I have to admit. I’ve never been a car enthusiast.
I get from one place to another, with a functional auto and the hope of safety. For this reason, I couldn’t figure out why I would want to go to a car show.
But I forgot about nostalgia. The memory of my first car…the freedom I felt hitting the road…or heck, the memory of my folks’ driving us to the beach during summer.
My mom even named our car, “Nellie”. Those are fond memories that, oddly, give me a strange attachment to “a car” which, until now, I really never understood.
Dan Condon, a car enthusiast and owner of The Shop in Palm Desert, reminded me of this.
“For some reason, that I can’t quite explain, there is a connection between cars and people. For some, their cars become part of the family for others it is a reference to their past.”
Condon has been part the Valley car scene for decades, and owns a collector car facility where he builds, repairs, and restores vehicles. Although he has a collection of his own cars, he attends the La Quinta Hot Rod & Custom Car Show and brings many customers (and their cars) with him.
“It’s a great way to showcase your talents in the auto care industry,” Condon says.
This year’s edition runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 at La Quinta Community Park featuring more than 125 entries, live entertainment, a Family Fun area and merchandise vendors. Admission is free to the public, and the event is sponsored by the Desert Recreation District, AAA Automobile Club of Southern California, and La Quinta Chamber of Commerce.
With hot rods, muscle cars (think Mustangs, Chavelles, Cameros), vintage breeds (mostly 1930s and ‘40s) and more current high-end performance sports cars, there is the presence of history:
- 1956 Ford pick up
- 1965 Fury 3
- 1971 Mustang
The ‘Hot Car’ 411:
Unlike fast paced, high energy, professional auction events, La Quinta Hot Rod & Custom Car Show offers an experience to chat it up with those in the know.
“People love their cars, and generally, car owners are open to answering questions about their entrees,” Condon says. “But, if they are unavailable, there is always someone knowledgeable to get you the information you want.”
This is a great opportunity to talk to car owners about:
- Where to find discount parts
- How much a car is worth
- Cool car facts and histories
The Past, Pride, and Passion
Jim Varco, a car lover and proud owner of a 1944 Ford Two-Door Sedan, loves to show his car (among others) in many car shows throughout the Southwest. He is also a founding member of the Silver Scorpions, a local Saturday morning breakfast club for car enthusiasts.
“It’s about the cars but also, about camaraderie,” Varco says of vintage car owners. “It’s fascinating to see how people restore or redo their different cars and put in the care and love.”
There is also a healthy sense of competition where the group encourages, supports, and cheers their members to compete for ‘best of’ trophies.”
“It’s about nostalgia”, says Varco. “A sentimental car from your past can take you back to special memories and simpler times.”