Jul 8 2010

The 2nd Annual SCC/Stack Performance Cruise!

Banning- Eighteen SoCal Challengers gathered on June 26th, 2010 for a fun-filled cruise adventure sponsored by Stack Performance of Anaheim, Ca. Members travelled 110 miles on a pre-determined route that took them through the San Jacinto mountains at elevations over 6000 feet, high plains, and desert terrain ending finally in Pioneertown in the Yucca Valley. Lunch was handled by Islands Restaurant of Palm Desert. SCC Members had the rest of the day in Pioneertown to enjoy the attractions and scenery.

I met Ryan and Garber at Stack Performance at 6:30a.m. We wanted to get to the IHOP by 7:30 so we could have breakfast there. It was great to see Cheryl there, too. I hadn’t seen her at an event since the LX Festival. As she quickly slammed the rest of her coffee, we hopped on the 91 and headed for Banning. Other than the semi truck that wanted to be in my lane with me at the same time on the 10 Freeway we made it to Banning without a hitch. Isreal was already there with his new sharp red R/T. He had recently replaced his black R/T with this one as his former Challenger had numerous electrical and driveline issues. We were glad his dealership took care of him and replaced his car. Chris and Mellow pulled up right behind us too and we walked in to IHOP together. This IHOP was very clean and the food was surprisingly good. I remember when IHOP restaurants were dirty and the food was nasty. They’ve definitely cleaned up their act; at least this one anyways. Members started arriving one by one. I was surprised by Metal’s appearance. He hadn’t signed up but showed up and we dug it. We hadn’t seen him in a while. We all had a great chat with breakfast and got ready to cruise.

At 9:30 I did my usual pre-meet to discuss the cruise. I had broken the route into four legs and I provided maps for everyone so they wouldn’t get lost. It’s a two lane road most of the way. For starters, were going to climb San Jacinto Mountain and go through Idylwild. The views of the opposing San Gorgonio Mountains as we climbed were spectacular. Before you know it, you’re at 6,000 ft plus elevation. The CHP officer wasn’t sitting at the lone stop sign in Idylwild so it didn’t take us two years to all get through that stop sign. We continued through Idylwild and down the other side of the San Jacinto Mountains where we dead-ended at the 74 Pines to Palms Highway. We made a left and headed East towards our first stop, the Lake Hemet Market. When we got there I started looking at who was there and I noticed people were missing. G2 pulled up right at that moment and told me that five or six cars had turned two driveways earlier into the campground. I asked Greg, ”Why?”. He replied, “I don’t know”. Hmmm, I was back in my car to go find my flock who had lost their way. As I was winding my way down the road towards the campground, the five or so lost cars passed me going the other way. I swung a U-turn and the chase was on. Luckily they waited for me at the 74 Highway and I led them to the market which was less than a quarter of a mile away. We got some great pictures of the cars there with the mountains as a backdrop. It’s a beautiful high plain location. A Forest Ranger drove around the parking lot over and over ogling our cars. I think he did like five laps. I got a kick out of that.

After leaving the market we headed for our next stop where we would have lunch, Palm Desert. The next forty or so miles we transitioned from high plain to desert. As we descended into Palm Desert we arrived at Island’s Restaurant for lunch. It was 95 degrees plus already at noon. I had a great lunch with Ryan, Cheryl, and Dave, as well as Sam and his son Nick. Eddie threw some paper at me over the divider and I thought it was James so I threw paper at him. Ah, the joys of juvenility…Loved it! After chow it was time to leave and go to get gas and onto Pioneertown.

As we made it to the gas stop, the temperature climbed to 101 degrees. It was hot! I didn’t plan this route for later in the summer for that very reason. Marcello had gotten caught up in the soccer games at Island’s and he came out to an empty parking lot. I got him caught up and to the gas stop where we filled up and started our last leg to the Yucca Valley.

The last leg of the trip takes you by the huge wind catchers outside of Palm Springs. You don’t realize how big the blades on those things are until you’re close to them. They are really impressive close up. As we headed North along the 62 Highway we climbed the big hill into Yucca Valley. I called Yucca Valley Dodge/Chrysler from the car and told them the SoCal Challenger Car Club was going to be driving by on our way to Pioneertown with 18-19 Challengers in a big ‘ole line. I received the surprisingly luke-warm response of “oh, ok”. Luckily, two salespeople were standing out there when we went by and we all honked at them and waved. That was really cool they came out. Pioneertown was just a few miles past that point.

Once in Pioneertown Members had the opportunity to watch the Wild West Show and see the scenery. Pioneertown as originally built as a movie set for westerns in the 40’s. Afterwards, people stayed and it became a town. The old staff and crew quarters were still there and it’s now a motel. An old sound stage is still there as well as the bowling alley that was built for the crews in 1949. It’s one of the oldest working bowling alleys in the United States. Stepping in there is like stepping back in time with the open ball returns and super old pinball machines. All the lanes had ashtrays built onto the seats, too. Definitely a different time back then. There was a cabinet with old steam powered toys, too. I hadn’t seen those in many, many years.

