Sep 28 2009

3 Trophies For SCC From Cambria Car Show!

Cambria- Four SCC Members and one NCC Member attended the Pine Dorado/Lions Club Car Show in Cambria, Ca. on Sept. 6th. The group won three trophies including 1st Place and runner-up in the Modern Muscle Class as well as the People’s Choice Award. The group also spent the weekend in Cambria enjoying good food and good company. This was the 3rd annual Car Show in its new format and ended up showing one hundred- fifty cars in the Lions Club parking lot and adjacent Cambria Drive. All proceeds benefitted selected Lions Club charities.

We had originally decided to all go up on our own the Saturday before the show as different people had different stops they had wanted to make along the way. If we had went as a group and stopped at every stop that everyone had wanted to make, we would still be driving up there. Still, James and G1 (Co-piloted by wifey Brenda) decided to go up together as they both had a desire for frequent stops for coffee and a dirt. It turned out to be a great idea as their drive took an unexpected turn. As it goes James was travelling his Challenger by trailer as he normally does on long distance trips. At some point his trailer threw a wheel and sent it flying across the freeway. Luckily no one was hurt and James was able to get his trailer and its precious cargo off the highway. James found a place to stash his wounded trailer and decided to drive the remainder of the trip in his Challenger. Greg’s wifey Brenda drove James’ truck that was pulling the trailer. It was a blessing that Greg and Brenda were there for James. Welcome to the SCC family; we take care of each other in time of need. Thank you to Greg and Brenda for being there for James. The convoy became three vehicles instead of two.

The meeting place Saturday was Castillo’s Detail Shop in Cambria at 1p.m. Diego, the owner, had been nice enough to lend his wash bay, power washer, and compressed air to us so we could clean the 260 miles of goo off of our cars. Cambria has no car wash, except one single drive through self-wash with the nasty brushes (think 1970’s brush car wash). I had originally called Diego to ask him if he knew of a car wash up there we could use and he offered up his shop to us. It’s nice to know there are still kind, giving, and considerate people in this world that go above and beyond….to total strangers. He took great care of us. We all got our cars cleaned up and ready for the show. I met Mike R. and family for the first time of NCC as we were washing and polishing away. Mike is a great guy and will be a huge asset to NCC as they begin their formal organizing process. Before we left, we lined up the cars in front of Diego’s shop and took some pics of our rides. I also gave Diego one of our black t-shirts; the one I was going to wear at the show. He deserved it and he loved the shirt.

Saturday night we had dinner at the Cambria Bar and Grill downtown and experienced meat fest to the fullest. You like cow, pig, birds, or fish…they have it. My wife got this huge pile of ribs and finished it. That’s my girl right there. Hey, she was hungry. I got the salmon sandwich per recommendation and it was small. I thought I’d get some of my wife’s ribs but Heather downed them all. When am I going to learn not to order the salmon? Someday I’ll figure that out.

Sunday we left at 7a.m. for the car show and were able to park in a great spot in the back line of the parking lot where there were trees for shade. It wasn’t hot, but I had got burnt Saturday while cleaning the car so I had used all of my sun tickets for the weekend. Those trees were great. We got our first surprise as we opened our goodie bags. The logo on the shirts, and on the refrigerator metal piece had three cars; two in back and one in front. The car in front was a Challenger! A big, silver, Challenger! Mike said to me at one point,” Man, you must have some pull around here to get that done”. I was honest, I said back, ”I knew nothing of it or how it happened…but I like it”. It turned out later that the organizer, Nate Fearonce, told Greg he had done that for us. He also created a Modern Muscle Class for us and the other newer cars there. You rock Nate!!! I guess all my calls to bug him about details and such made an impression on him. Usually its,” My god, it’s that Jeff guy from SoCal Challengers again” “What does he want now?” “When this shows over, we don’t have to talk to him for a year, right?”

The car show had some great cars there. There was a stunning 1970 Challenger convertible red with a white top. Right behind it was a super clean 1968 Charger that was red also. Both of those guys were great to talk to. There was a plum crazy early 70’s Challenger on the other end of the show too. My personal favorite was a dark red 1951 Kaiser Traveller. I have only seen one of these cars ever in my life at a show. It’s a very rare car and it was clean as a whistle. A 1967 Camaro had an incredible paint job and I noted that car in my mind. It would be back later.

When we got to trophy time we had some great bling for our group. First, James was called as the Best in Class winner of the Modern Muscle Class. He was shocked. It took a moment to register in his mind. I’m glad he won. He told me later that the award made all of the crap getting up there worth it. Second, I was called as runner-up. Usually car show judges pass my car by as they prefer original, stock vehicles. I was surprised to get that. And finally, Greg was announced as the People’s Choice award. We all voted for him as this show was his baby originally and he put the original proposal together. Greg, you deserved that award and I was especially glad that Brenda was there to see you get it. That 1967 Camaro won Best in Show. I called that one.

