 Scramblers with components like a revised gas tank and side covers, braced handlebars, shorter seat, Scrambler exhausts and bright colors.

Aesthetics has always played an important role in the marketing and sales of motorcycles. When Honda executives took notice of the bizarre colors and styles of the psychedelic era, they figured they could boost their American and European market sales by offering special paint kits to their dealers. Swirling paint for Honda tanks and side covers were offered as kits under the name Flying Dragon. This close-up of Steve Adler’s pristine ’73 Honda CL350 K5 Flying Dragon shows the gold and purple color scheme, one of three different combos available.

There’s always a point when I’m covering motorsports shows that I either want to jump in or on the machine I’m photographing to see what she can do. That was my first inclination when I spotted this limited-edition Diavel 1260 Lamborghini Ducati. One of only 630 units produced in 2021, this Diavel represents a fusion of Italian design and performance excellence. It’s chiseled, fighter jet lines are inspired by the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37. The Diavel’s thoroughbred sports engine produces 157 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque. It has a dry weight of 485 pounds and a 2021 price tag of $31,995.

Crocker Motorcycles were manufactured in Los Angeles from 1936 through 1942, at which point the plant was reconfigured to support the war effort and motorcycle production ceased. During that short period of time less than 100 Crockers were produced. Back in those days a Crocker had a top speed of 140 mph. This rare ‘39 “Small Tank” Crocker is from Mike Madden’s collection. Its 61 cubic inch motor produced about 50% more horsepower than the Harleys and Indians of the era. In fact, they were faster than almost every production automobile on the road in the 1930s!

This is one of the reasons I love hanging out with car and motorcycle enthusiasts: they are passionate about their vehicles, they are skilled, and they are often lovers of art. When Ron Wilcox replaced the ‘85 Yamaha RZV500R engine in his project bike he didn’t just hide it away in a dark storage area, he built a sturdy tripod for it so it could be displayed in all its “Heart of the Beast” artistic glory. Thanks for hefting this art to The Quail, Ron!

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGIt pleases me to no end that there is still a Chopper class at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering. I’m from the Easy Rider era and most bikes I saw on the streets and highways back then were home-garage-fabricated Harley Bobbers and Choppers. If there was one bike on the field at The Quail that could transport me back to the Harley Heydays it would be Big Danny Marquis’ drop-dead gorgeous ’37 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. Every inch of this bike is perfection.

That it took 1st Place in the British Bike class is really no surprise, because Phil Lane’s ‘72 Dunstall Norton 810 MK 2 is an icon. In 1972 it was hailed as the fastest standard motorcycle ever produced and that’s the year Phil bought this bike. Dunstall Nortons were designed and built by Paul Dunstall, a specialist tuner with a knack for building fast, race-winning motorcycles. Dunstall also built BSAs and Triumphs, and would later move on to Japanese marques before leaving the motorcycle world for a career in property development.

Gard Hollinger of ARCH Motorcycles checks out some of the tantalizing detail in Brian Fuller’s ‘51 Fuller-Vincent Black Flash. This bike received the Art Center Award at The Quail in the Custom class. As some of you know, Brian Fuller has been appearing on television for years now on car shows where his assured demeanor matches his skills in automobile and motorcycle building and fabrication. He currently appears on MotorTrend TV’s show Car Fix with co-host Jeremy Bumpas. To see more of Brian’s fabrication magic, visit his website at https://fullermoto.com/

Allan Christie’s sublime ‘14 Yale 37 took 1st Place in the Antique class at the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING. This award was presented by Bonhams. Yale motorcycles were manufactured by the Consolidated Manufacturing Company of Toledo, OH. They had acquired the rights to the California motorcycle which was the first internal combustion vehicle to cross the American continent in 1903. The Yale 37 sported a V2, four-stroke 1000-cc motor capable of propelling this Sport bike to a top speed of 71.5 mph.

I wanted to end my coverage of the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING where it all began – with this simple image of this simply wonderful Bultaco that was the first photo I took on the set-up day. The crowds and celebrities had yet to arrive and the show field was almost bare, but most certainly beckoning. There was nobody polishing or prepping this bike, nobody guarding it. It was all I would have needed to make an escape – from the daily routines and our complicated world. It’s estimated that there are over 200 million motorcycles, mopeds and scooters on our planet right now. Perhaps I’m not the only one looking to escape!

