The car show at Saddleback College

Students, start your engines

Row of Corvettes as you enter the car show. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

Migrating black crows swarmed the skies, gawking, while a vivid sunset led to motor city just beyond the unbuilt football stadium. An unusually warm afternoon in late October, as the Saddleback College car show made its debut at Lot 1.

Tunes of the Beach Boys serenade in the background while a line of American-made Corvettes glisten as you enter the event. On display, front and center: a beautiful red 2015 V-8 Chevy Corvette Stingray owned by Mission Viejo resident Henry Lewis.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette super-charged Stringray. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

Lewis decided to modify his Corvette, adding an AFE intake system and an internal chip called “the Demon” to the engine.

“Factory is at 460 [horsepower]; I’m at 550 right now,” he said. “The lights on the side are aftermarket, and the fastest I’ve gone with this car is 162 miles per hour on I-8.”

Under the hood of the Corvette Stingray. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

On the left side of the Saddleback car show is the M2 Automotive Technology building, which was opened for other unique vehicles. The car that got all the looks was a Mustang GT Fastback built in 1966 and owned by Hot Rods Unlimited club member Alan Beezley.

1966 Mustang GT Fastback. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

With a stunning cherry-red leather interior, this ride is a head-turner inside and out, perfect for cruising up and down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Interior of the 1966 Mustang GT Fastback. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

The only Italian car to make it to the show was an all-black 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena Spider, a beautiful car now reasonably priced at $75,000. For Ferrari standards, that’s cheap. But buyer beware, this 400 horsepower pony only gets 10 miles to the gallon, so be ready to invest.

Black 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena Spider. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

The bright beauty who stole the show, the 66 Charger in Incredible Hulk green. Built in 1966, the Charger 440 owned by Steve Popely of Yorba Linda, was named “Big Green Machine.” This legendary vehicle is one of 300,000 made and has only 61,000 miles on the odometer.

1966 Charger 440. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

“The Big Green Machine raced at Orange County Speedway from 1970 to 1980,” Popely said. “In 1991 the vehicle was placed in retirement and stored in a garage,” said Popely. “This car was in the very first year of production for the Charger.”

1966 Charger 440. Credit: Nik Lamas-Richie

The Saddleback car show didn’t disappoint. The minimal turnout made for a very intimate feel. The food trucks kept everyone fed, and the DJ made sure to play music from the days of old. The nostalgia felt very modern as patrons could easily access vehicles and ask questions with car owners. The roar of American made engines won the day.