Sunday night we ate at my favorite place in Cambria, the Moonstone Bar and Grill where you sit outside and are right across the street from the ocean. Great food and great times. Heather and I helped the others learn their “Special” names. It was a great capper for the weekend.

I’d like to thank Greg for the idea to do this show and make a weekend out of it. I’d like to also thank Diego Castillo for opening his shop to us. And Nate, you not only gave us a class but put a silver Challenger front and center on your logo. What can I say…We loved it!!!

Sep 8 2009

SCC Does the Three C!

Woodland Hills- On August 30th , eleven SCC members drove to the weekly Calabasas/Woodland Hills Cars and Coffee car show. Several hundred cars of all varieties came and filled the entire strip mall parking lot. After the show the members cruised to Neptune’s Net for lunch through the scenic Topanga Canyon.

The morning started way early for us in the OC. We met at Dan’s shop at 4:30 a.m. for a 5:00a.m. departure. As Dan said, ”This is fishing time to be up right now”. He threw on some coffee which my wife inhaled in no time. Did I forget to say it was EARLY? Anyways, Greg came soon after with wifey Brenda and Barbara. Greg called them B1 and B2. It’s good to see that people see the value of my numbering system. It works! I was happy that we had some others besides drivers going with us…They could keep us awake! We left at 5a.m. sharp for the valley, in the dark, winding our way up the 5 and 101 freeways.

My cell phone rang at about 5:45a.m. and startled me. It was Dave asking how far away we were from the show. I replied, ”We are 8.4 miles away” quoting my nav unit. He was glad we were so close. “I don’t mess around” I quipped jokingly. He let me know the parking lot was already filling up. As we pulled in, Dave was already there along with Kevin, Rick, and Eddie. Jeff came soon after we did and that made for a nice lineup. It was still dark out and there were a ton of cars there already. This group gets there earlier than the Cars and Coffee in Irvine by far. Later on that morning Brian, Jim, and Rick joined us to hang out and see the sights.

I was amazed that cars just kept coming, and coming, and coming into the parking lot. It was endless it seemed. A big Mustang group was there as well as a fairly large Corvette group that we irritated by taking their usual spots. One actually was miffed enough to say something to me about an hour after we arrived. He asked, ”What time did you guys get here, like 3a.m.? I knew he was pissy so I decided to play. I replied, ”You know, I think we got here about 1:30a.m. or so.” “Don’t you know this is where the Corvette guys park?” he said back. My reply was,” Hmm, I didn’t see any piss marking these spots so we just parked here”. Saying that with a smile is confusing to people. Did I just verbally give you the finger? Or am I joking? His look was priceless. His only answer was to say that he’ll get there earlier next time. The real funny part is that he will go back and tell his ‘Vette buddies that they have to get there earlier to beat those Challenger yo-yo’s and we won’t be there! The show had pretty much every type of car you could think of. Many, many, high-dollar rides. Full-on race cars and six-figure exotics and classics were everywhere. We got a lot of attention as we always do even with cars around us that were worth several times our own. It just goes to show you what a home run the Challenger is from a design standpoint. People love the car no matter what their pocketbook. We met a lot of really nice people. There were huge crowds at this show!

After the show ended at 10a.m. we left for Neptune’s Net to get lunch. Dave led us through Topanga Canyon to Pacific Coast Highway where we made a right turn and headed North. Neptune’s was slammed for parking as usual so most of us parked along PCH on the shoulder. We made our way in past endless motorcycles and people to order our lunches and try and find tables to sit at. All of us found a place to sit and we enjoyed great conversation with each other. That’s what it’s all about for us; cars, friends, and family. Our next cruise will be more of the same fun we always have. It truly is a great group of men and women. I’m lucky to represent them as a Co-President. A lot of Car Club Presidents represent and lead a group of schmoe’s. I don’t.

Thanks to Dave for planning this event for us. Thanks also to Dan for letting us meet at his shop and also for the many pictures he took throughout the day. Rick, thanks for the heads-up on getting there earlier. It was wise advice. Until we cruise again…

Aug 18 2009

SCC Hits The Road Again on Angeles Crest Highway!

GlendaleAugust 8th saw a dozen Challengers winding their way through the Angeles Crest Highway stopping at Newcomb’s Ranch and the scenic Mt. Wilson Observatory. This was SoCal Challengers second cruise event this year and was as memorable as their first cruise which went across the Ortega Highway in Orange County. A pre-ride breakfast at the historic Foxy’s Restaurant in Glendale was enjoyed by a majority of the participants.

A group of us down in the OC decided to meet early to make it up to Foxy’s for the breakfast at 7:30 a.m. We met at Dan’s shop in Anaheim. I made it there first and saw G1 arrive shortly after. It was the first time I was able to meet G1’s wifey Brenda. I was excited that she finally attended an SCC event. Super nice gal, too. We need more participation from our significant others. I’m extremely lucky that my wife attends almost every event with me no matter what. That’s not the usual with the other members however, and I know they would love to have their spouses and family with them. Dan was next to arrive and I got to hear his ride with his new mods. The car sounded fantastic. I was very thankful for Dan as it was my second event without my car. “Jack” was still under construction. Dan let Heather and I use his SRT-8 Jeep for this cruise so I could go. James came last and brought his nephew’s girlfriend Chris. She had attended events with us before and it was good to see her again riding shotgun with James. We hit the freeway and headed north.