All in all, we went over 110 miles. I hoped people liked the route and had a good time. I already have ideas for my next one in mind. Stay tuned!

May 20 2010

The 2010 B&M Hurst American Muscle Car Challenge!

Fontana- Twelve SCC Members travelled to Cal Speedway for the B&M Hurst American Muscle Car Challenge on May 17th, 2010. A total of fourteen Challengers were present along with eighteen Camaros, seven Mustangs, and three Pontiac G8’s. Participants were grouped by make and were given track time on the infield course in thirty-minute intervals. All drivers were accompanied in-car at all times by instructors from Driving Concepts. Participants learned high performance driving techniques delivered in track time and classroom instruction. B&M also provided a Hawaiian barbecue lunch for drivers and instructors. SCC Member Brian S was awarded the Most Improved Driver Award by Driving Concepts at the closing of the event.

I remember leaving my home in Huntington Beach that morning excited to be able to get some track time for my Challenger at a great price. Because of B&M and their sponsors, we got a great discount for our day at Cal Speedway. Not five minutes away from my home and my phone alerts me of a text message. Dan leaves a message, ”So what about this rain?” “What are your plans?”. I didn’t understand the message so I called him. He replied that it’s raining where he is. Like RAINING. I replied, ”It’s not raining here”. “I’m going out there”. Since I left earlier than everyone else, I gave the scouting report as I travelled out there. At the Speedway, it was a moderate drizzle and windy but the track day was still on.

All of us were able to park in the pit crew bays that the race cars get to use. B&M separated our cars by make. Camaros, Challengers, Mustangs, and a couple of Pontiac G8’s for good measure. We all made our way into the classroom where Carl from Driving Concepts introduced himself and his fellow instructors for the event. Car also introduced a special guest for us as well. Mr. Ian James had stopped by to hang out with us. He races in the Continental GT class. And he drives a Challenger! My kind of guy. The pedigree from Driving Concepts I had experienced before….. Lots of drivers with pro experience and success. The rules and regs were covered and we were assigned instructors for the day. The different makes of cars would be separated on the track and go individually with Camaros being first. We were up second followed by the Mustangs and the G8’s.

You first few laps are driven by your instructor driving your car. He shows you the track, talks your way through it, and gives you the best line to follow. After that, it’s your turn. The instructor sits shotgun and talks through a headset at you as you drive. If you aren’t familiar with the track, there are several laps of simply learning the course. Some of the infield course is simply marked off with cones which can be confusing at higher speeds until you learn the track. This fades quickly though after a few laps. After that, it simply building your technique and keeping things smooth. This was my fourth track day and I knew for some SCC Members it was their first. It was great to see them learn and improve so quickly throughout the day.

After each thirty minute session, you went back to the classroom for a debrief to discuss what you experienced on the course. We also were allowed to be taken out by the instructors in their cars. Fun! If you thought you were being pretty badass in your car the ride with the instructor wiped that out real quick. They were blindingly fast. That was a kick. Ian also took participants out in their personal vehicles if they wished.

I remember being really impressed with some of the Member’s driving that day. Karl was doing really well out there. So were Dan and Marcello. Bill and I had a great time the very last session of the day staying neck and neck with each other for the whole thirty minute session. I went over and thanked him for that after we got back to the bays. That was a blast!

Our last classroom session was for awards for each make of car present that day. Brian received the Most Improved Driver Award for the Challenger group. Go Brian! I saw lots of teeth that day, from smiling members. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and learned valuable driving skills that will help them in their everyday driving. I’d like to thank B&M Hurst and Driving Concepts, as well as all of the sponsors for putting on such a first class and safe event. We can’t wait for the next one!

May 18 2010


Pomona- The campus of Cal Poly Pomona was the setting for the 1st annual LA Fire Department 3rd Alarm Car Show. Proceeds from the show benefitted the LA Fire Explorer Post 19. Participants were treated to two live bands, a catered lunch, raffles, and several vendor booths. Thirteen SCC Members attended the event. Rick L received a Winner’s Trophy for his supercharged black R/T.

