(Special thanks to Marilyn Balduff for sharing
her photos & recap of the Excursion)
California in December with plenty of sunshine and 70-degree temperatures brings out lots and lots of glorious cars. We thought last year was great! This year was even greater. We had over four hundred cars on display. We had every kind of car imaginable and with our great location at the Irwindale Speedway parking lot we were able to park them in rows according to their ages. We had a huge turnout of horseless carriages many of which we had not seen for a long time. We had a whole row of Model A Fords on display. The classic cars of the 1930's were well represented with many Duesenbergs, Rolls Royces, Packards, Lincolns and even a Doble owned by Jay Leno. There were also lots of great muscle cars and hot rods to look at. We even had over thirty-six old antique trucks on display. Our attendance from the public increased dramatically. We had over one thousand people admiring these great cars. We received coverage from the national television studio, ABC. They came out, interviewed lots of car owners and took many pictures.
At about ten o'clock in the morning, it was time for the driver's meeting and the start of our annual Holiday Excursion. All cars built prior to 1932 were eligible to go on our tour. As each car left the parking lot, the driver was given a tour map. We gave out over one hundred eighty maps and could have used more.
The theme for this year's Excursion was small towns. Once upon a time in California, we had many small towns. Most of these towns have all grown and are now large towns. However, the original main streets with their old historic buildings are still here. They are now nestled inside of the large towns. Our tour took us down these old original main streets. We drove down the main streets in old Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia, Bradbury, Altadena, Duarte and San Marino. Our old cars against a backdrop of these old historic buildings put on a great show for the public as we paraded by. The old Route 66 was driven on as well as old Foothill Boulevard. Next our cars drove underneath the antique Colorado Street bridge on their way to where the Rose Parade floats were receiving their final flowers in preparation for the Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Our stop for this year was the Justice Brothers Automotive Museum in Duarte, California. This is a racing Museum that features racing vehicles, motorcycles, passenger cars and racing memorabilia. Ed Justice started this Museum in 1985. It has been growing ever since. They have on display an extensive collection of vintage race cars, street rods, classics, racing engines and even a Pitts racing biplane suspended from the ceiling. This collection is housed in three buildings and has over two hundred vintage rolling stock to look at. We were able to get up close to all of these great machines, walk around them and take many pictures. To our amazement, none of them were roped off.
After all of this touring, it was time for lunch. Most of us either went to Clearman's Boat or the North Woods Restaurant next door. Again all of our cars parked in the restaurant lots created another not so mini car show and attracted a huge crowd of spectators. After lunch most of us went to one our member's home for desserts. Here we viewed his collection of horseless carriages, classics and antique machinery.
Thank yous go to Kenny King for organizing this event, to the Irwindale Speedway for letting us use their parking lots, to the Justice brothers for opening up their Museum for us to view, and to all of the volunteers of the Southern California Region of the Horseless Carriage Club who worked so hard to make this event so successful.