Upon arriving at Foxy’s in Glendale, we were greeted by several members that were already there. Dave, Kevin, Howard (Along with wife Nicki), and Jim were parked and ready to eat. We also got to meet Bob from Rowland Heights with his black Challenger. Great guy and we were glad to have him join us. Foxy’s opened in 1964 and is famous for their omelettes that have a south of the border flair. We ate heartily, James and I called each other liars, and after an hour or so, it was time to head to the meeting place for the cruise.

We met at Dave’s shop in Glendale and picked up members Chris and Rick. We had another guest join us too. Brandon came all the way up from Coronado in San Diego to ride with us. He brought his silver Challenger with him (More silver, more silver, more silver). Once everyone was there Dave gave the guidelines for the ride and handed out packets for everyone. I then had the pleasure of giving new members, Jim, Rick, and Howard their club shirts. We welcome them to the SCC family. It was time to drive!

We hopped on the 2 Freeway and proceeded up Angeles Crest Highway. The weather was great, 75-80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. It was amazing how quickly you go from big city to two-lane mountain road. The curves were as I remembered them, soft and sweeping with lots of middle and late apexes. The last time I was on that road was on my sport bike I had owned some ten years earlier. This time I was on four wheels going much, much, slower and enjoying the scenery. We stopped at Newcomb’s Ranch for lunch and were extremely lucky to find parking for all of us relatively close together. Heather and I sat with Kevin and Brandon for lunch. When we came out people were staring at our cars from afar. I asked Rick to open his hood and all of a sudden people just started coming over to look at his engine bay. A lot of good conversation ensued with motorcyclists and car drivers alike. One gentleman we met was a retired Chrysler mechanic who gave us and our cars a lot of praise. We got the usual rock start treatment before we saddled back up to head to Mt. Wilson.

Upon arriving at Mt. Wilson we encountered a packed parking lot as there was an endurance racing event going on. Lots of runners running around everywhere thinking it was a great idea to run up the side of a mountain on a Saturday….. for fun. Luckily, we all found places to park and enjoyed the view from 6,000 or so feet up. Jim suggested we take a group shot, and me being one with no shame, I used the idea because it was a great one. I walked over to one of the runners who had finished the race and was enjoying a Moosehead Beer to take a photo of us. He agreed to take the shot and it came out great. We chatted for a while and after an hour or so it was time to head back home.

Dan had approached me earlier that day about going home the scenic way through Wrightwood instead of back through Los Angeles. Again, great idea. G1, Brandon, Chris, James, and I joined Dan and took this route home. I had never taken this route before past Newcomb’s Ranch and it didn’t disappoint. Great mountain views and a great view of the high desert off to the left for most of that route. We were surprised as we rounded one corner by a huge glider going straight up very close to the guard rail. You don’t normally approach a mountain corner and think, “I bet we’ll see a big-ass glider fly up right in front of us”. It was definitely a surprise. James hit the big 3,000 mile mark in his Challenger and stopped for a photo op. Dan thought his car was a rock knocker and took out a sizeable boulder. Luckily, he suffered no damage but the Forest Service is seeking his vehicle for rock removal duty. There were a lot of rocks to dodge on that road. Thankfully no one else hit anything. We stopped at the 15 freeway to fuel up and head home. Dan helped a newlywed couple from Italy put gas in their car as they had no clue how us “Americans” do it. They were heading to Vegas. Dan and I took part of the old Cajon Pass road back home which I hadn’t been on since I was a kid on the back of my Grandfather’s motorcycle. That brought back some great memories. It was a great day for everyone.

I’d like to thank Dave for planning and doing the legwork on this event. It went really well. I’d also like to thank Dan for letting Heather and I attend this event in his Jeep. Another cruise is coming shortly!!!!

Jul 27 2009

Hotchkis All Mopar Open House & Car Show!

Santa Fe Springs – SoCal Challengers attended the All Mopar Open House and Car Show on July 18th at their performance shop in Santa Fe Springs, California. A total of seventeen Challengers and three Chargers took their place for the parking lot car show. The event included a Tech talk on suspension basics, complimentary lunch, and a raffle for Hotchkis and other automobile merchandise. Members of SoCal LX and Chrysler Performance West also showed up in strong numbers to add their Mopar vehicles which helped completely fill the parking lot in front of Hotchkis performance.