Words & Photos © Jim Palamhttps://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

For more information about The Quail Motorcycle Gathering and other Peninsula Signature Events, please visit https://www.peninsula.com/en/signature-events/events/motorcycle


Who doesn’t love a special deal? Perhaps it’s CGC’s Jim Palam’s years in advertising that was behind his idea to give our readers two-reports-in-one, combining two of the Central Coast’s popular car shows – The Solvang Fall Classic & The Montecito Motor Classic – into one feature. It’s a great idea, so here’s CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKEND.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKENDCovid changed the 2020 Car Show scene significantly – pretty much eliminating many if not all of the popular gatherings not only in America, but around the world. It was a year to ponder our priorities and for many a time to get back in the garage and finish projects that were in the works or on-hold. What was a bummer in 2020 turned out to be something of a bonanza in 2021 with many of these unseen or improved projects making their way to re-launched car shows, races and auctions.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKEND started early on Saturday morning in the heart of Solvang, CA with The 2021 Solvang Fall Classic Car Show. By 9 AM there were over 200 pre-1990 classics, hot rods, sports cars, customs and motorcycles. The show was free to spectators and thousands of car enthusiasts, tourists and locals strolled through the show-car-lined streets of “The Danish Capital of America.” Proceeds from the show benefitted local charities including The Rona Barrett Foundation, The Vikings Kids Christmas and The Veggie Rescue Program. In years past this show was held during the summer and promoted as The Wheels & Windmills Car Show. As hoped for, there were many cars there I hadn’t seen before and the cooler October weather was perfect. My vote is to keep holding the show in the Fall.

I started the second day of my “Wheeling Weekend” zipping down Highway 101 along the Pacific Coast in my 914 to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club for The 2021 Montecito Motor Classic. This was the second year the MMC was held at the Polo Club’s panoramic Carpinteria foothill’s location. This was also the 9th year that the Presenting Sponsor for the MMC was the Armand Hammer Foundation which meant that dedicated Car Guy Michael Armand Hammer would be involved, and that we’d see an exciting mix of exotics, hot rods, customs, classics, concept cars and even famous TV cars – like the first “car” I encountered – the George Barris built Munsters Koach, left. This hopped-up hearse was featured on the iconic 1960’s TV series, The Munsters.

One row over from the Munster Koach I spotted the Backdraft Racing Indigo Blue 427 Cobra, top, that had been wheeling down the 101 next to me on the way to the show. The affable owner is an aerospace executive whose passenger was a large Teddy Bear. Once on the show field he donned a Propeller Beanie Cap and shared his infectious effervescence with showgoers enjoying the perfect weather and exceptional cars on the expansive Polo Field.

There were also a number of side attractions at the MMC including the Avenue of Chalets vendor area and a tribute to show honoree and automotive designer, Mark Stehrenberger. Now I must apologize that I kept my camera focused mostly on the 200-plus cars on the show field and I missed the Fashion Hat Competition sponsored by Silverhorn Jewelers!

A trophy winner at The Solvang Fall Classic Car Show and a standout at any show it’s entered in was Keith & Lynne Raphael’s jaw-dropping ’61 MGA Roadster. This ‘lil beast sports a supercharged Chevy 350 tucked neatly into the radically-modified, all-steel MGA body that sits snugly on an altered ’78 Corvette chassis. This red racer is no Trailer Queen and gets driven often for joy-rides and to shows by Keith and Lynne.

This man is not only on the step-up to his “La Bestioni No. 8 ~ Beast of Turin” but on a mission to wow and entertain as many people as he, and his oversize creations, can. Some of you may recognize Gary Wales from his many appearances on Jay Leno’s Garage. Gary’s “Beasts” (he has built 8 so far) are tributes to the original Beast of Turin, a 1911 Fiat S76 that was powered by a massive 28-liter inline-4 engine. To create his “Beasts” he starts with pre-1930s American La France fire trucks and from there let’s his creativity flow. Many of the mechanical chores – such as rebuilding the 14-liter Simplex motor – are handled by his ace mechanic, Andres Aranda. It was one of the most popular exhibits of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKEND.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKENDIn conspicuous contrast to Gary’s “Beast” is Don Nichos’ ‘56 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabineroller (Cabin Scooter) which buzzed into the Solvang show with a BMW Isetta in hot pursuit. This head-turning 3-wheel microcar was designed by Fritz Fend for German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt. While spotting one of these on the road is about as rare as spotting Warren Buffet at the 7-11, they actually manufactured approximately 40,000 of them between 1955 and 1964. Capable of reaching a top speed of 56 mph, the 507-pound KR200 is powered by a 191 cc Fichtel & Sachs 2-stroke engine. If you close your eyes as one passes by you might think you’re hearing a classic Vespa scooter!

