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Goodguys Del Mar Nationals at Del Mar Fairgrounds, CA

The 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Nationals, presented by Meguiar’s, started early at the scenic Del Mar Fairgrounds on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Known in the past as, where the “Turf Meets The Surf”. It featured speed, beauty, and celebrities. 

Today the “horses” were under the hoods of pre-’72 hot rods, muscle cars, customs, roadsters, trucks, station wagons, Woodys, vintage and classic cars of all descriptions. Talk about “horses”, the Nitrothunderfest featured vintage top fuel dragsters cackling to life just a few feet from the fans! Speed was on-hand in the form of the Goodguys AutoCross racing competition.

 Today the “horses” were under the hoods…

The “Builders Choice Award” went to Brice Graham from Amarillo, TX. for his surprising ’57 Chrysler Saratoga with 354 HEMI

The event ran Friday through Sunday and featured warm, sunny weather with not a cloud in the sky all weekend. After exiting the last building of vendors and the Show n’ Shine cars, there was a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable.

 Vendors hawked a wide variety of goods: hoists, auto parts, time shares, personalized license plates, engines, polishes, jewelry, art, original gas pumps, auto insurance, custom car shops, bric-a-brac, Hawaiian and hot rod shirts, golden oldies music and tapes, bicycles, drivelines, hubcaps, tools, motorcycles and choppers, gaskets, rims, wheels, car seats and signs.

Every so often cars left their parking space to take a ride down the cruise route, past the Woodys pavilion, then back down the cruise route to parade in front of the crowd. There were friendly people everywhere who willingly talked to you about their cars, offered you a chair to stay awhile, and made you feel right at home.

Fantastic cars, wonderful people, nice weather, and a show that provided it all, wraps up this 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Show.

.. a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable

Bruce Wanta’s “Mulholland Speedster” won the Goodguys 2017 March Performance, Street Rod d’Elegance

The “Cool Caddy” pick went to Justin Carrillo from Visalia, CA. for his stunning ’60 Cadillac de Ville convertible. Check out the ’60 Chevy dash!

Check out the fresh Cadillac Phantom from Chip Foose and Wes Rydell

The race cars are staged waiting their turn at the AutoCross course


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

The largest one-day charity car show

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure: The Largest One-day Charity Car Show in the Nation

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. “We figure having the guys here with their toys is the best way to get them tested, and the timing is perfect”, says event organizer Debbie Baker.

Cruisin’ For A Cure, the largest one-day charity car show in the nation. Over 3,500 vehicles will cruise through the Orange County fairgrounds for 1.5 miles and/or park and be on display.  There’s no restriction on what make, model or year. An entry car can be – classics, muscle, trucks, exotics, customs, vintage, movie cars, and even new cars.

Cruisin’ For A Cure: the “SAVE YOUR LIFE CAR SHOW”, was started in 2000 by Debbie Baker whose husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cruisin’ For A Cure is a registered non-profit California organization helping to raise money for the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine, CA. The logistics, marketing, and organization of the charity car show are handled by volunteers dedicated to the cause of “Saving Our Men” from prostate cancer. All proceeds and donations go directly to prostate cancer research to find a cure.

Men in attendance can take advantage of FREE prostate cancer screenings performed by the doctors and staff.

Thanks to Debbie Baker and credit to Blacktop Media Network.
Thanks to Debbie Baker and credit to Blacktop Media Network. Credit to Blacktop Magazine for CFAC

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure

Men in attendance can take advantage of FREE prostate cancer screenings performed by the doctors and staff from the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine, CA. “The organizers of Cruisin’ For A Cure didn’t put this event together just to see an assemblage of interesting vehicles. They want to save lives,” said Dr. Kenneth Tokita, a Radiation Oncologist with KSK Cancer Center of Irvine.

At last year’s charity car show, 815 men were tested and 153 of them were advised to seek additional medical attention.  “For most guys, the doctor’s office is not somewhere we’re particularly enthusiastic about, so integrating non-invasive, preventative medicine into an event that caters to the demographic of men who are the most at-risk for this disease is nothing short of brilliant”.

An entry car can be – classics, muscle, trucks, exotics, customs, vintage, movie cars, and even new cars.

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure

Automotive industry movers and shakers Troy Ladd (America’s Most Beautiful Roadster), Chris Jacobs (Overhaulin’), Chip Foose (Foose Design), Larry Wood (Hot Wheels Designer), Carson Lev (Redphin Productions), and Barry Meguiar (Meguiar’s Inc.) will  meet fans along with Dave McClelland (‘The Voice of the NHRA’) in The Hangar building from 11am until 1pm.

