Southern California car shows, meets, museums, regional car club events, and things you should know about that are carcentric.
- Every Sunday, 1-4 PM – Green Machine Radio, the You Auto Know show, and Racer Radio hosted by automotive expert Dave Stall and co-host Michele Spencer, AM 1170. Live broadcast out of San Diego County. Outside of San Diego, listen live through either http://am1170theanswer.com/ or https://www.iheart.com/live/am-1170-the-answer-6020/
- So Cal All Rotary Meet – Last Saturday each month, 8 – 11 PM. Parking lot near Wal-Mart at Cerritos Towne Center on Bloomfield Ave, Cerritos. All years, makes, models of rotary engine cars and trucks welcome. https://www.facebook.com/SoCalAllRotary/
- Breakfast Club Cruise-Ins at the Petersen Automotive Museum – Sunday mornings. Various themes, announced monthly. https://petersen.org and the museum’s Facebook page.
- South Orange County Cars and Coffee – Every Saturday, 8 AM to 10 AM (ends promptly), Outlet Shops at San Clemente, 5 Freeway exit Avenida Vista Hermosa (west of freeway). Top of parking structure by Ruby’s. All makes and models. See the Facebook page for more details and photos.
- Newport Beach Cars and Cafe – Last Sunday each month at Moulin Bakery and Cafe. 7 AM to 9 AM. High end exotics, lots of Porsches and BMWs, a few US makes. Additional information and photos from past meets is on their Facebook page: facebook.com/CarsAndCafeNB
- Donut Derelicts – Every Saturday, 6:30 AM, Adams Avenue Donuts in Huntington Beach (at Magnolia). Classics, muscle cars, woodies, surf culture hot rods.
- Carlsbad Cars & Coffee – Every Saturday, 7 AM, Poinsettia Village Shopping Center, off the 5 freeway at Poinsettia Drive exit in Carlsbad (east of freeway).
- CBAD Cars – Every Saturday, 7 -9 AM, 7130 Avenida Encinas. See their Facebook page. Import tuners favorite.
- Car Show Sundays – First Sunday each month, 11 AM, 1080 West San Marcos Blvd (North San Diego County), San Marcos.
- Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association Cruise Night, First Saturday every month, 4-8 PM, Spa Resort and Casino in Downtown Palm Springs. http:www.palmspringscruisinassociation.com
- Breakfast at Moe’s, Every Tuesday, 7:30 AM, 27405 Jefferson Avenue, Temecula. http://www.overthehillgangtv.com
- Sevenstock, Every November (Date TBA), Auto Club Speedway, Fontana. An all day party celebrating the Mazda victory at the 24 Hours of LeMans by a rotary engine race car, a feat never repeated by any other rotary race car or any other Japanese car maker. Hundreds of rotary engine cars turn out, including “old school” RX-3, RX-4, REPUs (rotary engine pick up trucks), tractors, Miatas, and RX-7s and 8s. Mazda brings a display of its historics, usually the 1963 white Cosmo. Mazda also brings a few of its rotary race cars and supplies the drivers, then does several runs around the race track. Food trucks are on hand. On Facebook: Sevenstock.
SO CAL RACING 2018
Monster Energy Supercross – Dirt track professional motorcycle racing. Season opener at Angel Stadium January 6. supercrosslive.com
Irwindale Speedway (Los Angeles County)- Remaining open for 2018 race season after being slated for closure January 31, 2018. Drag racing every Thursday night in January from 5-10 PM. $20 entry fee; $10 to spectate. Racing night on the oval track on January 27, 2018 “Night of Destruction” and fireworks display. This was supposed to be the final event at the speedway; fortunately, it’s not. See the Carcentric Racing News page for full details. http://www.irwindalespeedway.com/
Perris Auto Speedway (Riverside County) – Oval dirt track racing featuring multiple classes of sprint cars, street stocks, super stocks, factory stocks, and modifieds. Events throughout the year. Official season runs April through November. Main events in the evenings. http://perrisautospeedway.com/
Barona Drags at Barona Speedway (San Diego County) – 1/8 mile drag strip. Runs nearly year-round, including “King of the Track Wally Race” and Test and Tune. Gates open 8 am. Racing from 10 am to 4 pm. $40 to register to race. $20 for spectators. http://www.baronadrags.com/
Orange Show Speedway, San Bernardino: Quarter mile oval asphalt track. Classes of late models, street stocks, Barber pole, Bandoleros, and mini stocks. Season runs April through November. Pits open for race crews at noon; gates open for fans at 4 PM; Racing starts at 5 PM. $15 admission for adults, free for kids. Free parking. theorangeshowspeedway.com
Auto Club Speedway, Fontana: 2 mile asphalt superspeedway, 1.3 mile asphalt road course, and quarter mile asphalt drag strip. Hosts NASCAR events, private autocross events and racing instruction courses throughout the year. https://www.autoclubspeedway.com /
Pomona Raceway (Los Angeles County): Drag strip. Traditionally hosts NHRA opener and finals/championships (November) in Top Fuel, Pro Stock, Funny Car, and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes. “Every ticket’s a pit pass.” https://www.nhra.com/
Ventura Raceway: Oval dirt track. Sprint car racing, various classes. Traditional host of the Turkey Night Grand Prix . https://venturaraceway.com/
December 16: New exhibition opens at The Petersen Museum. Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-up World of Children’s Cars examines the development, purpose and meaning of vehicles that were often campaigned in friendly competition, but because of their tiny size, effectively preclude their use by adults. Purchase tickets at Petersen.org.