SCC Members met at Sako’s Sandwich Shop which is less than a block away from the Hotchkis building. I was doing something I had never done at an SCC event. I was going there without my car. I had originally planned to ride my Harley-Davidson there so I could still hang with my SCC family. My car was at Stack Performance in Anaheim getting some custom work done and it wasn’t going to be ready in time for the show. Ryan Schumacher, the owner of Stack Performance, wanted to bring his Challenger AND his custom 7.3 Charger to the event. He graciously offered to let me drive his Challenger to the event. Of course I couldn’t pass that up. His car is almost as cool as mine.

After we all arrived at Sako’s we had some new faces show up to roll in to the show with us. Dennis and Linda, who came all the way from San Jose, were there. They had come down for the Hotchkis Show and the Glendale Cruise Night. We were glad to have them with us. Finally someone had travelled farther than Kevin to get to one of our events. Rick showed up in his beautiful red Challenger with a Techco supercharger under the hood. Howard also showed up to help support the silver nation of SCC in his silver Challenger (You can’t have enough silver Challengers, you just can’t). Ryan’s customer Shaun brought his very custom black Charger as well. Again, another great group of new people joining us!

After we set up the easy-ups and signed up for the raffle, we had a little time to walk around before the Tech talk started in the Hotchkis building. There were some outstanding Mopars in that parking lot. I liked the 1970 Plum Crazy Challenger myself but there were many other beautiful cars to catch your eye. There was also an old air raid siren that was powered by a Chrysler motor on a trailer. They fired that thing up later that day. I couldn’t help thinking while that siren was going off back to a time when you would be absolutely terrified to hear that sound because of what it used to mean. It used to send everyone running for cover. Thankfully today, it was just interesting to hear.

The Tech talk was put on by Mr. Hotchkis himself. A lot of people say the words, camber, toe, etc. but don’t know what they really mean. This was explained in very simple terms and in excellent detail at the seminar. A number of Hotchkis employees spoke about suspension and Hotchkis merchandise. A lot of great questions were asked by attendees about older car setups too. Hotchkis is making quite a few systems for older Mopars. That’s great news for owners of the older Mopar generation.

After a complimentary lunch we enjoyed the rest of the car show which culminated with a raffle. Quite a few SCC members won merchandise. T-shirts, collectible toys, and Hotchkis parts. Our Member Jim “The Diceman” won a suspension setup from Hotchkis. Nice work, Jim. I picked up some shirts and a collectible toy Challenger hand signed by Steve Strope of Pure Vision. All in all, it was a great day. It was extremely hot and we took things down after that to retreat to cars and homes with air conditioning. We were melting….

I’d like to thank Hotchkis for having us at their event and for putting on a great show and seminar. I’d also like to thank Ryan from Stack Performance for letting me drive his way cool Challenger to this event. I ended up having a Challenger after all that day thanks to him. Thanks to our guests for coming and hanging with us for this show. We had three people become members that day. We didn’t scare you away! I’ll have to try harder next time…To all the members, thank you for making us the greatest car group on the planet!

Check out the quick clip that Motorator was kind enough to shoot for us here.

Jul 27 2009

Auto Club Speedway’s July 4th Red White & Cruise!

Fontana – SCC members attended the 4th of July Red, White, and Cruise celebration at the Auto Club Speedway. The all-day event included a car show, motorcycle ride, concerts, vendor booths, a parade, and nighttime fireworks. Metal Mulisha also performed their motorcycle magic for the crowd. Taylor Hicks and Jimmy Wayne headlined the concerts that night. All proceeds went to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of California.

After meeting at Subway Sandwich in Ontario, Chris, James, and I headed for Gate 6 of the Auto Club Speedway to get placed for the car show. After waiting for the gate to open (only 45 minutes behind schedule), we were placed in the very front row of the car show. It was a race to set up the easy-up before we boiled. Even though it was still early morning, it was getting hot quickly. We got our shade up and cleaned up our cars for the show and waited anxiously for our time on the track. Eventually someone came by and told us we were in Group three and would be called to the track shortly. When group one came back, they told us to go get in line. Isn’t there a number two, before number three? It was a recurring theme throughout the day; nothing happened on schedule. The track was supposed to open for us at 9a.m. It opened at 10a.m. We went from Group one to Group three. As we got in line for the track we filled out waivers and lined up in three lines. The pace car led us out single file out onto the track. The banking is very steep. You don’t notice that from the stands or television. At slow speeds you could feel gravity pulling the car down towards the inside of the track. Put your hands at 10 and 4 and you’re good. Once you got above 40mph or so, that feeling went away. As the laps went on, people got out of their single file line and started passing others; on the inside, on the outside. It got a little nutty at that point. Nothing was done to keep everyone in line. We were taking pics and watching out for the random hot rod flying by us. I moved up to the wall to protect my right side from the “Hot Rod Nascar Wanna Be’s.” When I moved up there I actually used my turn signal. “Hey all you numb nuts, I’m going up here, k?” I wanted everyone behind me to know what I was doing. Chris was behind me and got a kick out of seeing a car on a professional race track signaling and moving up against the wall. I guess it looked pretty silly from back there. Hey, no one hit me so I’m good with lookin’ silly all day long.

