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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fallbrook Vintage Car Show, Pala Mesa

Bugatti
Yesterday I was a judge at the Fallbrook Vintage Car Show, the longest continuously running show on the west coast, now in its 52nd year. I believe that this was my ninth year judging, missed it last year while we were in Yellowstone. it was a fabulous day replete with lots of steel, chrome and other assorted eye candy.

The show was held once again at the Pala Mesa Resort, cars were parked right on the fairways. All manner of cars, trucks, antique brass, woodies, rods. Soup to nuts.

Although the day was warm, we always had a nice breeze and you couldn't have asked for better weather.

Having said that, the show physically kicks your ass when you are judging. Being the youngest judge, I always get a lot of cars and I am pretty savvy now and it isn't really a problem, but if you don't stay hydrated you can hit the wall really hard.

I was supposed to have the help of a friend but he punked at the last second. In his place I had two cheerleaders from the high school, Danni and Skyler, and the latter's lovely mom to chaperone.

They were all a delight and I am happy to say that Tom wasn't missed one bit and that they were far better looking than my lamented friend. And they caught on quick, we were a well honed machine by the end.

I don't like what they have done to the judging but it doesn't matter what I think, I'm not in the car club.

This year there are no grouped classes, for us anyway, meaning each judge had a bunch of cars from different eras and classes. I usually do vintage sports cars, this year I had stock, modified, trucks, all manner of vehicles. gets very difficult.

The problem is that the class entries don't get judged the same way by different people. My scoring might be much more tolerant or critical than the next person. I don't like it. Not a uniform or consistent system. Much better to see and judge all of them together.


Great cars this year, I believe over 475 paid entries. This incredible Bugatti on top, first one I have seen at this show. I used to show my father's Mulliner Rolls Royce Silver Wraith Sedanca Deville at Pebble Beach in the seventies and there were a lot of Bugattis, Talbot Lagos and Duesenbergs around but they sure have never made it to Fallbrook. This beauty is owned by Alan Taylor of Rancho Santa Fe and I enjoyed a chat with him.

Really had fun. Did the entirety of Row B.


Maybe the best year ever. I think it was. Cars were turned out great, everybody had fun, good food, music, family friendly. My helpers were dolls.

And there was some great out of the box stuff like Jim Ramsey's 1927 Model T Rat Rod with the toilet passenger seat. Epic!

You couldn't find a nicer guy or a cooler car. Although in the interest of full disclosure I should admit that Jim's wife Debbie is one of my favorite Fallbrookians.


I didn't lug around a camera so phone pics will have to do this year. When I got finished at two it turns out that no one had judged Row A, which had all the rest of the Shafter Car Club cars so I went back and hit them. Was dead tired but I manged to do it.

Shafters get a lot of respect in these parts, the car club founded back in 1949, if I have my facts straight. I have several friends in this group and they are all serious car people.


If you have never been, come out next year, see cars and meet your neighbors and maybe some other nice folks. I saw a zillion old pals yesterday. Beelined for the ibuprofen when I got home. Little sore today. No one ever told me how bad your hips can hurt when you get old.

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