From Cars & Coffee to the Amelia Island Concours, gatherings of cars and their owners are a singular joy of the auto enthusiast. For the past thirty years, an event has taken place, nearly every Thursday night across the Los Angeles-adjacent San Gabriel Valley, known as Car Night. It started at the home of one individual, in his garage actually, as a way to gather together and actually get work done on his, and his friends’ project cars. Over the years the six to eight regulars grew to 60 and the event outgrew the 9-car garage that had been its home for a decade. The mass of men (mostly) and machine then moved to a rotation of homes and businesses around the region, places like Dick Guldstrand’s shop and the Peterson Museum. Automotive luminaries such as Jay Leno and Bruce Meyers have been among Car Night’s attendees, despite the event being invite-only and on a need to know basis to keep out the riff raff.
That has been the best car gathering I’ve had the privilege of attending. Over the years I’ve been given the opportunity at these events to slide behind the wheel of everything from Isettas to a Miura, and have had the honor of meeting some people – like Dick Guldstrand – that I consider automotive nobility. But that’s hardly the only, nor the most well-attended car event around, or even just in this area. Cars & Coffee puts on a tremendous show down in Irvine every Saturday morning, and a smaller edition takes place in Montrose, at the foot of the Verdugo foothills.
Obviously, I don’t get out much, and my social calendar does seem to be taken up by predominantly automotive events. But what about you, is there a car event that holds a particularly warm spot in your heart? Is it something like the massive Hershey Swap Meet or a more intimate affair like an auto art gallery opening that you anticipate like it is Christmas morning?
What is your favorite gathering of cars and car folk?
Image: [Hooniverse.com. Rob Emslie]