When we got back we had a couple of hours to kill before the show opened to the public. It was James’ birthday and Heather had gotten him a cake and a coffee table book on muscle cars. When James hit the boy’s room, we sprung into action. I went into the bathroom with James to stall him a bit. When we came back Heather was trying to light the candles, but it was too windy. Nothing like getting a cake with unlit candles on it. It looked silly, but so are we so it didn’t matter. Hopefully James enjoyed his cake and book and had a good B-day. He had several family members join us throughout the day as well. As the public came in we were mobbed by people, absolutely mobbed. They came in waves. There were none, and then there was a dozen. They were asking lots of questions, and taking lots of pictures. And it didn’t stop, all day long. It’s the most attention we’ve ever received. They were very touchy-feely as well. Lots of hand prints on the windows. A couple in their mid-twenties came up to me at one point. The gal asked, ”Can we look inside your car?” Being relieved and appreciating the respect that hadn’t been shown by a lot of others that day, I said, ”Sure” and opened the door. She looked in and just looked in the back seat which I thought was a little odd. She looked back there pretty intently for a bit and then pulled her head out and said to her husband, ”Oh, a car seat will fit back there just fine, we need one of these(Challengers).” Usually it’s the guy working the wife to get the car. Cracked me up.

Eventually it was time for concerts, a parade, and for the finale, fireworks. It was a long, long day. We got there at seven a.m. and left about ten-fifteen or so. We all had a great time. Next year it would be great to have a bigger turnout. E Street Cruisers had fifteen or so cars there. It would be nice to take that club plaque next year. Hopefully we’ve enticed you to join us next time!!!

Jun 24 2009

Techco Receives a Visit From SCC!

AnaheimTechco’s monthly “Show and Shine” at their 150,000 square ft. facility in Anaheim was attended by SoCalChallengers this past Saturday. Techco has this show on the third Saturday of every month. A total of nineteen Challengers led by an SRT-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled in and took up quite a bit of parking space. Hello!

Techco had invited us to their show the month before and because of late notice most of our group had previous commitments that day. We decided to skip it. The blessing of that was that we had over a month to promote and plan to be at the event for June and show up in force. I had been in touch with Carlos Duran at Techco in the days before the show and he was excited about how many members we were planning on having there. He and Ned were leaving great posts on ChallengerTalk about us coming. Some of our members had been to this show already and spoke highly of it so the rest of us were excited to go.

The meeting place was set to be at Stack Performance which was literally two blocks away from the Techco facility. Quite a few members had arranged to have breakfast together at one of two Arthur’s Restaurants before meeting at Stack. As I needed to be at Stack to receive the early birds and newcomers, I was unable to partake of Arthur’s cuisine that morning. I did see all the full faces pulling up one after another though. Arthur’s was good. I could tell. Since Dan’s Challenger was some several feet up in the air being worked on, he brought his SRT-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee to this event. He had an idea to lead the group in to keep continuity with the lineup when we parked. I thought that was a great idea. I proposed then that Chris should be the first Challenger in line as he has a Techco Supercharger on his Challenger. I thought this was a nice way to show props to Techco. Dan also had a great idea to “color up”. All the Hemi-Orange together in line, all the Silver, all the Stone White, etc. etc. It ended up looking really good when we were parked. If someone else has a great idea, I will use it. I will steal it. I have no shame when it comes to great ideas. I know I don’t have them all. But I do give credit where it’s due, so thank you Dan for the great suggestions for this event.

Once we parked it was time to enjoy the show. A group of Porsches were there as well as a group of Ferraris and a group of Corvettes. There was a beautifully restored BMW 2002 there. I loved that car the most of any that were there. Inside the facility were cars that were in progress and a collection of very sharp cars for sale. A surprise came when Ned and Carlos told us we were getting a “behind the scenes” tour of the facility. Their Chief Engineer took us around to their many pieces of C&C equipment and then back to their blower assembly room. Lots of moolah worth of equipment in that place. It’s a very clean and sharp looking facility. I think most of the members enjoyed the tour. For the kids there was a bounce house so they could bounce their brains into oblivion. For the adults there was a very cool driving simulator as well as vendors scattered about marketing everything from insurance to handbags. Bill was kind enough to take some of his free time that day and install ‘shirtless’ Kevin’s throttle body on his R/T for him. How cool is it to have a Chrysler/Dodge Technician in our group. Bill also noticed one of our members had a belt that was out of adjustment. That was a quick fix. Thanks to Bill for lending his expertise to our fellow members. We are excited to have you and Macy aboard!

This was a quick show and was over at noon. I’d like to thank Carlos and Ned for inviting us to their show and giving us the tour behind the tape. The guys and guyettes really enjoyed it. Since this is a recurring show I’m sure we can plan to see this facility and their cars more times in the future.

Jun 17 2009

The 1st Annual Stack Performance/SCC Lunch Cruise!

