Xydias' 90th Birthday Gala to be Held June 16

Hot rod legend and Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Board of Directors President Alex Xydias is turning 90, and you can join in the special celebration. The heart of hot rodding revelry honoring one of the automotive industry's most influential people will be at the Fairplex at Pomona June 16. The gala will be held at the newly opened Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center (601 W. McKinley Ave.) to accommodate the anticipated large crowd.

Hosted by the museum and the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts during the 48th annual L.A. Roadster Show, the birthday gala is also a charity event. All proceeds raised will equally benefit these two organizations, which are close to Xydias' heart.

"Celebrating my 90th birthday is going to be great fun, not just because it's my birthday but because this party is going to support two organizations I'm very proud of," said Xydias. "I want those in attendance to become a part of these unique organizations that are enriching the lives of young people, the future leaders of the automotive world, the next Wallys, Alexes, Iskys, and Thompsons."

During the gala, partygoers will witness a special display of three major So-Cal Speed Shop cars together for the first time, including the So-Cal Streamliner re-creation built by Dan Webb, of Burton, Mich., which was a hit at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The evening's program includes a live and silent auction for never-beforeseen items from Xydias' personal collection, special remarks from close friends and family, and lively entertainment. There will also be a special presentation of Xydias' early racing film documentaries. (Filmmaking began as a hobby he enjoyed at So-Cal Speed Shop and that evolved into a business of documenting motorsports events.)

To join in wishing Xydias a happy 90th birthday and support two great organizations, purchase tickets online at TLCFairplex.org/AXGala or by calling 909-865-4207. Tickets are $90, and table sponsorships start at $1,500. Don't let the word "gala" fool you: Casual dress is strictly enforced.

Top Summer Event of 2012: National Hot Rod Reunion

If you'll be in the eastern half of the country on Father's Day weekend, then we have an event for you: The 10th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA, to be held June 14-16 (Thursday-Saturday) at historic Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky.

Give Dad the gift of all-American, action-packed nostalgia drag races and hot rods galore when you attend the reunion. Voted one of this year's Top 10 Festivals & Events for Summer by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, the annual reunion is a family-fun experience that is sure to arouse all of your senses.

The reunion includes a variety of activities and events, including Hot Heads nostalgia drag racing; the SoffSeal Show 'n' Shine with thousands of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, custom cars, and muscle cars; 10th Anniversary Cruise-In and Heacock Classic Insurance Reunion Party on Thursday; and the reunion reception Friday evening, June 15. The reunion concludes Saturday evening with final eliminations and the Cacklefest, in which historic nitro-burning Top Fuel dragsters are push-started just like in the old days. Plus, a huge swap meet and reunion midway filled with manufacturer exhibits and demonstrations are featured during the three days. There's even an old-fashion amusement park with rides and games for all ages adjacent to the track.

Gasser Mania Hits Beech Bend

More than 20 wild and wooly '60s Gassers have been rounded up for the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA (June 14-16) at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. Spectators won't want to leave their seats when these lively machines show off their might on the quarter-mile. Last year, the Geezer Gasser's nose-high, blower-screaming runs lent plenty of excitement to the reunion. This year, Chuck Lipka, of St. Louis, who's gathering the Geezer Gasser troops, is set to put on a bigger show and display for reunion fans.

"The group of Gasser owners is more excited than a bunch of kids waiting for the recess bell to ring," said Lipka. "We can't wait to relive the golden age of the Gassers at the reunion."

In addition, popular Gasser legends will attend the reunion, including Barbara Hamilton and her Willys, "Ohio George" Montgomery, and members of the storied S&S Racing team.

Give Dad the gift of old-fashioned drag racing thrills this Father's Day, and take him to the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion.

Tickets for the reunion are available online (www.nhratix.com) or by phone (800-884-6472). Purchase three-day credential prior to June 1, and receive a goody bag and a $10 discount. Show your AAA card, and save more. Kids 15 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. For more information, log on to Museum.NHRA.com and click on "Reunions."