OCEANSIDE — The popular hotrod night that was first held in February will be a regular monthly event this summer. Last Wednesday, hotrods and classic cars lined South Coast Highway and adjacent streets from Wisconsin Avenue to Missouri Avenue.
Event organizer Dino Iavocovino described the event as relaxed and jubilant.
“Car owners were enjoying the night, there were a lot of spectators walking around, it was a very nice time,” Iavocovino said.
A 1932 Ford Coupe, cobalt blue Corvette and chopped Mercury Cougar were among the cars on display.
“There’s a lot of diversity in car owners in our own backyard in North County,” Iavocovino said. “You’ll see everything from the meek to the very high-end, fully restored hotrod.”
Chris Kawahara, of Oceanside, was there with his teal blue 1948 Ford Deluxe Coupe. He completed all engine work on the hotrod and added its chrome features. Kawahara said he goes to car shows almost every weekend, and enjoys having one in his own backyard.
Marty Conklin, of Oceanside, brought his chopped 1948 Chevy Coupe with a modified side fender. He described the hobby of modifying cars as a beloved “sickness.”
“It’s a passion for me being in the garage and making it my own,” Conklin said. “It’s fun and a lot of work.”
As part of the hotrod night, a restaurant gift certificate was given to the “best car.” Iavocovino said he hopes to continue to recognize participants at the free event with donated prizes from local businesses.
Future plans may include an opportunity drawing to benefit South Oceanside Elementary School PTO. The school is home to the annual March car show fundraiser, which Iavocovino also organizes.
Iavocovino said the monthly car cruise is still building momentum. About 50 hotrods and classic cars were on display last Wednesday. An Orange County car club is expected to bring an additional 30 cars to the June cruise night.
“We’re hoping to continue to build through the summer,” Iavocovino said.
The goal for next year is to hold the monthly car cruise downtown in a closed street area, similar to the Thursday night Sunset Market. That would allow spectators to walk around cars out of the way of traffic.
The two-hour hotrod night has been a big draw, and a benefit to South Oceanside restaurants and breweries. Iavocovino said he thinks the event can have an even greater positive impact downtown.
Upcoming Hotrod Nights are 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 22, July 13, Aug. 24, and Sept. 21.