My nav unit has most always gotten me where I needed to go. That women’s voice guiding me here and there as we travel to our car shows, events, and cruises. This time she was a woman scorned. As I got off the freeway and was travelling down Pomona Blvd, suddenly she barked at me to “Perform a legal U-turn”. That didn’t make any sense to me since I remember seeing the Mapquest of the location and it showing the meeting spot straight ahead. However, I put my trust in the nav gal and made a U-turn at the next light. As I now headed back towards the freeway I was looking around for the addresses on the buildings. The numbers were going down, not up. Then she spoke again. “Perform a legal U-turn”. Umm….excuse me? So I made another U-turn and started heading West again down Pomona Blvd. I went as far as that same spot and got the message again, ”Perform a legal U-turn”. Evidently Miss nav gal wished me to go in circles this morning. She actually got me to do it twice, that gal. Maybe she had a bad night before; drank too much, the guy kissed her and then left without asking for her number. Maybe she had intestinal distress, I don’t know. I took charge of my life at that point and shut her off. I felt in control. I felt badass. I was reading building numbers….Old school! I stormed past the supposed U-turn point and went straight to the meeting spot. Ha! I actually gave my nav unit the finger when I shut my car off like that would do anything. She’ll probably send me over every pothole imaginable on the way to the next one. Her pissyness then shifted to the other members. From the meeting place I could see member after member getting into the left turn lane as she told them to either turn left or hang a U-turn. That dude the night before must have really pissed her off. I started flagging down everyone to go straight to get to the meeting spot.

After our dealings with Miss nav gal were concluded we got together for the pre-show pow wow. Rick gave a little chat for this one as he put this show together. We were headed to the campus of Cal Poly Pomona. We had a nice long trail of Challengers snaking their way through the parking lots on campus. I’m glad Rick knew where the show was, I certainly didn’t. It wouldn’t have been easy to find if you weren’t familiar with the campus.

As we pulled in we took a back row in the parking lot. Rick and I figured this would be a good spot when the lot was full to showcase our cars. The problem was that the lot never filled up. By my count, aside from our group there were twenty four cars scattered about in a huge parking lot. We had almost thirty percent of the turnout. The bands played for no one pretty much. We wished they would stop anyways… At least the singers. Eeesh.

Aside from the turnout we had a great time at this show. James won pretty much every freekin’ thing you could win in the raffles, except the couch. We wanted that couch! It could be our club couch ,we thought, but someone else got it. James got pretty much everything else. We also got to see Kevins’ new Go-Wing. That thing rocks on his car and fits with the other modifications on his ride perfectly. His modifications have been supremely tasteful. I think he’s done the best job of making his Challenger look old school of anyone in the group. His car just keeps getting better and better. There were fire trucks for the kids to see and some great old cars as well.

My thanks to Rick for setting this show up for the SCC family to attend. This was their first show and they will only get bigger as time goes on. We were grateful to have the opportunity to help the explorers. They are the future lifesavers of our community. We thank them in advance.

May 17 2010

VPHS Marching Band Welcomes SoCal Challengers To Its 7th Annual Benefit Car Show!

Villa Park- On May 8th, 2010, The Villa Park High School Marching Band hosted their 7th annual Benefit Car show. All proceeds from this show benefitted the marching band, tall flags, and color guard to help with instrument, uniform, and travel expenses. Aside from entry ticket sales, VPHS also offered a pancake breakfast and a huge raffle to generate more funds for the school. There were many vendors scattered throughout the show offering various goods and services. Over one hundred vehicles lined the parking lot of the school and featured classics and new cars alike. SoCal Challengers took home the group Participation Trophy from this show for the second year in a row.

My wife and I pulled in to the meeting spot which was a coffee shop in the Villa Park Center only to see Jeff G and Dave already there. This show always brings back so much for me. It’s a small show (Around 100 cars or so this time) but it’s really relaxed and fun. The logistics for me are easy. Villa Park High is my alma mater so a lot of memories come flying back when I’m there. That center we met at in the morning I had spent so much time in as a kid. My dentist is still in that center and two people that work at that 76 gas station were working there when I was going to High School. It was great to see so many more SCC Members join me this time around. We almost doubled last years turnout. Marcello brought his kids this time. It was great to finally meet them. G2’s wife Michelle brought her brand spankin’ new Charger Daytona to roll in with us too. Klaus brought a kick-ass 1955 Chrysler wagon. Aaron from Stack Performance brought Ryan’s Charger and hung out with us too for the day. He had to pretend to like us for some eight hours or so. Poor Aaron. It ended up being a nice little crowd in the Coffee Grove parking area. After most of us shoved some coffee down our throats and I gave the pre-meeting, it was line ‘em up and move ‘em out.

This car show is one of my favorites to pull into because the high school kids are always manning the entrance to the show. They completely flip when they see our cars. There were three kids standing at the entrance and their jaws all collectively dropped as I turned the group in the driveway. One kid actually walked out of the drive way to look down the street and see how far the line went back down the street. Kids are great that way. They’re not too old to have learned to hide their feelings and show their emotion. They loved it and we loved seeing them love it. We had our own parking area marked off for us and parking was a snap. Well, sort of. I found out I’m not as good at parking people and lining them up as Shotgun Fred is. My line was not as sharp as his would have been. Maybe Fred can give me a few tips next time I see him. Klaus had a booth next to us to for his auto sales business, Exclusive Motors. He parked that wagon next to us. I was amazed how popular that wagon was that day. People were all over it. It was one of only ten known to be still in existence.

