Visitors glance at a line of classic cars. Trevor Speetzen | Lariat
26th annual Orange Plaza Car Show flashed classic cars and American Muscle
The annual Orange County Car Show took place on April 10 in the city of Orange. Almost 400 cars were on display and they were all pre-1976 vehicles. Types of cars that were shown included custom vehicles, classic cars and even street rods.
Many spectators were present at this event checking out many different vehicles. Vendors were set up in the middle of Orange County plaza offering services such as car cleaning supplies, car restoration and even dealerships showcasing some of their products. All of the money raised for this event is going to youth education, literacy programs and outreach programs in OC.
Many classic American manufacturers were at this event such as Ford, Chevy and Chrystler. However many other obscure makes were there as well such Plymouths and even a race amphibious car that was also able to float on the water along with driving on the road.
“It was built in Germany,” said Ed Howard, owner of the amphibious car. “They built just under 4000 and it’s a car and it’s a boat.”
Howard had owned the vehicle for 20 years and in 2009 completely took the car apart and the body restored. Many of the other car owners had owned their vehicle for a long period of time and usually had them restored. The owner of a Ford F100 panel truck has owned his vehicle for 10 years and had it completely restored.
“It’s been fully restored,” owner of the ford truck Richard Miller said. “The frame has been modified, everything is all brand new underneath it, all new suspension and all new technology.”
While most of the cars present at this show had appeared to be modified, there were a noticeable amount of cars that weren’t. Some of the motorist purposely kept the stock options on the car and some chose to not polish or wax their cars.
Some of these cars that weren’t restored definitely stood out more than most. Owners kept these cars that way so they would have a unique, natural feel to them. The handlers felt they didn’t need them, other than required minor details. An owner of a 1972 Dodge Power Wagon kept his car completely stock, other than a couple small parts.
“Oh it’s stock,” said George Homer, the owner of the Dodge. “I added power brakes and power steering, but other than that everything is stock the same motor and everything.”
Many familiar car models had been on display at this event, models such as Mustangs, Cameros and Corvettes. However other known, but less flashy models were able to draw a lot of attention to the crowd. Models such as Chevrolet Bel Air, Ford Thunderbird and a Chevrolet Nova.
Most of the cars that were kept stock were the bigger name vehicles like a Ford Mustang. Handlers of the lesser known cars were the ones that were completely restored. The owner of a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air gave his car a complete upgrade.
“I’ve had it for 18 years and restored it to the way it is today,” the owner of the Bel Air Marco Serna said. “It took seven years and did a full on restoration.”
The vendors at the car show were owners of small businesses. While some had come out to gain more exposure for their, other businesses just came out to be there. The proprietor of a car restoration company was there because they wanted to see and show off some cars. They were rewarded when a 1950 Ford F1 was started and revved its engine.
“In an event like this, we come out to support our community,” said James Falschlehner, car restoration proprietor. “It brings people in and share our vehicles, our passion for the automotive industry. So exposure wise, not really looking for too much exposure.”
Falschlehner is known in the industry as “Jimmy Shine” and he runs Jimmy Shine Speedshop. He specializes in restoring old hot rods and muscle cars to look and sound like modern vehicles. They aren’t any particular cars that stick out to him and will restore anything that dates back to the 1920s.
Like Falschlehner said, an event like this can bring people together and enjoy a common interest. Many people attended this car show and there is no doubt that this event raised more than enough funds to support these outreach programs.