This particular event had lots of fun things to do and see, like listen to a live band, buy a raffle ticket for a 350 crate engine, and watch the engine blow contest. The Prowlers is a family-oriented club, and, just like other families, they've had their ups and downs over time. It's a close-knit group, and members are determined to see that the fun they've had with their rides over the past 60 years will continue, and they want to share that enthusiasm with as many people as possible.

There are many reasons why car clubs are formed, least of which is the camaraderie of like-minded individuals. In the case of the San Diego Prowlers, the impetus was to organize a group of hot rodders to go racing 100 miles north of their home at Muroc Dry Lake in the late 1940s.

For 60 years, members of the Prowlers have upheld the ideal of what a car club really is and what it isn't. What it shouldn't be is a business opportunity for some folks to try and weasel money out of their friends but rather a way to keep and fun and traditional way of enjoying a hot rod.

When visiting the San Diego Prowlers' Web site (www.prowlers.org), you can scan the different decades of the club's existence and learn that hundreds of people have poured a lot of time and effort into keeping hot rodding alive. And, that includes the early years when it was basically a slap in the face to be referred to as a "hot rodder" through the lean years during the '60s when the hobby just about died out.

In the earliest days of lakes racing, only roadsters or streamliners were allowed to compete in Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) meets. Coupe owners were shut out; that is, until other timing associations were formed, such as the Russetta Timing Association, which welcomed coupes and roadsters. Founded in 1947, the Prowlers club was formed as a way for owners of hopped-up coupes to have the chance to race at a number of dry lakes in Southern California.

But, just because these guys liked to race didn't mean they didn't like a good car show. Throughout the years, many a Prowler has been featured in li'l-page car magazines, as well as the big winner of the indoor car show trophy. Starting in the 1970s, many of their members' cars have been featured in STREET RODDER.