The beautiful coast of California...
The beautiful coast of California between Los Angeles and San Francisco was the route taken on the Sacramento Vintage Ford Tour. Almost 20 vehicles filled with 35-plus people joined us on the tour.
Sacramento Vintage Ford sponsored the 7th Tour of the 2009 PPG/STREET RODDER Road Tour season and the drive was on some of the most beautiful highways in the world. Traveling from Pomona and the NHRA Museum to the NSRA Golden State Nationals in Sacramento, our trip wound along the California coastline with stops in Cambria, Monterey, San Francisco, and the wine country of northern California as we made our way to Sacramento.
The fun began on Saturday as the Road Tourians joined over 3,000 vehicles at the Orange County Fairgrounds for a one-day event called Cruise for a Cure. Started 11 years ago, Cruise for a Cure fills the fairgrounds with participants and vendors and raises money for prostate cancer research. The weather was California perfect and the place was packed. It was a great event for a great cause.
On Sunday morning we gathered at the NHRA Wally Parks Museum at 8 a.m. to begin our journey north. We spent an hour at the Museum, and the first-timers were amazed at the incredible collection of historic racecars and memorabilia that is on display. Currently at the museum is a display of the history of Coker Tire and Honest Charley's Speed Shop. It was interesting to see the background of these two major companies in our hobby.
By 9 a.m. we began our journey to our first stop of the day, California Car Cover in Chatsworth. California Car Cover has been known as a huge mail order business for many years, offering car covers, the famous California Car Duster, and tons of collectibles and automobilia. Walking in to their showroom brings their catalogue to life and it is fun to be able to see all those cool items in person. We also got a chance to see their racecar shop. Owner Jim DeFrank and his sons Jimmy and Tony have been involved in big-time drag racing on a national level for many years with much success. Jimmy was the NHRA National Super Stock Champion in 1997 when he was 18 years old. Located in the same facility as California Car Cover is John Schiess' street rod shop, Custom Built Machines. John has some very cool vehicle projects in the works.
California Car Cover owner Jim DeFrank invited the Road Tour to visit he and his wife Lorraine's new home in nearby Thousand Oaks to see Jim's collection of vehicles. Jim and Lorraine had burgers cooking on the grill when we arrived, and we got an up-close and personal look at their beautiful home and garage filled with Jim's great collection of vehicles. It was a wonderful stop at the DeFranks' home.
Continuing north on Highway 101 we made the three-hour drive to our evening stop in the beach community of Cambria. We all enjoyed the accommodations on Moonstone Beach and had a great meal at a nearby restaurant. Monday morning we were up and rolling with a full day ahead. Some folks visited nearby Hearst Castle, and others visited the shops in Cambria. By 10:30 a.m. we all headed north up Highway 1 and the incredible California coastline. The drive is breathtaking, and we stopped at a restaurant with an amazing view in Big Sur. By 3 p.m. we arrived in the Monterey Bay area and some folks visited the Monterey Aquarium while others walked on the beach and or enjoyed the sights around Cannery Row. It was a beautiful day on the road.