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More than 350 classic entries and 4,500 spectators took part in the 29th annual Vista Rod Run. Photos by Christina Macone-Greene
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Vista Rod Run motors into historic downtown

The sounds of drivers revving up their engines was the scene at the 29th annual Vista Rod Run. The Vista Village Business Association hosted the Aug. 5 event in historic downtown Vista. More than 350 classic entries and 4,500 spectators took part in the day.

On event day, even more owners of collectible cars drove in. 

Thirty trophies were up for grabs for car collectors around San Diego County, surrounding counties and as far reaching as Orange County. Spectators perused muscle cars, street rods, hot rods and more. 

Brothers William and David Brentzel check out the cars.

Owner of Five Star Premiere Events Debbie Medrano said the Vista Rod Run is a great community event.

“People love the classic cars, and they love the stories that the guys stand around and share about their cars,” she said, adding how people look forward to this.

While many of the entries were from repeat car collectors, there were also newbies at the Vista Rod Run like Pete Zacharzuk with his 1967 Mustang GT.

“It took me over four years to find this car.” Zacharzuk said. “I had this type of car when my wife and I started dating in the 1970s.”

Zacharzuk said he found the car in Ohio and had it shipped to the West Coast. Since it arrived, he’s meticulously restored it. 

While Medrano likes hearing all the stories, what she likes hearing most are the cars rolling in on event day.

Doors opened at 7 a.m., but the cars motored in at 5 a.m.

“When it’s dark, you hear these big engines roaring, and there’s such an excitement from that,” Medrano said. “I love downtown Vista and the sense of community that it has — I’m just glad to be a part of bringing another great event to Vista.”

One significant change this year to the Vista Rod Run this year was the sound system. Medrano decided it was best to have a DJ sounds throughout the entire event as opposed to just a couple of streets in previous years.

“For the last couple of years, we’ve had a band up on Main Street where you can’t hear the DJ,” she said. “Well, this year we didn’t have a band, but we’re going to have the DJ music throughout which means that everybody can hear the music throughout the event and hear the raffle prize drawings and the awards ceremonies.”

Once again, the benefactor for the raffle table is Vista Teen Outreach. More than 60 opportunity drawings were available with two ticket drawing times on event day. 

Founded in 2011, Vista Teen Outreach aims to help middle school and high school students by feeding 500 to 800 students per month.

“Vista Teen Outreach provides food and backpacks for children to take home for the weekend when there may not be enough food for them at home,” Medrano said. “The Vista Rod Run is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Vista Teen Outreach.”

Vista Teen Outreach partners with the school district so that the needs of students can be met. Vista Rod Run sponsors for 2018 include PDT Detail, Destiny Innovations, and Quality Lock & Key.