Anaheim – Stack Performance hosted their first lunch cruise with SCC May 30th which began from their state-of-the-art performance shop in Anaheim, California. A total of twenty-two cars attended this event, which covered a nearly eighty-mile cruise route with two stops along the way, and culminated with lunch at Tom’s Farms in Corona.

Other than driving together to roll into the various car shows we attend, this was an actual opportunity for our members to drive our cars together over distance. Other than our track day in Nevada, this has never happened for SCC as a group. Ryan and I had pre-run the route three weeks before and had come up with what we thought was great scenery and stops with as little traffic lights as possible. As we gathered at Stack that morning, my mind was racing on all the details. Car after car began showing up. Although I was ecstatic to see everyone, the bigger the group the more difficult the logistics would be. Nevertheless, Ryan and I were on the same page and ready for the challenge. To help with the logistical issues I had divided us into two groups for the cruise. One would be led by Ryan with Dan as a spotter and the other lead by me with Dave as a spotter. This would minimize having the group cut up into pieces by traffic lights. We still had almost a dozen cars in each group so it was going to happen, but with two groups it would happen a lot less. After going over the booklets and handing out some club shirts to new members, it was time to hit the road.

Our first stop, after a twenty-four-mile jaunt through Villa Park , Orange Park Acres, and Santiago Canyon, was Cook’s Corner. It’s an old biker bar that’s been there since the twenties nestled way back in Trabuco Canyon. The fun began immediately after we finished parking all of our cars. Seems Cook’s has an old guy, a real old guy, that lives on the property and calls himself the security guard of the place. He wanted us to move all of our cars to another lot that was full of mud and debris (Our cars? Really?). As my wife made the point to him that we were coming into see Cook’s he initially was fine with us being where we were; however, in some “Sybil”-like moment he then decided a few seconds later that it wasn’t going to be ok. The conversation eventually turned into one where we just had to leave all together or we would be towed. I tried being nice. He was more of an ass. He came over and had several “interesting” conversations with a few of us and then as he walked back to Cook’s he pushed one of our members who was simply standing in front of his car. What a class act Cook’s Corner is. We took a few pics and left to spend our time and money elsewhere. I was particularly steamed as I had talked to Cook’s earlier in the month about us stopping there and they were fine with us coming that day. I can promise you this; as a group we will never stop at Cook’s Corner again. Several members had talked to me about getting shirts there and food. Cook’s lost that business that day and any future business from us as well. Cook’s Corner…You’re fired.

After leaving Cook’s we made an unscheduled stop behind a strip mall in Rancho Santa Margarita to finish taking the pics we were going to take at Cook’s. The delivery drivers behind Albertson’s flipped as we all came back there. One was taking pics with his phone, then video. We were able to get some great group shots and also individual shots for our website member profiles.

We got back on our original route after the picture-fest and headed up to Hell’s Kitchen on Ortega Highway. It was a great scenic drive for everyone getting up there. Once we all parked at Hell’s Kitchen, I met Neal, the owner’s son. He told me we were welcome to park in their parking lot, stay as long as we wanted, and could come back anytime. That was refreshing to hear after the treatment we received at Cook’s Corner. Members got a kick out of the coffin condiment station inside and the Harleys parked around the lot. We took many more pics and after some restroom and munchie time, we left for Tom’s Farms.

As we went down the hill we had a great view off to our left of Lake Elsinore. The corners on the way down the hill were handled beautifully by my KW’s. Garber was behind me and enjoyed those corners as well. Once at Tom’s Farms we parked across the street on a dirt parking lot. We parked, twenty-two wide in that lot, side by side. To date, that was the most impressive thing I’ve seen at any of our events; standing across the street and looking at that lot with our cars in it. Amazing. We partook of chow at Senor Toms and had lots of laughs and great conversation.

I’d like to thank Ryan for sponsoring the event and planning it with me. Ryan is a huge asset to SCC. He’s also a been a great friend. I think I can say officially without any reservation that Stack Performance is our official Performance Shop. It’s SCC approved. I’d also like to thank Dan and Dave for being spotters that day. They helped out immensely. See you on the road next time….

May 21 2009

Inland Mopars Welcomes SoCal Challengers!

Riverside- SCC made its first appearance in the Inland Empire May 17th at the CSDR Mopar Show in Riverside, Ca. which was sponsored by Inland Mopars. SoCal Challengers took home five awards that day sweeping the Challenger and Special interest classes. For the fourth show in a row, the Group Participation Trophy was awarded to SCC.

I had seen the flyer for this show the day before we were in the Spring Fling in Woodley Park. I gave it to Chris(SparkChicken) in Woodley Park and told him that I’d go if he’d go. I wanted to be at a show out in the Inland Empire to do something for those members of ours that have travelled from Riverside and San Bernardino counties out to our shows in Orange County and Los Angeles. Chris and I got all the info and posted the show a little over two weeks before it was to happen. I certainly wasn’t expecting a huge turnout with that late of notice.

