OCEANSIDE — Close to 100 classic cars and hot rods lined two blocks of Coast Highway Wednesday night for Oceanside’s first car cruise.
The Hearts and Rods car cruise was part of the city’s Valentine’s week celebration, but Dino Lacovino said he and friends have wanted to hold a regular car cruise in Oceanside for a long time.
Lacovino organizes the annual South Oceanside car show that is a fundraiser for South Oceanside Elementary.
He said a monthly car cruise would bring hot rod and classic car owners together in Oceanside, the same way car cruises do in Escondido and Encinitas.
Lacovino and John Daley, owner of the 101 Dinner, organized Wednesday’s car cruise within a month. Daley said he contacted car clubs online and held a television interview about the cruise.
Information was also shared with Visit Oceanside and the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.
There was no entry fee or judging. Daley said he simply invited people who like their cars to bring them down.
“It’s a cool night to come down to look at cars, new eateries, brew pubs and tap houses,” Daley said.
Car owners showing off and selling their hot rods and classic cars parked along Coast Highway from Wisconsin Avenue to Minnesota Avenue and beyond.
Hemann Quint brought his 1957 Thunderbird. Quint said he recently bought the Thunderbird so he could hang out with his buddies who show their cars at the weekly Escondido car cruise that’s held from April to September.
Larry Beck came in his 1963 Ford Ranchero. He pointed out its original red leather interior, and work he has done to rebuild the front end.
“It’s a honey of car,” Beck said.
Daley said the turn out on Wednesday was better than he expected.
“It’s great for a first time,” Daley said. “We’re pretty pleased.”
Most event-goers gathered at Bagby Beer Company after checking out cars. Daley said once the car cruise becomes a regular event more South Oceanside businesses will stay open to benefit from the Wednesday night crowd.
A monthly car cruise may start in April. Cars would park along the street, and at this point there would be no road closures.