Sammy Hagar Hosts A Beach Bash With A High-Octane Car Show

A row of cars goes on and on in the parking lot. An announcer enthusiastically encourages the onlookers to stop by the Mickey Thompson display for some free swag. This could be a car show anywhere, but it isn’t. Under the glistening California sun, just a football field away the waves lap at the sand. And, closer still, rock ’n roll blares over speakers surrounding a huge stage. This is no ordinary car show, this is Sammy Hagar’s inaugural High Tide Beach Party & Car Show.

I’ve been trying to throw this party on the beaches of Cabo for a decade and I am thrilled someone’s finally letting me do it… — Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show combined beach vibes with fast cars and rock ’n roll from the likes of REO Speedwagon. (Photo Credit: Steve Turner)

“I’ve been trying to throw this party on the beaches of Cabo for a decade and I am thrilled someone’s finally letting me do it, and in one of the coolest beach cities in America — Huntington Beach,” Sammy enthused.

Easily the most iconic vehicle on the property was, naturally, Sammy Hagar’s 1982 Ferrari 512BB made famous via its appearance in the “I Can’t Drive 55” video. Sammy’s son Aaron drive the car 700 miles to the High Tide event to put it on display. Being in the car summoned fond memories of riding in the car with his dad all those years ago. “…I sat in the seat nearly 30 years later and it all came back. The smell of the leather and sound of the motor triggered a wealth of memories,” Aaron Hagar said. “My heart started racing and my eyes welled up. But after a few minutes driving I settled in and it felt like home…”

For years, the Red Rocker has hosted his annual birthday bash in Cabo St. Lucas, Mexico, but he could never pull off the larger vision that combined his loves of music, fine spirits, and fast cars. Finally he was able to put it all together at Huntington State Beach. From cornhole competitions and hula classes to cocktails and a car show, the event offered a wide array of fun to complement a day-long concert headlined by the man himself.

We, of course, were there — at least in a working capacity — for the car show, which gathered over 150 vehicles ranging from trucks and hot rods to muscle cars and exotics.

Angel Morphin, one of the instructors at The Fab School, created some of the coolest car show trophies we have ever seen. We can’t wait to see what the school comes up with for next year’s show.

Sammy has long loved fast machines, which is notable embodied in songs ranging from Montrose’s “Bad Motor Scooter” to his MTV hit, “I Can’t Drive 55.” He passed that love of machinery on to his son Aaron Hagar, who co-hosts the Shift And Steer podcast, and runs Rat Runners Garage. The Hagars turned to experts in car show/concert hybrid promotion, MuscleKingz, to organize the show, which received support from a wide array of automotive sponsors, including Centerline Wheels, GatorWraps, K&N, Mickey Thompson Tires, and Original Parts Group.

Aaron Hagar (left) and Robert Wilson of MuscleKingz presented the trophies to the car show winners on the same stage used by all the bands for the concerts at High Tide.

High Tide Car Show Winners

Best Classic Muscle Car: Mike Devorak, 1966 Mustang

Best Modern Muscle Car: Tom Bogner, 2017 Mustang

Best Exotic Car: Brett Spraggins, 2014 Ferarri

Best Classic Car: Kathy Garner, 1932 Ford Cabriolet

Best Truck: Brady Cassel, 1967 Chevrolet C10

Best Custom Car: Tony Ortiz, 1973 Pantera

Encore Welding Supplies: Chris Marechal, 1965 Vicious Mustang

Gatorwraps: Hilla Gottlieb, 1964 Lincoln Continental

Mickey Thompson Tires: Mike Devorak, 1966 Mustang

As cool as the cars were, they may have been eclipsed by the trophies awarded to the best cars in each class. The talented craftsmen at The Fab School in Rancho Cucamonga, California, created these guitar-wielding skulls.

Tom Bogner took top honors in the Modern Muscle Car category with his 2017 Mustang GT. Powered by a Kenne Bell-boosted Coyote, this S550 features upgrades from a who’s who of aftermarket manufacturers.

“We have known Ken Johnson and Robert Wilson, who put the show on, for a very long time,” Brittany Westhoff, Director of Marketing at The Fab School, told us. “They are good friends of ours who are very interested in metal fabrication and pushing these careers to the youth.”

To do so, the school created some of the coolest car show trophies we have ever seen and awarded them to a select few cars from the robust show.

Mike Devorak put over a quarter century into the build of his Pro Steet ’67 ’Stang, which is highlighted by a flip-forward hood an a huge supercharger. He earned the trophy for Best Classic Muscle Car.

“Our team of instructors and our founder got together and they designed them. We love to build awesome fabricated pieces to really showcase what our students are capable of doing,” she added. “That way people can see it is not only a badass trophy, but it really showcases what the students at the school are capable of doing when they graduate.”

If you own a 2014 2014 Ferrari 458 Spider, you are already winning. Brett Spraggins continued his streak by taking home the Best Exotic honors at High Tide.

So, it was a win for the school and the deserving car owners. We prowled the pavement to capture as many of the cars and trucks as possible before the crowd of onlookers became too thick to get a clear shot of these rides. Then we tailed the winners and their 75-pound trophies up to the stage for the presentation right before REO Speedwagon took the stage to perform a rousing set of classic-rock hits.

Kathy Garner’s 1932 Ford is a beauty, so it’s easy to see why she drove away with the Best Classic Car award.

By the time the final notes of Led Zepplin’s “Rock ’N Roll” faded into the ocean waves we had seen a day filled with some of your author’s favorite things — beach, cars, music, and fine spirits. It was a great day, and Sammy plans to do it all again next year for twice as long. If that sounds like fun to you, tickets to the two-day 2019 event are already up for sale at early bird prices right here.

Low-slung and clean, Brady Cassell’s 1967 C10 is a stunner. White Noise is powered by a super-sano LS swap and nabbed the Best Truck hardware.

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About the author

Steve Turner

As Executive Editor of FordNXT and Ford Muscle, Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge to Power Automedia. He has covered the world of Ford performance for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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