It was the very first car I spotted at The Solvang Fall Classic Car Show and I knew immediately that it was special. While over 21 million Volkswagen Beetles were manufactured between 1938 and 2003, this little, unpretentious Pastel Green Bug was one of the last split-window Zwitter Beetles manufactured in 1952. And here it sat, like an obedient and patient Dachshund, perhaps waiting for its owner to come out of one of the Danish pastries shops on Copenhagen Drive. This iconic, concours condition ’52 VW is proudly owned by Randy Maskell of Burbank who purchased it over 35 years ago. Everything works in this all-original survivor including the dash clock that you wind-up by reaching into the right-side glove compartment, and the delicate, flip-out style semaphore turn signals. Open the front trunk and you’ll find all the original tools.

What a difference a day makes! In striking contrast to Saturday’s Solvang show’s humble ’52 Zwitter Bug was this brutish Baja Bug on display at Sunday’s Montecito Motor Classic. Sitting mean and nasty on meaty BFGoodrich Baja T/As, this desert destroyer is powered by a high-revving, deep-breathing 700 horsepower LS7 Chevy. Configuration and Fabrication of the car’s complex suspension and chassis was handled by Bradley Nipper. The Bug’s concept was by Stephan Sutton and the assembly by EWR Racing. Oh, by the way, the car is air-conditioned!

Hi-yo, Silver! OK, I know this ’59 Corvette is painted Roman Red, but that’s Dawn Moore holding a photo of her father, Clayton Moore. If you’re a Boomer like me you probably watched Clayton on TV in his role as The Lone Ranger. He bought this Vette new in 1959 and it’s been in the Moore family ever since. Dawn is the latest family caretaker; she brought this classic up from Beverly Hills to proudly show it at The Montecito Motor Classic.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKENDThere are some bad ideas that are fabulous – like John Lynch’s awesome ’51 Kaiser Henry J Gasser! So, the story goes that when John told his buddies that he was going to stuff a blown 392-inch Chrysler Hemi into his diminutive Henry J, they all agreed – that was a really bad idea. When John completed the build – which included details like the Ford 9-inch rear, ladder-bar suspension and Turbo 400 transmission, his friends were speechless. This glowing example of a classic 1960s period Gasser is finished in John’s home-brewed “Evil Orange” paint, with its name Bad Idea boldly displayed on both doors!

Speaking of big motors in small cars – Jeff Jones of RatRod Jeff Fabrications brought customer Roger Regen’s wild & wicked ’29 Model A Tudor Ratrod to the manicured Polo field to tear up not divots, but perceptions of what a show-worthy automotive head-turner could be. Jeff’s intricate tube chassis connects all the rod’s components, serving as a sturdy base for the massive 540-inch, 850 horsepower Mooneyham-blown Hemi, Turbo 350 trans, and also a roll cage in the smashed, 32-inch to the roofline Tudor body. This attention getter drew in many admirers including this lovely lady from Ojai and her taller-than-the-car Great Dane. That’s Jeff enjoying the canine and lovely chapeaued company.

I met British motorcycle and car restoration expert Phil Honer years ago while I still owned my ’74 Triumph TR6. I never knew he owned this stunning Jaguar E-Type Coupe and was excited to see him and his meticulously-restored Opalescent Blue ’67 XKE on Copenhagen Drive for The 2021 Solvang Fall Classic Car Show. I grabbed this photo early on Saturday morning as the first arrivals were positioning their show cars in their assigned display areas. A native of Birmingham, England, Phil boosted his E-Type’s performance with high-lift cams, an aluminum flywheel, improved brakes and an improved cooling system.

Green: The color of money and envy! If you’re planning on putting a plug-in e-hybrid 918 Porsche Spyder in your garage, get ready for a considerable investment of time and money as they are near impossible to find. Touted as one of Porsche’s most advanced models when introduced in 2013, this hybrid features a 608 horsepower 4.6-Liter gas powered engine, paired with a 129 horsepower front electric motor and a 156 horsepower rear electric motor, fueled by a 6.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. Doing the power-curve math reveals a jaw-dropping 0 to 60 sprint in 2.5 seconds! Priced around $845,000 for a base model in 2013 you can expect asking prices from $1.3 million and way-way up today.

