All American Car Show: Mopar Club San Diego Celebrates 20 Years

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There are many car clubs that put on car shows every year, and most of the time it’s to raise money for a good cause. The Mopar Club of San Diego (MCSD) is one of those clubs, and in the past few years the money they raise has gone to a great cause: to benefit our military personnel.

mcsdaacs224We covered their rain-soaked car show last year, with the San Diego Chapter of the Pontiac-Oakland Club, and this year they were at a new venue in Cardiff, California, at the Mira Costa College’s San Elijo Campus.

Celebrating their 20th year as a club, MCSD has been searching for a great place to hold their yearly event, and this location was a winner. The huge parking lot with terraced levels created a nice area to spread out the show and accommodate the 200+ cars in attendance this year. This was the 15th year for their “All American Car Show”, labelled as such because, as PentaGram Editor Bob Gough put it, “If you’re an American, this car show is for you.”

The proceeds from the show, which included a raffle, were all to benefit the USO and Homefront San Diego for our brave troops. What is more American than supporting those who give us the freedom to have a car show full of musclecars like this? As always, MCSD is proud of our military and it has supported them, with donations to Homefront San Diego since 2007 and the USO since 2009.

It might have seemed a bit overcast, but the weather was awesome all day long, the cool breeze through the trees made for a perfect event.

At this year’s show, the cars lined up early and were treated to a huge lot with lots of trees for shade from a sun that barely peeked it’s way through the clouds. The weather was great, and the temperatures stayed relatively cooler for a Southern California July day. Being close to the coast helps keep the temps down, as in years past the summer sun proved to be more of a deterrent than an invitation. On hand were plenty of refreshments and food from two rolling-kitchens, providing breakfast and coffee for the early crowd and lunch and cold beverages for the remainder of the day.

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A Petty tribute car at a car show hosted by a Mopar club? Yes, please.

Richard Petty Rolling Museum

One of the more prevalent displays that we saw this year was the Richard Petty “Rolling Museum”, a tribute to The King. The Victory Angels Foundation puts on this rolling museum as a tribute to Petty, traveling to car shows all over Southern California. Hailing from Santa Clarita, the tribute began when Danny Buckley was introduced to Mopars at the Strip (MATS) by some friends, and he fell in love. After buying a ’71 Road Runner and beginning the restoration, he decided on a traveling tribute to Petty, and so the story begins.

The tribute to the King, inspired after a tragic event, but putting smiles on face everywhere today.

Inspired to give after the tragic death of his niece, Amanda, family members, along with Amanda’s parents, started a foundation called Give a Smile to a Child in Amanda’s honor. Buckley decided that he wanted to help raise money for Amanda’s foundation, and added The Santa Clarita Food Pantry to his list of giving. For several years now, the show has been traveling and helping these charities with donations and proceeds from raffles that The Victory Angels Foundation holds at car shows. It’s been going on for over four years now, and there is always a crowd – who can resist a bright blue race car with #43 on the side?

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Win This Road Runner from Early Rides

While it was very hard for us to believe, there were still raffle tickets available for this restored 1970 Road Runner. We told you about this car from the Mopars in May car show earlier this year. Early Rides restores cars and then raffles them off for charity, and they are holding the raffle through August 31, 2013.

The car is a very nicely restored specimen, with a 383 big-block and a Pistol grip 4-speed trans. The 8-3/4 rearend has a 3.23 gear ratio, and the creature comforts on this red bird include air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, and a modern stereo with CD and iPod connections. The paint is new, FE5 Rallye red, and the interior is new as well.

There's still time to buy a raffle ticket for this Road Runner. A good cause, and only $20 might give you another reason to expand your garage.

The drawing will be held at the Adams Avenue Donut Shop in Huntington Beach, California, at 8:oo a.m. on August 31st. They’re only selling 5,000 tickets at just $20.00 each, and we were told that there are still some tickets left – so if you want your shot at this gem, check out their web site for information about the car, and the official rules.

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The awards were laid out and everyone was envious of the ‘Best of’ classes, and the coveted ‘Best of Show’, too.

The All American Car Show Winners

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Not a bad looking T-shirt for just fifteen bucks, proceeds benefit our troops so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Making our way around the show, we expected to see a lot of awesome Mopars, both classic and modern, and we weren’t disappointed. But as this show is not specific to Mopar, and never has been, we were also treated to some of Detroit’s other fine rides from Ford and General Motors. We saw plenty of old street rods, classic musclecars, early iron, and even a few trucks were on hand to show off their lines.

Club members Jim Signorelli and Jerrry & Kristi Keller brought along their quarter milers to show off, and the San Dieguito Heritage Museum brought out a 1917 Ford Model T Touring Sedan from nearby Encinitas. Also at the show, there was an American LaFrance hook-and-ladder truck, fully restored, alongside a classic police cruiser and a couple of new cars from Carl Burger’s Dodge World, in La Mesa.

Hot Rod Holly was on hand to pose for a couple of pics with our own '65 Plymouth Belvedere II. She left Li'l Bubba, her '56 Chevy truck, at home and hitched a ride in the Firetruck above.

We also caught up with Marc Viau, of Viau Motorsports, who brought along his show winning 1972 Dodge Demon. We featured one of his other builds in recent months, a very clean 1964 Belvedere that began life as a four-door and ended up with two. You can expect to see a feature on his Demon in the coming months, so stay tuned for that article very soon. Viau was there showing his support, and also shedding some of his extra Mopar parts and accessories.

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Viau Motorsports brought out their show winning Dodge Demon. This car is bad ass, and it’s getting a little bit more of an attitude real soon.

All in all, the day was awesome and everyone hung around for the best part: the awards. The awards handed out this year at the show were spectacular, with a huge trophy for Best of Show, and extremely nice carved wooden trophies for the best of a certain make, or style of car. Of course, MCSD couldn’t do this show without all of the support that they get from the numerous vendors and shops that sponsor the show and many of the trophies.

Will MCSD be back at this venue again next year? It was such a great day and location they almost have to come back – especially since it was so well received that some vendors already started asking for a spot for next year. Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait another year to see if they can grow it closer to 300 cars… they had the room for it. Until then, tell us about some of your favorite car shows that you attend every year, and enjoy the huge gallery below from the All American Car Show XV hosted by the Mopar Club of San Diego.

Top: Trucks and vans were well represented at the show. Bottom: Just some reflections from the show.

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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