Local car show appeals to gearheads, public alike

CARLSBAD — North County’s car enthusiasts flocked to the 12th annual All-American Car Show to check out hundreds of vintage rides and support the troops July 17.
Classic cars of every make and color filled the parking lot of Carlsbad’s Westfield Mall at the annual event hosted by the Mopar Club of San Diego. Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will benefit Homefront San Diego and United Service Organizations, or USO.
“They’re both good organizations,” Mopar Club president Larry Johnson said. “It’s great that we can help out such worthy causes.”
The event featured more than 200 cars ranging from 1920s Ford models to brand new Corvettes. For the first time, attendees were also given an up close and personal look at stock cars — including an engine demonstration — brought by the Cacklefest racing group.
“We added the racing section to try and appeal to other interests as well,” Johnson said.
The majority of cars on display belonged to members from several local car clubs, including the Over the Hill Gang’s North County branch and Little Guys Street Rods. Owners were nearby and eager to discuss the details of their prized vehicles.
“It’s fun to work on and play around with,” Over the Hill Gang member Gary Stone said of his 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe. “I’ve had this one for about eight years, but I used to have one of these in high school, that’s my connection to it.”
A number of soldiers in uniform from various branches of the armed forces were also at the event, both volunteering and checking out the classic cars.
“I wanted to come check it out because I love old cars,” active Navy Corpsman Quisto Gonzalez said. “I wasn’t expecting this big of a turnout — this is awesome.”
The Mopar Club’s event raised funds through raffle tickets for a well-stocked opportunity drawing and show entry fees. After covering event costs, the club donated all the proceeds to the selected organizations that benefit American troops.
Proceeds from the annual All-American Car Show have been donated to Homefront San Diego since 2007. Event organizers added the USO as a second beneficiary at last year’s event, as it’s a cause near and dear to the car club community.
“Many of us are veterans too,” said Johnson of his fellow club members. “I was reminded the other day that when I saw Bob Hope on Christmas of 1969 in Vietnam, that appearance was sponsored by the USO.”

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