December 28 – January 1: San Diego Auto Show at SD Convention Center, downtown SD. http://www.sdautoshow.com/
January 6: Rockabilly Car & Bike Meet, 2-6 PM, Legacy Brewing Co., 363 Airport Road, Oceanside. See Legacy Brewing Co’s Facebook page.
January 13 and 14: “Winter Heat” racing at Perris Auto Speedway. http://perrisautospeedway.com/
January 14: Cruisin Grand Fundraiser, 1 PM, Grand Avenue, Escondido. Register at cruisingrand.com
January 16: “The Art of Bugatti ” exhibit ends at The Petersen.
Ongoing Exhibits at The Petersen:
- “Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown Up World of Childrens’ Cars“
- “Harley vs. Indian“
- “Seeing Red: 50 Years of Ferrari“
- “All American Racers“
- “Hollywood Cars”
- “The High Art of Riding Low”
- “Cars Mechanical Institute – Lightning McQueen”
- “Jaguar’s Pursuit of Speed“
January 20: Monster Energy Supercross Racing, Angel Stadium in Anaheim. supercrosslive.com
January 27: Carroll Shelby Birthday Cruise-In at The Petersen Museum, 9-11 AM. Tickets at petersen.org
January 27: San Diego GT, Sorrento Valley. 8 AM. Exotics-only cars and coffee, at O’Gara La Jolla Service Center. Food trucks, music, and hypercars. Facebook page and https://www.sandiegogranturismo.com/
January 26-28: O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show, Pomona Fairplex. 69th annual show. More than a thousand hot rods, customs, muscle cars, classic trucks, and motorcycles. rodshows.com
January 28: Import Face-Off drag racing and car show, Auto Club Dragway, Fontana. All day show, burnout contest, drifting, drag racing with mostly Japanese imports. importfaceoff.net
February 8 -11: NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals, Pomona Fairplex. Professional drag racing season opener. https://www.nhra.com/
February 1: Opening Reception for “The Porsche Effect” exhibit at The Petersen. Celebrating 70th anniversary of Porsche. The exhibit opens to the public on February 3. Tickets: petersen.org/porscheeffect
February 10: Opening Day, Perris Auto Speedway. http://perrisautospeedway.com/
February 11: Valentine’s Day Rides, The Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo. Bring your loved ones to the museum and give them the experience of a lifetime – enjoy complimentary chocolate and champagne while you ride in a classic red car! Suggested Donation: Adults: $10 Senior: $8 Child (11-17): $5 Child under 10: FREE Children will be measured at check-in for rides. Must meet CA requirements of 4’8″. No reservations required. First come first served. https://www.automobiledrivingmuseum.org/events/
February 24: Packard Car Show, The Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo. First-ever ADM show featuring the sadly gone-with-the-wind luxury marque that practically invented the term baller in 1899. $15. https://www.automobiledrivingmuseum.org/events/
February 24 – 25: Western States Racer Expo at Pomona – Race Prep 101 for all kinds of racers, beginning, intermediate, professional, dirt track, oval track, road course – young and old are welcome to learn from the pros how to optimize race performance, get sponsors, and most importantly, have fun. https://raceprep101.com/ westernstatesracerexpo.com [POSTPONED UNTIL LATER IN 2018, DATE TBA]
March 2-4: The Classic Auto Show, Los Angeles Convention Center. In its second year. TheClassicAutoShow.com
March 3: Opening Night, Perris Auto Speedway. http://perrisautospeedway.com/
March 11: Season opener, IndyCar racing at St Petersberg Florida. Follow on the IndyCar app, https://www.indycar.com/ and NBC.