On the day of the show Debbie Baker drives around in her decorated golf cart checking men’s arms for cotton balls and tiny bandages so she sees they have had their blood test.  She knows that Cruisin’ For A Cure could save their life.  Debbie says they have tested well over 14,000 men over the years and have saved more than 3,000 men’s lives.

At last year’s show, 815 men were tested and 153 of them were advised to seek additional medical attention.

or telephone (949) 353-7353.

WHEN: Saturday, September 23, 2017
6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA  92626

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the September 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.


Mooneyes X-Mas Party at the Irwindale Event Center

Just as in years past, it happened at Irwindale Raceway on Saturday 12-10-16. Hours before sunrise, in front of the gates, over 1,500 hot rods, rat rods, customs, lowriders, vans and motorcycles began lining up along Live Oak Ave.

Participants and spectators sat in their idling rides with their heaters on trying to stay warm from morning’s winter cold. The gates opened at 6:00 AM for the event. More than 115 vendors were busy inside the venue making final assembly of their booths in preparation of displaying their cool car culture swag and hardware.

As the participant gates were opened the Mooneyes X-Mas Party staff did a great job directing the cars into the massive Irwindale Raceway parking lot where they were guided to their parking spaces. More than 15,000 spectators visited the event.

It’s become a Southern California December tradition

Chevy, “Mooneyes” Ford Model “A”
This blown Chevy, “Mooneyes” Ford Model “A” pickup was a big hit
These very cool “Bombs” belong to the “Old Memories” car club of Pasadena, CA


Dale Snoke
Dale Snoke does a burnout in “The Rocket” Mercury Cyclone

The Irwindale 1/8th-mile drag strip was open for two sessions to allow all the 120 contestants to have side-by-side drag racing, including six Cacklefest dragsters. The trailered dragsters were quickly unloaded in the pits then directed to the tech inspection area.

Soon the cold December morning gave way to warm sun and blue skies greeting show goers, many dressed in their Christmas and lifestyle swag.

The smell of, fresh carne asada and  tri-tip on the BBQ’s filled the morning air. The stage was set for another Mooneyes X-mas Party to begin with its Von Dutch/Big Daddy Roth renaissance flare.


’50 Plymouth Suburban
Nicely done ’50 Plymouth Suburban

Engine of ’50 Plymouth Suburban ’50 Plymouth Suburban ’50 Plymouth Suburban

Five bands played live music throughout day: The Go Getters, Colony Boys, Gamblers Mark, Hot Rod Trio, and the Dynotones!

At 3 o’clock, after the Pin Up contest and trophies were presented, the event ended.

The exceptional people in attendance made this show unique. They came with all their imagination, creativity, ingenuity, attitude, and style for all to enjoy.

Thanks to Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama of Mooneyes for hosting this special event and carrying on the Moon legacy.

5 bands played live music throughout the day

‘71 Chevy Chevelle
‘71 Chevy Chevelle had it all, big block, perfect paint and Cowl Induction!!

Engine of ‘71 Chevy Chevelle MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

Top Fuel dragster “Check Mate”
Recently completed and being shown for the first time, the “Bivens  & Fisher” nostalgia Top Fuel dragster “Check Mate”.
AFX Ford Fairlane
An AFX Ford Fairlane impresses the crowd with a wheel stand
 318ci powered ’67 Dodge window van
“Sweet Dreams” is a delicious looking,  318ci powered ’67 Dodge window van
model “A” Ford could
This masterfully recreated model “A” Ford could use a little Bab-o on those side walls

The exceptional people in attendance made this show unique.

Mooneyes X-Mas Party


AFX champ Ken Moreland
AFX champ Ken Moreland
Long and low with flat paint and a very sick grille
Long and low with flat paint and a very sick grille

Drag bikes
Drag bikes were also on-hand


A small but unique collection of VW Transporters


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

41 Willys: The Wolf in Street Clothing

Our Dream ‘41 Willys is One Family’s Reality

Since the Willys reproduction era began, there have been many very fine examples of the street coupe, but perhaps none is more impressive and intimidating than that owned by the Jordan Family collection of Orange County, California. For Joshua Jordan, seeing this Willys was love at first sight. The family owns a stable of outstanding rods, customs and classics, but this monster of a street machine has a dominant aura. And why wouldn’t it? This is a killer build through and through.

The original construction took place more than a decade ago. Using an Antique & Collectible Autos high-quality shell, it was mated to a specially constructed tube frame chassis. A narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend was set up with parallel 4-link arms with coil-over shocks. Right from the get-go it was decided that this was going to be a beast worthy of its iconic status.

The first order of business was to go big, as in big-block. Noted engine builder Wayne Halabura assembled a 454 Rat motor punched out to 513 ci. Next 9.5:1 TRW pistons were added to the solid steel crank. A B&M 420 Mega Blower was added with a pair of Edlebrock four-barrel carbs. Everything was either plated or polished and all lines were braided steel with aircraft fittings. The goal was to exceed 1,000 hp. Actually dyno numbers confirmed the beast’s potential.