After we got parked, shined up, and the ez-ups placed I headed for the pancake breakfast. Member Jim D had brought fresh salmon, cream cheese, and bagels for those who weren’t in the mood for flapjacks. I had some great conversation with Tom and Aaron at the breakfast tables. My wife bought plenty of raffle tickets and so did a lot of the other members. Last year my wife hit on about five raffles. Unfortunately, it was the same thing every time. Light bulbs. Those “Last forever” light bulbs. We now have light bulbs for the next fourty years. This year she kept winning tickets to the Nixon Library. I think she won six of them. We gave some away. I guess we can take all my neighbors to see Nixon’s Library . And maybe pawn off a few light bulbs.

When it came time for awards about 2pm or so we knew we pretty much had the Group Trophy in the bag. I didn’t even see another club there. If they were, they were stealth. I didn’t see any window placards, club shirts, or stickers. We got it. Way cool. Klaus’s wagon won in the “Muscle Cars from 1930 to 1980” Category. Aaron received some payback for having to spend his off-day with us by winning the “People’s Choice” Award. A good day for everyone involved especially the kids.

A big thank you to my fellow SCC’ers who came out to support my alma mater. You guys brought it this year and the kids have won again as a direct result of your graciousness and gift of time. Your donations will be put to good use. Thank you also the kids who volunteered to run the show that day. That show happens because of you. Anyone want to go to the Nixon Library?

Apr 26 2010

SCC Attends The 11th Annual Burbank Kiwanis Kids For Fun Foundation Car Show In Johnny Carson Park!

Burbank- The 11th Annual Kiwanis Kids For Fun Car show was held April 25th, 2010 in Johnny Carson Park. The park grounds were covered row after row with almost four hundred cars in attendance. All proceeds benefitted local children’s charities in the valley. Participants and spectators were treated to a pancake breakfast, live music, raffles, and numerous vendor booths. SoCal Challengers were awarded the Group Participation Trophy and newest Member John H was given 2nd place in his class. A total of sixteen SCC Members attended this event taking up an entire row in the show.

I arrived early at the meeting place for this event. Dave had scheduled the street on Riverside Drive as our place to meet and I was there first. My wife and I sat there, and sat there. The street said no parking at any time too so I was looking around constantly hoping to not get shooed away by Johnny the parking control psycho. We sat there some more. Nobody…. Crickets. Just for kicks I typed in the directions for the show. My nav said it was seven miles away. I thought to myself, ”Dave would never have a meeting place that far away from a show.” I re-checked my directions. Hmm, seems I had missed one little letter when I inputted the address. That little letter “W” in front of Riverside Drive, West Riverside Drive that is. I was on Riverside Drive. We were off to the right address. I was happy to see that we already had a good crowd there on the street.

G1 showed up in his work gear and his truck as a gag. I had talked with Jeff about him zip-tying his Challenger fascia to the front of his pickup and entering his truck that way. THAT would have been classic. It was good fun and lightened up the early morning. “B” showed up soon after with his Challenger. Dave gave the pre-meeting. I mentioned too that it was Dan’s B-Day. Heather and I had got him some gifts we would give him later. We only had to go around the corner to get in….not seven miles.

The first fun was the driveway into the park. It was definitely not made for anything less than monster truck ground clearance. Dan scraped, I scraped going out, I heard scrapes all morning from other cars. Scrape, scrape, scrape. Happily the grass was kinder to our cars and we lined up in a reserved area that Tony had set aside for us. It was a sight to see that we took up an entire row at this show. Impressive! We all enjoyed the pancake breakfast too…..Dave was right. The pancakes kicked butt.

This show had some really impressive cars. There was a 1973 Plum Crazy Dodge Challenger that was immaculate. That car ended up winning a trophy later. Also, the Chrysler 300 from the Cops For Tots Show was there too. Beautiful car. We met John that morning at the meeting place. I was excited to see his Plum Crazy Challenger. He had put in the white leather interior with purple lettering. I honestly didn’t think I would like it after seeing it in the catalogue but in person it looks fantastic! John ended up joining us that day. He also won an award too. Not bad for his first day as an SCC Member. I also enjoyed the 1936 Buick Roadmaster. Black and super clean. We gave Dan his gifts and I resumed my wars with Chris’ kids. The fun continues…

Thanks to Tony Wade for inviting us to his show and awarding us the Group Participation Trophy, even if he did give it to the SoCal Chargers dot com club. We love it! Thanks too to Dave for bringing this show to our attention. He’s gone to this show for years and we can see why. Next year Tony let us know we’ll have our own class! Can’t wait!

