Traffic in Old Town La Verne was at a standstill Saturday as classic cars reclaimed the streets at the 18th annual Cool Cruise VII Car Show.
Along with rows of cars ranging in models and years, the warm day also offered a display of motorcycles, a chili cook-off, food, a live band, vendors and entertainment for children.
“It was a great turn out, larger than it has been in past years,” said Pete Brodie, an Alta Loma resident and owner of a restored 1964 Malibu.
Many of the cars displayed had sentimental value as well as being expensive collector's items. Brodie’s car has been in his family for 41 years and was left to him by his aunt, the original owner. The car has been displayed in several car shows and has won four awards in the past.
"When I went to Vietnam I told her that I wanted that car," Brodie said.
Car enthusiasts found a wide range in cars to view. Cars ranged in all forms of pre-1973 models such as Ford Model A's, Buicks, Ford Woodies, two-seat roadsters, Chevy Cameros and Bel Airs. Also on display were vintage La Verne Police Department patrol cars and a restored 1902 fire engine named “The American.” The horse-drawn engine was complete with Dalmatian guarding the engine while sitting at the driver’s seat.
Some owners restored the cars to their historical context, while others were given modern attributes like air conditioning.
Some visitors came in search of a specific car.
Matt Gordon, a Chino resident, arrived seeking a Comet. Like many enthusiasts, Gordon comes to car shows to not only appreciate the cars but to gain ideas on how to better their own cars that they may be restoring.
“I look for originality, not going too modern,” Gordon said.
If the cars were not enough to satisfy the appetites of the visitors, live music from the classic rock band The Answer and other forms of entertainment were available. In the food court a chili cook-off and vendors were stationed among the military vehicles and other classic cars scattered throughout the Wilson Library parking lot. A bounce house was available for children.
A central part of the car show was the raffles held throughout the day. As the grand prize, the Rotary Club raffled off a 383 Chevy stoker engine and a 1967 Pontiac Firebird convertible. The winner for the Firebird will be announced on Oct. 5.
All the proceeds of the raffle go to the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System through the medical center in Loma Linda.
Andres Rivera can be reached at email@example.com.