As I stood in the parking lot of Target on Arlington Avenue, I was pleased to see eight cars besides mine in the parking lot. Art came first in his brand new Torred SRT-8 that he had just driven back from Texas a few days before. For those of you who don’t know the story; Art had a DWB R/T that he drove out to Texas to go visit his son. The R/T ended up staying with his son and Art bought the SRT8 out there and drove it back home. That’s the way to travel!!! I was excited to see all the Gregs together for the first time. Three Gregs, three silver Challengers. To make it simpler for me, I named them G1, G2, and G3 in the order that I met them. This event marked the first showing of the 3G Network. G2 found out that G1 and he had the same last name as well if it all wasn’t strange enough already. He remarked, ”We’re both tall and skinny and have the same last name, I’m calling my dad to make sure nothing funny’s going on”. We got a pic of all the G’s first show together. James and Richard showed up together, trailers in tow. Garber came with the only R/T that day. Chris brought the whole family as usual. SoCal LX was there too, as they had that parking lot as their meeting place for the show as well. I met Nathan and Cam who were super nice guys. Everyone I’ve met from SoCal LX to this point has been great to be around.

After we got parked at the show it was a race to get the easy-ups put together as it was baking already. James and Richard brought two easy-ups for us to stay out of the heat. Nobody in our group has done more set-up and hauled more s***t around to more shows than James and Richard. We are truly lucky to have you two in our group. Once the easy-ups and banners were done, it was show time. The show had a Challenger Class we could compete in for the first time. There were four Challengers that weren’t in our group there besides ours. We ended up sweeping the class taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. In first was Art with his Torred Srt8. Jeff took second in his Stone White R/T, and G3 took third in his silver SRT8. Nice job guys. Richard won the “Special Interest” Trophy with the junior dragster. For the finale, we took the “Group Participation “ Trophy for the fourth show in a row. Congratulations to everyone who participated and made this show the outstanding event it was. Thanks also to Art and G3 for stepping in as judges for the “Best in Show” Trophy. The fact that the judges came to us to not have a conflict of interest in judging says volumes for the people running this show. We thank Inland Mopars for having us and giving us mucho bling! Next year…. “Mist”-ers and a kiddie pool!

May 15 2009

Villa Park High School’s 6th Annual Car Show Hands Out Four Awards To SCC!

Villa Park- May 9th saw over 100 classic cars, motorcycles, and hot rods fill the parking lot of Villa Park High School for their 6th annual car show. So Cal Challengers brought eleven cars to the show and for the third show in a row took home the “Best Club Participation” Trophy. All proceeds went to benefit the Villa Park High School Marching Band and Orchestra.

The meeting place was set for this show at The Coffee Grove in the Villa Park Center. I was particularly excited about this show as Villa Park High School is my Alma Mater (Class of 1986). For the first time I was going to this show with a car to show, and with an outstanding group of friends. I had taken my Harley-Davidson to this show previously. As usual, Kevin was there already as I pulled into the parking lot at 6:30 a.m. “I hate being late”, Kevin replied when I commented on his earliness. I have the same belief as Kevin. My mom drilled that in me from day one; always early, never late. Greg came out from Sun City. It was nice to finally meet G2 and his family. James and Richard were there early too. Ryan from Stack Performance came with his Charger and also his Challenger driven by Aaron. Nick and Loni brought a black Charger as well. It was way cool to see Ryan in SCC gear for the first time. I was wondering if we’d ever see that shirt on him. Dan came too with Ryan with the only black Challenger of the day. Dan has new mods every time I see him. I think he’s now the official “Mod King”. I think Ryan has a retirement plan, and his name is Dan. His car looks outstanding, damn outstanding. Dave came in with Led Zeppelin blaring from his car and a hearty “Good morning” as he pulled in to a parking spot. Soon after that an orange R/T came in to the lot with an unknown driver. My wife and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. Being hockey fans though we loved the license plate frame that said “Give blood, play hockey”. A great guy by the name of Vince stepped out and we introduced ourselves. Turns out that our member Jim “The Diceman” had chased him down on the street some days back and had let him know about SCC and this event. Chris, his family, and the Supercharged R/T made the trip out from San Jacinto as well. A great group to take into the show for sure.

As we pulled into the parking lot we were greeted by two student volunteers, one male and one female. The boy absolutely flipped as he saw us lined up. “Holy crap”, he said over and over. He asked me, “Are you ALL together?”, “Are YOU the car club?”. He couldn’t believe it. We were making an impression already. We all got our picture taken in front of the VPHS Band trailer and then proceeded to park. Heather had made a collage of some of my high school pics to place out in front of the car. Everyone got a good laugh at my nerdy ASB ID cards and dance photos. The “Miami Vice” senior picture brought laughter as well. What can I say, back then that was hot! Now, not so much. Now it’s good for laughs….endless, gut-busting laughs. The show provided a pancake breakfast for us and we were then ready to enjoy the show. This show allowed motorcycles as well so it was great to see some scattered throughout the parking lot. A Corvette ZR1 was there along with a new Lamborghini. Lots of hot rods and classics too. My favorite was an early 60’s convertible Lincoln. It was superbly restored. That car would be a perfect PCH cruiser. Everyone had a great time walking around and looking at the different cars and vendor booths. Unlike most car shows, there were a lot of vendor booths with non-car related items. Ryan was asked by a spectator at one point to start up his Charger with the 7.3 engine in it. There were two high school students standing at the back of his car as he revved his engine. One of those kids jumped about three feet in the air and almost fell down. And if that wasn’t good enough, Ryan revved his engine a second time and the kid flipped out again. Kid, you didn’t know that second one was coming? Hilarious.