Apr 18 2010

Three Awards Given To SCC At The 24th Annual “Spring Fling” In Woodley Park!

Van Nuys- The weekend of April 17, 2023 marked the 24th year of the “Spring Fling” Car Show and swap meet in Woodley Park, Ca. put on by Chrysler Performance West. Hundreds of early and late model Mopar vehicles attended the weekend festivities which included a judged car show, a parts swap meet, and vendor displays. There were also off-park parties and a cruise included in the weekends events. SoCal Challengers walked away with three awards including the Group Participation Trophy. Two SoCal Challengers members won ”Awards of Distinction” for their personal vehicles. Stack Performance and Hotchkis had an impressive vendor presence both days. The swap meet portion of the show was full of parts, memorabilia, body panels, and used cars for sale.

Last year SCC missed the judged portion of the show by attending on Saturday. We ended up winning the Group Participation Trophy anyway which was a great surprise considering we weren’t there on Sunday for the judged portion of the show. We did miss the opportunity however for our members to win any awards for their personal vehicles last year. I wasn’t going to do that again. This year it was Sunday for us and we were going to come big…Way bigger than last year. We set the meeting place the same as last year and waited anxiously for the 18th to come up on the schedule.

Dan’s and my car were going to be at the Stack Performance booth all weekend. We had to bring our cars there at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. Eesh. It was interesting to hang out at a car show for a day and not run around like a flamingo doing SCC activities. Not that I mind doing that, because I don’t at all, but it was sure different than usual. Dan and I were stealth wearing our SP gear. We helped Aaron and Brad as best we could with the booth and with spectator questions. Someone asked Aaron if he could pose a stupid question. “Is Chip Foose going to be here today?” Well sir, you called the question exactly. Somehow in his mind he made the decision that Aaron might know the answer to that one. Alrighty then. I walked around the car show a bit and didn’t see a huge car club presence. Sunday was the day for that, and I knew what was coming from us the next morning.

After picking up Dan, Heather and I headed for the meeting place at Continental Jewelry. There were already quite a few cars scattered about the lot. What excited me was that at 6:30a.m. there were more cars ready to roll than last year. Fred had invited a guy he met that weekend that showed up to ride in with us. In fact, we had to get creative with parking to fit all the cars in. I made my rounds and strategized with Dave as he was leading the group in that day. After that we hopped back in my beater and headed for Woodley Park. Dan and I were going to take pictures of SCC arriving at the show.

I’ve never not been in that line of cars coming in. I was either leading it, backing it up, or I just wasn’t at that show at all. This time I got to stand with Dan in the Woodley Park Car Show entrance and watch my brothers and sisters bring it. As Dave was about a hundred yards away from the entrance coming towards us I heard a female voice say behind me, ”Who’s that?”. A man with a CPW green shirt on replied,”That’s the SoCal Challengers guys, and they bring a CRAPLOAD of cars here”. That made me laugh. It also helped me understand why people flip so much when we pull in. From that point where we were standing, it’s a truly damn impressive sight especially with almost thirty cars lined down the street. It’s a different perspective for sure. I hope other members can see us pull in at some point from the entrance. You’ll see what I mean. Parking was a breeze as usual. After we shined ‘em up it was showtime.

There were not as many cars in the show Sunday as there were Saturday but that sure didn’t affect the quality of Mopars that lined up row after row. I took Tom and Marcello over to a black GTX that was just stunning. Beautiful car. Also, there were a ton of 70’s Challengers there. Loved that. I cracked up at the line of K cars across from us. Ya know, I don’t really like ‘em but I appreciate that there were a group of people who brought them and had showed them love. I always respect that even if I don’t care for the car. I was surprised to see quite a few Prowlers lined up too. I battled Chris’ kids again as always, and we had great fellowship throughout the day.

About 2:30 or so it was trophy time. The Challengers had their own class so I was excited for the members chances to win some bling. As I thought, that’s exactly what happened. Rick and Neal won “Awards of Distinction”. And my favorite of all….the Group Participation Trophy came home with us. I remember a certain car club that said they were going to spank us this year at this show for the group trophy. Ummm, they didn’t show. I remember things like that you know…And talk is just that…talk. All in fun though. It would have been great if they showed so we could play. I only saw one of their kind of car at the show too. The spectators would have benefitted from their attendance.

Thank you to CPW for putting this show on in its 24th year. It’s one of the better organized shows we go to. Thanks also to all the Members for showing and being a part of that group trophy. We don’t get that trophy without your attendance. Enjoy it!

Mar 23 2010

SCC Brings Home More Bling From the 3rd Annual B&M Hurst Car Show!

