We sure look forward to springtime on the West Coast. After months of slightly cooler temperatures and the ever-present possibility of rain, things start to warm up and the rods and customs come out to play.

On the third weekend in April, we headed north up Interstate 101 to Ventura County to spend a sunny Saturday at the 9th Annual Back to the Beach kustom kulture festival at Seaside Park. Back to the Beach is open to pre-'69 rods, customs, lowriders, woodies, trucks, American and British vintage bikes-anything hot rodded and traditional. The emphasis is on retro and homegrown; beyond that, the variety is huge and the quality is diverse.

If all that's not enough entertainment for you, there's always the live rockabilly bands, row after row of vendors selling everything from books and mags to artwork to apparel, a swap meet, artists and 'stripers doing their thing, and lots of refreshments. The show is hosted by John and Jenny Parker, who also organize the equally-excellent Primer Nationals during Labor Day weekend.

So-have we talked you into making the trip to Ventura next April, or in September for the Primer Nats?. In the meantime, here are a few photos to help you enjoy Back to the Beach through our eyes. For more information about either show, go to www.backtothebeachventura.com.