By Steve Laser & Gregg Ziak
Why is Dana Point one of our favorite cities in Southern Orange County, Calif.? Because it’s a beautiful place with magnificent beaches, a scenic marina, historic homes, great restaurants, hiking and biking trails, and a fantastic car show!
We arrived early for the show on Sept. 23 and watched owners of classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles park their rides on Del Prado in the historic Lantern District. The show, sponsored by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, featured hundreds of vehicles like the cool ’55 Chevy and Corvettes shown above.
Our first video takes a look at some of the incredibly neat hot rods and custom cars and trucks at the show. We’ve seen some of these rides cruising along Pacific Coast Highway during the weekends, and also at the separate South OC Cars and Coffee held every Saturday in nearby San Clemente.
While this dragster parked in the center of the street looks like it’s ready for action, it was a static display that attracted lots of attention at the show.
It’s no secret that we love Corvettes, especially models from the mid-’60s. This video highlights some of the ‘Vettes at the show along with a ’69 Camaro, and other Chevrolets from the ’50s.
The 1956 Nomad (like the one above) has been on our wish list for decades. Of all the Chevrolet wagons that we’d love to own, the ’55-’57 Nomads top our list.
Ford fans had a field day at the show with the chance to get up-close with some fantastic cars including ’50s Thunderbirds, ’60s Mustangs and others that we captured in our above video.
While the Mercury brand may be gone, it carries on in the hearts and minds of classic car buffs who collect rides like this beautiful two-tone coupe from the ’50s.
The owners of these stunning Shelby Cobras decided to display their roadsters with the hoods open so folks like us could admire the engines. Take a look at the attention to detail in our video.
We didn’t have a chance to hear this Cobra run, yet with a setup like this under the hood, along with the awesome side exhaust, it must attract lots of attention wherever it goes.
We know that Chrysler and Plymouth are not related to Cadillac and Buick. However, we put them together in our above video to show the progression of luxury car styling from the flamboyant 1950s to the more conservative mid-’60s.
One of our favorite Buicks from the ’60s is the first-generation Riviera which has become very popular with collectors. This car sported the cool “clamshell” hidden headlights and a really nice shade of green paint.
Classic cars from the days of yesteryear are shown in our above video including gems like this magnificent 1934 Packard Phaeton, a rare Hudson pickup, a Bricklin and an Avanti II.
This mid-’70s Bricklin with its gull-wing doors brings to mind another icon from the following decade that was used in a series of time-traveling movies (yet we’ve never seen an orange DeLorean).
Gorgeous cars highlighted in our above video include a super-rare 1955 Abarth 207A, a vintage Daimler, and contemporary classics from Lamborghini and Lotus.
We caught our first glimpse of the amazing Abarth as it waited patiently in line to enter the show in the morning. While there’s a car trailer shown in the background, the majority of entries were driven to the show.
Japanese cars like this 1970 Datsun 240Z, and a Datsun Roadster, in our video, are becoming very popular with collectors. (If you admire collectible cars from Japanese brands, be sure to see our separate story that covers the recent Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach)
While glancing under the hood of this 240Z and feasting our eyes on the immaculate engine compartment, we found it difficult to believe that this car is 48 years old.
This incredibly cool Volkswagen truck was on display at the show in Dana Point. The owner of this 1961 double cab, finished in Seafoam Blue, told us it originally came with safari windows (the split windshield opens), while he added Porsche alloy wheels and other mods.
This VW pickup features a beautifully detailed engine compartment with a mirror-like finish (we can see the reflection of our editor in the background as he took the photo).
Vintage trucks are so popular with collectors that we see them at every show we attend. Check out the cool rigs from Chevy, GMC, and Ford in our video that also includes a rare International Travelall.
This ’32 panel looked right at home in Dana Point with the surfboard strapped to the roof. (Dana Point beaches are popular spots for surfers of all ages.)
Motorcycle enthusiasts enjoyed the wide array of bikes at the show. Our video takes a look at the various models from brands like Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, and Norton.
We wrapped up the day checking out super clean motorcycles like this vintage Norton and Matchless. We had a fantastic time at the Dana Point Classic Car and Motorcycle show and look forward to returning next year.
For more information about attractions and events in Dana Point visit the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce
Story, photos and videos © 2018 CarNichiWa.com