Chatsworth- March 21st, 2010 marked the 3rd annual B&M Hurst Car Show at their B&M Performance Chatsworth facility. Several hundred cars lined the surrounding streets and featured everything from classic cars to modern muscle cars and the specialty line of Hurst edition vehicles. Over fifty-five trophies were given for various classes. There was also a group raffle for car groups that brought over ten vehicles. Hurst and other vendors also donated various car products that were raffled away to the many car enthusiasts. Hot Rod TV made their way around the show and shot amongst the many first-class automobiles that were present.

The Hurst Show this year came on the heels of the LX Festival just the day before. It was a busy, busy, weekend for SCC. The LX Festival is huge for us as we are the “unofficial” hosts for the Challenger owners that are there and also the fact that it is a show that is put on by Dodge corporate. It’s a must for us to be at that one in large numbers. It just so happened that this year the Hurst Show was the next day. So be it. As I showed up at the meeting point I wondered how many people would show at this one the very next day. I always want us to show up in force where ever we go, but I was curious how that day would go. I could understand if people would have shined the Hurst Show off. The day before was very hot and there was no shade. We all were baked like a tray of brownies. I was tired and dehydrated. I felt like a piece of beef jerky. I was relieved to see the cars start pulling into the meeting place. I was really happy that the NCC guys who were at the LX Festival the day before also showed up to the Hurst Show. Mike and the gang are great guys and we were honored to have them with us. Dave did the pre-flight pow-wow and we were off to line up for the show.

As we pulled into the pre-staging line to enter the show there was a spectacular sight. A Hemi-Orange 1970 Challenger R/T lined up against the curb. It was owned by Mike V and his son was driving it. This car was in the second version of Vanishing Point and was in immaculate condition. Dave had the great idea of having this Challenger lead us in. It made for a very cool sight to see an original and classic Challenger bringing in the new Challengers. We ended up getting prime parking around the end of the street. It worked out really well for us.

After we shined ‘em up and set up our banners and ez-ups, it was time to enjoy the show. Other than the “Fling” Shows in Woodley Park twice a year, the Hurst Show has had the most old Mopar cars of any show we’ve been at. I loved seeing them around. Our Member Carl had his Challenger on display at the DC Performance booth. DC did his blower and it was great to see his car in the limelight. I also liked seeing the old Hurst packed cars, especially the Oldsmobile. Somebody’s dad in school had one of those and I remember thinking it was way cool back then!

As the show came to a close it was trophy presentation time. Last year we took home the Group Participation Trophy from this event. It still to this day is one of the coolest trophies we have in our trophy case. It’s truly unique. This year however we had some really good competition from the new Camaro Club that was present. They had a whole line of cars towards the other end of the show that looked like it either matched or exceeded what he had there. It was down to the wire who had more cars. I truly didn’t know. I remember one of their guys coming over and counting how many cars we had. It was that close! It turned out that we had one more car than they did and our name was called for the Group Participation Award. Last year we won that trophy pretty handily. This year it was one car that made the difference. I think it’s great to have the competition with other car groups. Number one it’s all in fun, it pushes everyone to be better, and the car show and spectators benefit from it. I’m glad they were there.

Big thanks to B&M for putting on a kick ass car show. It was amazing to see the number of cars increase from last year to this year. And it’s only their 3rd one! Also, big props to all the SCC Members who sucked it up and came to both shows that weekend. I know that was tough to do with your families and other obligations, but it was truly appreciated. Thank you to our partner NCC Members as well for attending with us. It’s going to be fun watching you be successful as you build your group. The two of us together will accomplish great things…

Mar 21 2010

110 Challengers Register for The Fifth Annual Spring Festival of LX’s!

Irvine- If you own an LX body vehicle, the place to be on March 20th, 2010 was the Spring Festival of LX’s in Irvine, Ca. Over six hundred 300’s, Magnums, Chargers, and Challengers filled the parking lot caddy-corner to the Chrysler building. Dodge unveiled new vehicle editions and plans for the future to the passionate crowd of Dodge/Chrysler owners. A furious fuchsia Challenger and a new 300s were on display for all to see and enjoy. Vendors such as Stack Performance, Brembo, and Corsa all had impressive displays around the venue. Owners spent the day visiting vendor booths and checking out what other owners had done to their vehicles.