March 17: Kowabunga Van Klan, Huntington Beach Pier. The largest Volkswagen bus event in the world. Well, California rules, so surf on in, even if there’s a bigger bus even in Finland or Outer Mongolia. Free to see. Register to show your VW bus via email to email@example.com.
March 18: Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana. NASCAR returns to So Cal. The Xfinity series NXS 300 race is March 17. Discounts of 50% off are available to Auto Club members for the 400; VIP packages are available, permitting access to the drivers’ meeting and the celebrations in victory lane, in addition to a pre-race pit pass; starting prices at $59 each experience. autoclubspeedway.com or 866-764-7223.
March 18: 25th Annual Bob Baker Vintage Volkswagen Spring Festival, Car Country Carlsbad on Paseo del Norte. 9 am – 1 pm. Free to see, register to show at the door $10. If showing, arrive at 7:30 am. Food trucks, DJ, and a lot of awesome well preserved and modded vee dubs, bugs, Things, buses, Ghias, and maybe even a faux 356 or two, but who’s really checking when it’s just for fun.
March 24-25: 18th Annual Beachcruiser Meet, Huntington Beach. Where you must be if you are sporting a Woody. Main St and Pier Plaza, 1972 and older cars and trucks. Call (760)468-2115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
March 25: Formula 1 series kickoff. Australian Grand Prix. I won’t miss the Grid Girls….will you? https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2017/9/2018-calendar.html
March 25: Hot VWs Drag Day, Irwindale Raceway. Eighth mile track. $20 to spectate, $45 to race. http://www.bugin.com
April 7-8: La Jolla Concours D’Elegance, La Jolla. The premier luxury & classic car show in San Diego. https://www.lajollaconcours.com/
April 6-8: 18th Annual Meguiar’s Goodguys Nationals, SD County Fairgrounds, Del Mar. http://www.good-guys.com
April 6: Cruisin’ Grand, Escondido, Opening Night. Theme: Willys Night. Pre-1972 cars and trucks. Info – call 760-746-8461 or email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cruisin-Grand/150792471720327
April 13-15: 44th Annual Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. Saturday feature is IMSA racing “Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix” and The Cult concert after the race. Scott Pruett is the grand marshal. Main event on Sunday with Formula 1 racing – tickets start at $70. GPLB.com
April 14: Corn Feed Run Car Show & Cruise, Chino Civic Center, 8 am. Pre-74 only. Call 909-334-3250 for info.
April 15: Fabulous Fords Forever!, Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park. All makes and models, modded or stock. Register to show – $45 entry. http://www.fabulousfordsforever.com/
May 3 – 6: 5th Annual Cindy Ross Vintage Trailer Rally, Chula Vista RV Resort. Pre-reg and payment are required; see the Facebook page for Organizer’s contact information.
