Car culture in Greater Palm Springs has all the vibrancy and eclecticism as its residents and visitors, and the desert offers an ideal backdrop to view these automotive beauties. “It’s a great place to have your car, drive your car, and show your car,” says Jerry Martin, co-founder of El Paseo Cruise Night. But you don’t need to own one to be part of the fun.
El Paseo Cruise Night
More than 200 souped-up vehicles prowl Palm Desert’s luxurious shopping strip during El Paseo Cruise Night on the first Friday of the month. “It’s like a mini American Graffiti,” says Martin, who launched the meetup in 2013. Classic car owners and enthusiasts convene at 3 p.m. on the upper parking level of
The Gardens on El Paseo. At 4:30 p.m., drivers parade their rides down the boulevard. The regular cruise takes place Feb. 1. A special auction is set for Feb. 6 to benefit Desert Cancer Foundation, and an extra cruise night on Feb. 8 kicks off the Dr. George Charity Car Show.
Cruise-In Car Show
Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association presents its car party the first Saturday of each month (Feb. 2) at the north side of Westfield Palm Desert. More than 100 collector cars and motorcycles gather behind Macy’s, atop the parking structure, and festivities include food, music, prizes, and crafts for the kids. The action starts at 1 p.m., and admission is free for spectators.
Dr. George Charity Car Show
This motoring extravaganza, presented by the Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association and now in its 14th year, draws more than 1,000 vehicles for a dazzling display. Held Feb. 9 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the event honors the memory of Desert Cancer Foundation co-founder Dr. Sebastian George.
Crowds eager to bid at McCormick’s Classic Car Auction.
Vintage Trailer Show
For the retro-obsessed, attending Modernism Week’s Vintage Trailer Show — Feb. 23–24 at Hilton Palm Springs — is a requirement. Owners and restorers of vintage trailers, campers, buses, and motorhomes will be on-site to answer questions about their cherished wheels. Tickets are available for $25, and kids 12 and under get in free.
La Quinta Hot Rod and Custom Car Show
The 13th annual La Quinta Hot Rod and Custom Car Show has added several new categories this year, including Best Street Rod. “The spectacle of these classic cars against the backdrop of La Quinta’s gorgeous natural landscape is really something to behold,” says Joshua Bonner, president and CEO of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the free event. It happens Feb. 23 at La Quinta Community Park.