(Special thanks to Marilyn Balduff for sharing
her photos & recap of the Excursion)
It all started fifty-nine years ago when the Eastwood children, Richard, Peter, Jean and David, wanted to know what their cousins got from Santa. They piled into one of their dad`s horseless carriages and were driven over to their Uncle Warwick`s house. It was just two families getting together on Christmas day and the dads having fun driving their old cars.
Fast forward to 2014 and you have the "Holiday Motor Excursion" at the Irwindale Speedway. First there is an awesome car show. No judging, just a lot of people having a great time admiring each others cars. This year, over two hundred cars were on display and approximately another hundred modern cars with spectators were parked on the grounds.
There were all different types of cars represented. Horseless Carriages from the early years, classics from the 1930`s, an entire row of Model A Fords and another entire row of Model T Fords were on display. In there own rows were muscle cars, hot rods, cars from the 1940`s and lots of early motorcycles. Beautiful cars that were show winners at concours such as Pebble Beach, to junkers that brought a laugh when you looked at them and every quality of car in between were there.
Irwindale Speedway is in Southern California, not too far from Hollywood. This means that we had stars such Jay Leno in his 1931 Bentley and English television star Bruce Meyer attending.
Then there is the excursion part of the Holiday Motor Excursion. One hundred and forty cars built prior to 1932 were given maps of the tour route. In addition many more cars without maps just followed along. From the starting point at the Irwindale Speedway the cars were driven through many towns, Durate, Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena , Highland Park, South Pasadena and San Marino. They went past many beautiful mansions decorated for the holidays. The cars toured past historic Craftsman style homes built by Green and Green, drove down Orange Grove Avenue where Rose Parade spectators were already starting to gather and finally stopped at the Galcos market. Galcos is not your ordinary supermarket. It has been in the community of Highland Park for over eighty years. Inside its walls are products from the past. Beers, sodas, wines and candies that we remembered from our childhood years but have not seen since are all for sale.
The next stop was lunch. Many of the cars could be found in the North Woods Inn parking lot while their owners were eating. They created another car show with lots of spectators. After lunch, the cars were driven to one of the So Cal Region`s member`s home for dessert. At this stop his great collection of antique cars were viewed while munching tasty desserts.
A large thank you goes to Kenny King, organizer, his crew of very hard-working volunteers and members of the Southern California Region of the Horseless Carriage Club for giving us a great time!!