This is a great show for SoCal Challengers as we play the role of “unofficial” host for the visiting Challenger owners. My fellow Co-President, Dave, stayed at the Doubletree Hotel which was the primary hotel for out-of-towners who came in for the whole weekend. He was able to meet most of the attendees the Friday before the show and make them feel at home. It also served to help us make the next morning go smoother as we were responsible for getting them into the show. The Irvine Police department however had other ideas. Last year we had lined up all of the Challengers on Gateway Ave. along the shoulder and then proceeded to take them into the LX Festival. It’s a full shoulder along that road, the cars are completely out of any traffic lanes when stopped there. Irvine PD this year decided that we couldn’t line up there and told us to leave or face citation. Wonderful. Since the LX Festival gate wasn’t open yet, Dave, who was leading the group had to take everyone for a drive in circles until the LX Festival opened their gates. It was interesting to see Challengers going around in circles for no apparent reason. I’m sure most of the Challenger owners in that line were scratching their heads why they were driving around the block over and over. I was on the shoulder and when I found out what happened I ran over to the gate to find someone in charge. I told a gentleman there,” Look man, we have about 50 Challengers going around the block in circles until you let us in. You need to open this up for us. Irvine PD won’t let us stop anywhere.” He told me to call Dave and have them come back and that they would let us in. Rick called Dave from his car and the circle driving exercise was over. Eventually, we were all parked and into the show. Once parked we all shined up our vehicles, picked up our welcome bags and lunch tickets and walked around the venue.

Dodge had a new 300s on display as well as a furious fuchsia Challenger R/T. The fuchsia doesn’t do it for me at all. It looked like a nail polish color. I think as far as a purple goes, the Plum Crazy paint job wins hands down. But, to each their own. You buy what you yourself like, not what someone else likes. The 300’s headlights and seats looked great. New tweaks from Dodge that were impressive in my opinion. My car was at the Stack Performance booth along with Dan’s black Challenger SRT-8. I’m glad we could help Ryan promote his business and are indebted to him for all he’s done for SCC and our vehicles. Billet Technologies had a booth at the show as well. A lot of Challenger owners have their bling on their car. It was good to finally meet them in person. I also enjoyed talking to Corsa, whose exhaust I have on my Challenger. Nice guys those Corsa guys.

Dodge made announcements about halfway through the day that by this time next year we would see a whole new lineup of vehicles. This was a nice teaser as none of them were there at the show to see. It was announced too that Dodge was teaming up with Rich Evans, a custom builder, to build a Challenger together. That will be interesting as every car I’ve seen Rich do has been covered with spikes; real metal spikes! Rich does fantastic ghost painting and airbrushing. I’m interested to see what they come up with together.

All in all I think we pulled in 48 Challengers to the show as a group which was a damn impressive site. The LX Festival is THE only place you will see that many Challengers in one place, period. Everyone we met was super cool and a pleasure to hang out with. Thank you Dodge for putting on the event for us LX owners. Thanks also to (FatChance) Jon, for organizing the event with them and your passion for Dodge/Chrysler vehicles. And to my fellow Co-President Dave, thanks for your hard work promoting this show and making the Challenger owners there feel like family. That you can’t put a price on…

Feb 18 2010

7th Annual CARe Car Show in San Juan Capistrano Brings Back SCC For a Second Straight Year!

San Juan Capistrano- February 13th, 2010, marked the 7th annual CARe Car Show benefitting the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort. Everything on four wheel and four legs was invited to the Capistrano Sports Park for a day of cars, animals, food, and music. The show, originally scheduled for February 6th, was moved to the next weekend due to rain. Breakfast and lunch was provided by Ruby’s Diner. Ruby herself was there signing autographs. Several bands played oldies and classic rock throughout the day and the CARe organization raffled off several items to show-goers including a new bicycle and a trip for two to a resort in Carlsbad, Ca.

I remembered as I sat in the Starbuck’s parking lot how last year’s CARe Car Show was our first car show as SCC. I was wondering who was going to show up that day in 2009. I remember that Armen was the first to show that day and it went from there. We ended up with eleven cars at that show in 2009; this time we’d have more. I knew a couple of members had to bow out when the show was postponed due to rain but we also picked up a couple of attendees because of the reschedule as well. James showed up first and we began trying to flag down cars as they drove past the street they were supposed to turn on. We stood there waving flashlights like we were guiding in planes at John Wayne. For the most part, we weren’t seen and those cars had to go around the block. We had a great laugh about it as most people simply looked straight ahead and kept on going. Isreal and Vern came for the first time as members. They had joined at our annual meeting. Larry, (RavenX) showed up in his black R/T. It was nice to finally put a face to the ChallengerTalk screen name. It was also Rick J’s birthday. I was honored that he chose to spend part of it with us. After the morning meeting, it was time to go into the show.

As I pulled the group down Alipaz Street, I was surprised at the turnout at that time in the morning. We pulled up in line a good three or four hundred yards closer than the year before. Evidently, the reschedule had lost a good portion of the cars that had signed up to attend the week before. I was happy that we still had a good sized group to bring in. As I pulled the group onto the field, I notified the volunteer that we had seventeen cars coming in as a group. He asked me, ”Are you all together, here, right now?”. I turned my head back towards the line of Challengers behind me and said, ”Umm, yes, we are all here…Look behind me”. He looked up and his eyes got real big. Then he started barking at other volunteers to start making space for us. That reaction is always a kick for me; pulling in with a large group and seeing the persons face as they see all of us lined up to come in. Jim, who we have seen before at shows with his convertible Challenger, showed up and parked with us too. We were parked really quickly and began getting ready for the show.

