Car Show Gets Bigger

Kirt Ramirez

Thousands of spectators packed Second Street for the 29th Annual Belmont Shore Car Show Sunday, Sept. 9.

People walked freely on the cordoned off street to view classic cars of yester-year during the fun and festive end-of-summer tradition. The shiny paint colors and sparkling chrome sparkled in the sunlight. The sturdy autos made of metal in old-school styles awed many.

This year’s event, under new promoter Darrell Gilbert of AK Darcy Shows and Events, saw an increase in model car entries. About 450 automobiles lined Second Street – more than last year and the year before.

“That’s about all we could hold,” Gilbert, a Belmont Shore resident, said from a golf cart as he monitored the occasion. “Everyone’s having a good time. Streets are crowded. Looking forward to next year.”

The Bay City Rodders of Seal Beach organized the exhibition for 28 years but gave up the task last year because its members “no longer felt we were able to continue to produce the show and maintain the high level of excellence that the show has long been known for,” according to the club’s website.

Visitor Renita White admired a red 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air.

“This car is beautiful,” she said. “They see you coming in this car.”

Bel Air owner Gerald Griffith said the car used to belong to his dad and that he drove it throughout high school and took his girlfriend to the prom in it. Upon getting married, Griffith left the car behind with his dad, who fixed it up.

“When I turned 51, he gave it back to me looking like this,” said Griffith, who reached the age this past February. “It was a good year for me so far.”

Griffith said he runs errands with the car and likes cruising at night. He gets questions from onlookers all the time. He keeps the auto safe in the garage covered up when not in use. As part of his anti-theft system, Griffith employs secret buttons for getting the vehicle started.

“You’d need a truck to tow it away,” he said.

A bright yellow 1955 Ford pickup had “for sale” written in small letters on the front window. Asked if the price could be known, owner Julian Temblador responded, “$100,000.”

He has owned the truck for 40 years, after it was passed down from a father-in-law. Temblador showed photographs of the former rusty old pickup. Today it’s a refurbished work of art.

“It’s all Ford product in this thing, no Chevy parts,” he said.

Anyone truly interested can call him at (424) 263-2175.

Temblador’s other car is a Lexus hybrid CT 200h, which he said helps the environment.

“Hybrid is the way to go.”

Jeannine Lawlor also has had her 1954 Chevy pickup for 40 years.

She and her husband visited the husband’s sister in Utah when they spotted the truck in a rural setting.

“We saw it behind a barn,” she said. “We connected with them and we got it.”

It’s been in the family ever since and Lawlor said she has many fond memories. She doesn’t leave it unattended.

The Chevy was fixed up with a new Corvette engine and transmission. It has fresh chrome and displays a bird hood ornament. Daisies wrap around the license plate.

“That’s my little girly thing,” said Lawlor, a retired florist.

“It’s my baby,” she said of the two-tone green pickup.

The car was her late husband’s project.

“He passed away three years ago and I finished her,” she said.

She declared, “He’s here.”

Lawlor has learned a lot about the vehicle.

“I knew nothing and now I know so much,” she said.

She won a prize of $250 two times at the Ruby’s car show in Redondo Beach.

The truck is not for sale.

Ralph Holguin, host of Velocity Channel’s popular “RMD Garage,” greeted fans from a booth. He’s likes seeing the youth excited about cars of Americana.

“More than anything, it’s an important show,” he said. “It has so much history.”


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