May 4 – 7: Vegas Invasion of Del Sols, Las Vegas NV. 16th annual gathering of Honda Del Sol enthusiasts, the largest such gathering in the US. Non-owners welcome. Special hotel rates, location and pricing TBA. http://vegasinvasion.net/
May 5: Edelbrock Car Show, Vic’s Garage, 510 Madrid St., Torrance. 9am. edelbrock.com
May 19 and 20: Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival, Fullerton. In its 24th year. Claimed to be the oldest car show in Orange County. Classics, hot rods, customs, vintage bikes, vintage trailers, on 8 acres. On Sunday, May 20: Concours d’elegance. muckcarshow.org
May 27: Fallbrook Vintage Car Club Show, Pala Mesa Resort, Fallbrook. 53rd annual show. 1993 and older, cars and trucks. fallbrookvintagecarclub.org
June 2: Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle Show, Boys Republic, Chino. Vintage displays of Mustangs, Porsches, motorcycles, race cars, and more. Student bakery on site selling excellent cinnamon rolls, brownies, breads, and cookies. Lunch available on site from food trucks. Annual benefit fundraiser the Boys Republic, which McQueen credits for turning his life around. https://stevemcqueencarshow.com/
June 15 and 16: LA Roadsters, Fairplex in Pomona. In its 54th year. LAroadstershow.com
June 24: Open House and Meet the Founder – Marconi Museum, Tustin. 8 am to 1 pm. Hundreds of interesting cars, collected by Mr. Marconi. Non-profit museum raises money for charitable causes. The collection is heavy on Ferraris, the founder’s favorite (my picks are the two Dinos), but also has a Mercedes Gullwing, several Shelbies, race cars, motorcycles (heavy on Ducatis), and other rare cars. Mr. Marconi will sign a large poster of a red Ferrari for a $10 purchase price. Note: This museum is not normally open to the public on weekends. The open house is held only once a year. https://marconimuseum.org
June 24: Shelby/Ford Car Show, Deer Park Winery, Escondido. 10 AM – 2 PM. Third annual event. Open to all Shelby cars, Shelby-influenced, and non-Shelby Fords. Replicas OK. http://www.socalsaac.org/
July 4: Wheels of Freedom Car Show, Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, off the 15 freeway): http://powaycruisers.com
July 4: Night of Destruction at Perris Raceway (Riverside County, off the 215 freeway): Figure 8s and fireworks. Nothing wrong with that. perrrisautospeedway.com
July 14: Mooneyes Open House, Santa Fe Springs. 10820 Norwalk Blvd.
July 28: Main Street America, San Diego. At the Embarcadero Marina Park North.
August 19: Hot Rod Parts for Hot Rod Guys Swap Meet, San Diego. (None for girls?!? 😦 ) 7 AM. 4255 Ruffin Road, Suite 300, San Diego 92123. Cars and motorcycles only. In order to exhibit, send a check for $25 to Pete Aardema, at the address listed. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be sold for $2 each.
August 26: 19th Annual Elvis Festival and Car Show, Main Street, Garden Grove. 10 AM – 6 PM. Reserved concert seats, limited availability, $25 / $35. Free admission and parking. Go to the Facebook page for details. Tickets through Eventbrite. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 3: Ray Taylor’s San Diego Auto Swap and Cool Expo (Last one, ever) at SDCCU (formerly Qualcomm) Stadium, Mission Valley. http://www.sandiegoautoswap.com
September 8: Riverside Revisited Tribute to Riverside International Raceway, The Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo. 5 PM. riversiderevisited.com
September 12: Lefty’s Track Day, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana. Annual fan-friendly fundraiser for literacy. Pay to drive your car around the race track. autoclubspeedway.com
September 15: 14th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show, Long Beach Marina Park. Bring your classic Datsun, Nissan, Mazda, Isuzu, Honda, Toyota, whatever – trailer or drive it in. Some manufacturers participate. Trophies to be earned, the hard way, through tough competition. Register or buy tickets at http://www.japaneseclassiccarshow.com/
September 15: 44th Annual Pageant of the Thunderbird, La Palma Park (Orange County). 54-57 Ford cars and station wagons invitational; also, 1955-2005 T-Birds general show. To enter, send a check and registration form by September 1; call (562) 972-7734 for info.
September 22: Wavecrest Woodies Meet, Moonlight Beach Encinitas, 8 am – 3 pm. sandiegowoodies.com
September 22: Cruisin’ For a Cure, Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa. 6 am – evening. Annual car show with proceeds to benefit prostate cancer research. Many makes and models, including classic, muscle, lowriders, woodies, and vws. crusinforacure.org
September 30: Palos Verdes Concours, Zamperini Field in Torrance. Theme is “California style.” Featured marques are California coachwork and Ferrari. $25 to enter.
September 23: PCA – LA 57th Concours, Petersen Museum, Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles. Tickets available starting in June 2018. petersen.org.
October 6: Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party and Car Show, Huntington Beach Pier. Car show entries needed: supercars, euro, exotics, muscle cars, customs, and classics. hightidebeachparty.com
October 13: San Diego British Car Day, San Diego, at Harbor Island (near the airport). All-British show, including Triumphs, Sunbeams, Panteras, MGs, Jaguars – mates, it’s all jolly. Held annually. Spanish Landing Park East. This year’s theme is British racing and rally cars. Registration begins September 1. sandiegobritishcarday.com
October 14: Mustangs by the Bay, San Diego, at Embarcadero Marina Park North. Presented by Mustang Club of San Diego. To enter the show, email email@example.com.