There’s nothing like a classic Tri-Five Chevy to bring us back down to earth and to Solvang, after our lofty visit with the 918 Spyder. GM produced over 1.5 million Chevys in 1957 and the odds of finding one at your local car show are very high. I was surprised to learn that even with these impressive sales numbers it was in 1957 that Ford outsold Chevy for the first time since 1935. Chevrolet recovered quickly and Ford spent the 1960s unsuccessfully trying to make a comeback!

Introduced back in 1946, Dodge’s Power Wagon was essentially a civilian version of the Dodge WC Series 4×4 military truck. Many were put to hard work as utility vehicles on farms and work sites and if serious mechanical problems were encountered far too many were left to slowly rust right where they quit running. Over the last 10 years Power Wagon aficionados have resurrected and restored the ones they could find and specialized restoration facilities, like Legacy Classic Trucks, have created growing businesses building Power Wagon conversions that feature high-performance drivetrains and custom interiors. This big orange wagon on the Polo Field was a favorite of the many kids who attended the show with their families.

Another early arrival in Solvang was this 5th generation Plum Crazy ’73 Dodge Dart 340 Sport. Its Chrysler small-block V-8 produced approximately 240 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With a curb weight of just over 3,200 pounds these cars offered above-average performance. Plum Crazy paint wasn’t actually offered in 1973, but this Dart looked ready to command the intersection outside the Solvang Shoe Store!

Although both the 2021 Solvang Fall Classic and the Montecito Motor Classic’s advertised motorcycles in the mix of show vehicles over my Wheeling Weekend adventure, I only saw two motorcycles on the Polo Field and less than a dozen on the grass at Solvang Park. Even though there was a nicely restored Brough Superior at the MMC, the bike that caught my eye and camera lens was Ron Curtis’ quintessential 1960’s chopper, a beautifully scalloped ’64 BSA. It of course had radically extended forks, “ape hanger” handlebars and a tall “sissy-bar” seat. What it didn’t have was a hardtail frame, the builder opting to retain its original coil spring set.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKENDOne of the fun things about these local shows is you will often discover interesting vehicles parked within the vicinity of the show. One such giddy discovery was this authentic Japanese firetruck. To navigate the narrow and twisting streets in Japan smaller vehicles are often chosen as utility and emergency vehicles – such as Bear Erickson and Adriana Ortiz’s red-and-ready Nissan Safari firetruck. I happen to know Bear and Adriana and they have always walked to the beat of their own drummer. Instead of an engagement ring Adriana asked if Bear would get her the firetruck – for no other reason than it would put a smile on her face!

Words & Photos © Jim Palamhttps://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

For more information, please visit the CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CENTRAL COAST WHEELING WEEKEND show websites: https://wheelsnwindmills.com/ https://montecitomotorclassic.com/



This annual gathering of car enthusiasts – ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN’ IN THE GROVE – reaps big rewards for Santa Barbara area veterans and their families. CGC‘s Jim Palam brought his support and camera to capture some of the good things that can happen when Car Guys with a Cause gather in The Grove!

ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN' IN THE GROVEThe Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded in New York City in 1868. Part of their stated mission is “To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity – and to cultivate good fellowship.” I’m happy to report that on Saturday, July 24th, that mission was accomplished handily at Santa Barbara Elks Lodge No. 613. Its Classic Car & Vintage Trailer Show in Goleta, CA turned out to be their highest attended car event in 12 years – with over 155 classics on display – including vintage motorcycles and travel trailers.

I had lived in Santa Barbara for 35 years and unfortunately never attended one of the Elks’ car shows. This year the timing and the motivation aligned and I was snapping and chatting as soon as the gates opened at 9 AM Saturday morning. The first gem that caught my eye was a perfect, blue 356 Porsche Speedster, above, parked by a vintage, red & white Shasta travel trailer. Now that’s how you get this reporter’s blood pumpin’ at the start of a show, and that’s one clever way to proudly display the Red, White & Blue!

A towering Weiand 6-71 supercharger kit is one of the reasons Paul Paxton of Oxnard doesn’t have a hood on his ferocious ’40 Ford Every-Other-Day Driver. I suppose if gasoline prices drop again this cooler-than-liquid-helium red coupe would be a Daily-Driver. Of course, I had to ask Paul if he was in anyway related to the supercharger folks at Paxton Automotive. His reply: “Yeah, I’ve heard that, but it’s just a lot of air.”

ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN' IN THE GROVEWhen Jeff and Stacey Gourson got married their wedding song was At Last. When they finally realized their ’20 years in the making’ Musclecar Dream, they plated their beautiful big-block Chevy-powered ’64 GTO, ATTLAST.  This Pontiac is a formidable pouncer, with its 468-inch Chevy delivering 580 horsepower to the rear wheels. There’s an extra “T” on the vanity plate because – surprise, surprise – ATLAST was already taken.

ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN' IN THE GROVECars and vintage trailers were displayed in two different areas, separated by the spacious Elks Lodge building. I found myself bopping back and forth as conversations and curiosity drew me from one location to the other. I spent time admiring David Bethard’s sexy and sleek, black ‘40 Ford Deluxe Convertible then rambled over to the trailers and discovered a fully-accessorized ‘57 Rambler Custom station wagon fronting a fully-equipped ‘56 Rainbow trailer. It was back to the cars again for a close look at the Baja-bruising Coors Light Racing No. 559 VW Bug. It seems apt that this voracious looking orange Bug was conceived and built to eat-up the desert!

Money raised from participant entry fees, food & beverage sales and donations go directly to the Elks Lodge Veteran Support programs which include homeless veterans’ breakfasts, hot meals for home-bound vets, clothing, hygiene and mental health support, plus holiday gift cards for needy veterans’ families. There’s another technique the Elks employed for raising money at the event: deploying the high-spirited Raffle Ticket Trio. Their big smiles, colorful tattoos and endless exuberance were impossible to ignore, and from what I could see, very effective at thinning wallets.

So, let’s speculate that the amount of cash collected by the Elks for this good cause was substantial. If that were true, which one of these cool vehicles would be the best to transport the bounty to the bank? Steven Jacobson’s 23-Window ‘60 VW Bus looks pretty spacious but with all those windows the haul would be far from hidden – as would be the case with Dave Boytis’ open bed ’61 Corvair Loadside. Nope, we’re going to need something stealth and swift – like Chuck Nestor’s raked ’69 Dodge A100 surfer van. Maybe paint a Diaper Delivery logo on the side for more deception and odorous security. Yeah, I’m going with the Dodge.

In addition to cool cars and travel trailers there were about a dozen vintage motorcycles lined-up outside the lodge for display: A couple of Indians, a number of Harleys, a wispy Whizzer, a tasty Triumph and my pick of the bunch – a beautifully restored, ‘69 650 BSA A65 Thunderbolt. As appealing as these 1960s -1970s-era British touring bikes were, they succumbed to the onslaught of competition from the hard-to-beat Japanese imports. BSA production ended in 1972.

While photographing the BSA an attendee asked me if I had checked out “Big Ugly” in the trailer section yet. Before I could ask what Big Ugly was, he had disappeared, so I scooted back to the travel trailers and quickly discovered this ‘48 Studebaker 2-Ton truck sporting the vanity plate BIGUGLY. Legend has it a California surfer kid bought this work truck-to-camper conversion back in 1965 for $500. When he headed off to college his dad took the wheel and made many improvements. He dropped-in a Chevy V8 and 4-speed tranny and then addressed the camper unit with upgrades like a stained-glass bay window, an RV toilet and a wood-burning stove. Dad and his lady friend traveled extensively in Big Ugly until his death. In 2021 the son, now 74 years old, donated the sturdy Studebaker camper to the Murphy Museum in Oxnard, CA.

ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN' IN THE GROVEThere are some classics that outshine many of their contemporaries because of their understated balance – where line, color, proportion and restraint come together in a machine that has to be owned, has to be seen, and has to be driven. Bob Hawkin’s Turquoise Blue ‘30 Ford pickup is such a machine.

And while we’ve got the Hot Rod blues, perhaps it’s a good time to get our motors running and hop on Mike and Robin Senzamici’s blue-accented ‘48 GMC Silversides PD3751 interstate cruiser. This iconic Greyhound RV conversion bus has been driven and camped often and has also made numerous appearances on TV and in the movies. Is the Silverside a Superstar? I’ll let you guys make that decision. Was the ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN’ IN THE GROVE Show a success? Absolutely!

Words & Photos ©Jim Palam, July 24, 2021, https://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

For more information about the ELKS LODGE 613: GROOVIN’ IN THE GROVE Show, please visit https://www.groovininthegrove.org/

Check out Elks Lodge 613 @ https://www.elks.org/lodges/ContactUs.cfm?LodgeNumber=0613