The show had a good variety of cars to view, one being a drag-prepared Dodge Dart that was parked just in front of us. There was an original Hemi-Orange Challenger parked the row in front of the Dart that was immaculate. I gave him the “I’m not worthy” bow as I walked by it. I had to pay respect to my Challenger elders. The owner got a laugh out of that. There were several car awards given out by the CARe organization but the classes were all for older models. We didn’t win any trophies that day. If there was a group participation trophy, we would have taken that one easily. No car club there had the turnout that we did. It was great as always to hang out with my fellow members, get to know new ones, and look forward to our future events in 2010. No matter what we win as bling or not, we always have that fellowship; always.

I’d like to thank CARe for inviting us and allowing us to contribute to their great cause. I’d also like to thank our members for shuffling their schedules and turning out in great numbers for this show. We impressed everyone there with our turnout. Keep it up!!!!

Jan 24 2010

SCC’s First Annual Meeting

Anaheim – Jan. 24th , 2010, marked the date of SoCal Challengers’ first annual meeting. The car group, which formed in January of 2009, now includes more than fifty members spread out over six counties. The meeting facility was hosted by Stack Performance of Anaheim, Ca. and lunch was provided by In & Out Burger. Members spent the morning in meetings discussing the past year’s events, 2010 events, and financial matters. Awards were given to many members for making a contribution to the group that was exemplary. Once the meetings were concluded and lunch was served, Stack Performance hosted a dyno day and crazy hat contest for SoCal Challengers members.

The annual meeting had struck me quite profoundly when I started my preparation for it some months before. The group was a year old. I started having flashbacks to that first Cars and Coffee eleven of us met at on Dec. 27th, 2008. We were a group of guys piddling around on ChallengerTalk. I was just about to get my car so I signed on there to see what other Challenger owners were doing in my area. A group was talking about getting together, and talking, and talking. I proposed going to Cars and Coffee in Irvine. That seemed good to everyone so I found a meeting place and the rest was history. When we met that day, I had only taken possession of my car five days before. We had a great time and soon after SCC was born. It got me to realize how far we had come. We were now almost five times larger. We are now a Non-Profit Organization. We have logos and uniforms. AND, people know who we are almost everywhere we go. People are asking US to show up at their events. What cigarette ad said it best, ”You’ve come a long way baby”. We certainly had.

When I saw the 2009 at a glance document that Heather had created I didn’t realize we had done twenty-seven events over the course of 2009. No wonder I was tired. Also, I hadn’t realized all the awards we had won not only as a group, but as individuals. We did extremely well. I know that means too that we will have to bring it bigger in 2010. People know we can bring it now and we won’t be surprising anyone this year. I think we will rise to the occasion and have just as much success as we did in 2009.

After covering 2009, I began discussing 2010 and our tentative schedule. I had Klaus Kindor speak about track days for SCC and he was received warmly by the group. Klaus tells it like it is, and I could tell the group appreciated it. We also discussed a calendar and other events as well. All in all, more shows, more track days, more cruises, and some new events to make 2010 an exciting year to be an SCC member.

The financials and NPO were discussed by Jeff G. We wanted to convey to the members our transparency, accountability, and the reasons why we had made the decisions we had made. I think Jeff did a great job of doing that. I followed up with the liability issues involved in our decision to become a non-profit organization. I think membership now clearly understands why this was necessary.

After some housekeeping issues it was time to hand out awards to our members. Dave, Jeff, Heather, and I had wanted to acknowledge several members for their outstanding contributions to SCC over the year. We decided to create categories for all of the members we had wanted to recognize. The categories included attendance, vendor support, event planning, and an award for best family participation. It was a great feeling handing those out and hearing the applause from the membership. They obviously felt the same way we did. They were all deserving.

After stuffing ourselves with In & Out Burger for lunch, Stack Performance took over and started their dyno day. Many members for the first time got to hear their car at speed from the OUTSIDE. It was for many an exciting new experience. Car after car went up the ramp and let it fly. Awards were given for blower-equipped vehicles and normally aspirated vehicles. And finally, James won for the craziest hat.

It was a fantastic day for everyone. I’d like to thank my fellow officers for their hard work in 2009. I’m blessed to be surrounded by great people in my leadership team. Most of all I’d like to thank our members for which we wouldn’t have a group without. If it wasn’t for your love of the Challenger, and your desire to become something bigger than yourselves that can accomplish things much greater than yourself, we would not exist. Thank you…