At 2p.m. it was time for awards to be handed out. SCC received four awards. The first was the “Best Club Participation” Trophy. This was our third show in a row we have won this award. Thanks to all the members for making it happen. Heather and the members set up the next award. The shenanigan was set up for me to be called as the winner for the “People’s Choice” Trophy. I had no idea on that one at all. All of the members had voted for me without my knowledge. Thanks guys and guyettes. That trophy will be displayed on my car from now on at every show. Kevin won the “Long Distance” Trophy for travelling the farthest that day. The Challenge Her dragster won the “Young Guns” trophy. Not bad for a four month-old car group eh?

May 1 2009

SCC Takes To The Grass in Woodley Park for Spring Fling XXIII

Van Nuys- April 25th saw hundreds of Mopars descend on Woodley Park for their annual Spring Fling Show. For SCC, it was yet another opportunity to show what we’re about in front of the Mopar faithful. As usual, we made a substantial impression on those who attended the show and those who put the show on for all of us to enjoy.

The morning started early with a 6:30am meet time at a closed down jewelry store just a few blocks away from Woodley Park. My wife and I found the meeting place at 5:45 or so and then left in search of coffee. Upon returning to the jewelry store we noticed that Kevin and Armen were there already. Other members started showing; Garber, Rick and Fred, Chris, and James with his Challenger on a trailer. Art then joined us for his second

event with us in his DWB R/T . Carl came and joined us. He brought his Inferno Red SRT-8 to the show. He had met Rick and Fred the night before at a concurrent Spring Fling event. Both Art and Carl are super nice guys and we’re glad they joined us. After the usual pre-flight pow-wow, we were off to the show. As we turned right on Woodley Avenue to enter the park, there was a HUGE line of cars all the way down Woodley as far as I could see…and it was before 7am! Luckily, a volunteer told us that the ominous line we saw wasn’t ours and we were pointed to the correct one some distance down the road. We got into the show fairly quickly and I was surprised to find out from the registration volunteer that we had our own staked out area. Nice job Rick!

Unlike the Spring Fling in Irvine, there were old Mopars everywhere. We were the only new cars there. Beautiful ‘Cudas, GTX’s, Darts, and Challengers. I particularly liked the old Dodge Power Wagon pickup that was there. It was superbly restored. There was an adjoining parts swap meet where there was a lot of wheeling and dealing going on. We saw some familiar vendors, Hotchkis, Edmunds, etc. I also met Ernie from Asanti who brought their concept Challenger with the wide-body rear-end kit. You think the ass of your Challenger is big now! Although it’s not something I want for my car, the workmanship on the kit looked really nice. The rear quarter panels were blended in nicely. I’m glad there are vendors out there who are giving us Challenger owners many mods to choose from for our cars. It really allows for personalization by everyone.

This event was more about the people than the cars for me. I met more people who were interested in our cars and SCC than at any event I’ve been to so far. Everybody swarmed Chris’s supercharged beast. They wanted to hear it, take pics of it, and ask question after question about it. I think probably a gallon of drool had to be removed from that thing. Maybe Chris might mod his front end to allow for a drool trough across the front of his hood. Get Techco to work on that Chris. We met some new Challenger owners too. Because of Fred, we had an additional six Challengers park with us. Dan brought his beautiful B5 Spring Special to the show and it was a big hit. Everybody loved that color, especially when the sun came over the trees and was directly on it. Dave from Arizona parked with us in his white R/T. Dave is a great guy and his idea to do a joint event with his group in the future I’m taking seriously. I met Daryl at the end of the day who brought his black SRT-8. He ended up joining SCC on the spot! Art officially joined us as well.

I’d like to thank Rick who did the leg-work on finding the meeting spot for this event. Kevin deserves the credit for starting the original thread for this show. We wouldn’t have known about it without him posting it. Also Shotgun Fred for greeting every freekin’ Challenger that came in that gate and inviting them to park with us. Awesome enthusiasm from you Fred. Thank you. James brought our banners to the show so we could represent SCC properly. I’m thankful they could be carried there by someone. Thanks to James for stepping up and bringing them. Jeff took care of all membership issues as always. It’s comforting I can turn those people over to him and know they’ll be handled competently. And finally, thanks to CPW for putting on a great show