‘41 Willys

‘41 Willys
Most Pre-Street cars install wheelie bars for show. Here they were added as a necessity.

There was no intent to make the Willys cruise night friendly. The locker-style rear axles were mated to 4.10 gears. The performance-built GM Turbo 350 trans was also beefed up to handle the additional stress. If you’re going to do something, it pays to do it right. Nothing was more correct than custom-made Budnik wheels with Mickey Thompson 26×15 Sportsman rear tires. The fronts are Dunlop 15×6 radials.

Next on the to-do list was the interior. A multi-point cage was custom made and color matched. The Recaro bucket seats were modified and covered in ivory and blue leather. A custom center console was fabricated, as were door and cab panels. The cab was carefully traced out so matching leather-covered panels could be fitted into place. A tilt steering column with a Budnik wheel and billet stems provide the controls. Pile carpet was laid down and billet door handles finished the job. The custom-made dash is the result of hours of fabricating, fitting, smoothing and finishing in matching PPG paint. It was married to Dakota Digital gauges behind smoked Plexiglas.

Engine of ‘41 Willys
Engine: Pumping 1,000 hp from a blown big-block was the job of Wayne Halabura. The engine is a flawless blend of muscle and beauty. This is Pro-Street performance at the top of the game.
‘41 Willys
Steering wheel: The cut of the Budnik billet aluminum steering wheel matches the road wheels. The wheel was covered in matching leather. Aluminum tilt and turn stems were added.
‘41 Willys
Interior: Rick’s Auto Restoration in El Cajon, CA crafted a full high-end leather interior package. The seats are slightly modified Recaro brand. Both lap and four-point harness belts were added.

The body was sanded to glass-like smoothness. Then, it was primed and graphite sprayed to reveal any and all imperfections. Next it was back for additional hand sanding prior to being sprayed with two-stage PPG Blue Wave Metallic for the exterior color, a hue akin to that used on the famous Stone, Woods & Cook gasser.

The Willys was returned to Rick’s Auto Restoration in El Cajon, California for additional interior modifications. The aluminum gas tank was sealed before being covered in leather and topped with a competition flip cap. Gas pressure lifts were polished and a long list of detail items were handled.

While at Rick’s, a 3-inch exhaust system was custom made and installed featuring side-exit paths and plated tapered tips. While testing out the exhaust note, a half-throttle run up a nearby freeway onramp revealed a glaring issue: torque lift, also known as pulling the front wheels off the ground. This was nothing a proper set of wheelie bars couldn’t solve, but common and proper are two different things. Off the rack would work, but custom tailored was better. A special unit was handcrafted using precise spring tensioning, and all components were chrome-plated and polished to perfection, of course.

‘41 Willys
Dakota Digital instrumentation was crafted into a custom-made dash. The console features storage and fuse box compartments. Aluminum go, stop and dead pedals give the feet something to do.
‘41 Willys
Behind the mammoth Mickey Thompson tires and Budnik wheels are 12- inch disc brakes attached to Strange axles in a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear.
‘41 Willys
Gas and luggage done luxury style. Under the rear lid is a pristine, well thought out and executed application of workmanship and materials.

For a final touch they had Mark Brink, a custom painter known for his innovation and quality work, come up with a ribbon overlapped with flames. The subtle, yet effective design was applied on a tamped angle from the hood’s point to the body’s beltline, culminating with a final lick that is in concert with the rear fender contour. That was it. No accenting pinstripes or designs were needed—neat, clean, perfect. Once Brink had done his act, the entire body was cleared once again, cut and buffed.

Exterior: The look of a ’41 Willys is unique and remarkably distinctive.
Exterior: The look of a ’41 Willys is unique and remarkably distinctive. Jordan’s crazy coupe is an intimidating runner. The dual 3-inch exhaust with side exit tips and the whine of the B&M Mega Blower announces its arrival several blocks in advance.

With 1,000 hp sitting just a gentle push away from the right foot, and an equal amount of hours going into the build, you’d think this wild ride would become a trailer queen. The fact is it participated in a cross-country Americruise, as well as regional legs of a Power Tour. There was a bit of detuning and a gear change to bring the fuel mileage up to 10 mpg. But, once the events were over, the optimum pulleys and gears were reinstalled to once again make this a wolf on Main Street.

Building a ’41 Willys is a tightrope affair, especially one that dares to have any visual connection to one of history’s famous drag cars. However, the Jordan family collection offers such a ride. Wherever it’s shown, this high-end build has the ability to create new memories and join the list of iconic Willys coupes.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the December 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.