Living in Southern California, one can become a little spoiled with hot rod events happening frequently, most within an hour's drive if you live in the L.A. metropolitan area, which is great, but doesn't really give one's rod or custom a chance to stretch its legs on the open highway. It's partly for this reason-to enjoy the drive, after all that's what cars are for! I like to travel a little further to events in Bakersfield, Santa Maria, San Diego, and the high desert, such as Gene Winfield's show or El Mirage. While still local, these are all between a two- and four-hour drive away.

However, none of the aforementioned destinations can offer the scenery provided by Pacific Coast Highway, my preferred route up the coast, to the great beach town of Ventura, location for the Primer Nationals. There's always a good turnout at this event, and 2009's edition was no exception, though the primered rides seemed outnumbered by finished paintjobs. This show is a two-day event, offering the chance to stay in Ventura overnight. But what to do? Maybe cruise over to Kiwi Kev's for his traditional barbecue party, or hit one of the numerous eateries in town, wander the town's historic cultural district, check out any number of venues with live music, or head over to the DicE magazine party?

Decisions, decisions, though not as hard to make as those that fell to the judges of the car show, which saw Guillermo Navarro of Los Boulevardos Car Club, or "Goozgaz" as HAMBers will know him as, taking Best of Show for his orange and gold '60 Lincoln. The various class winners were chosen late on Saturday, the winning cars presented in the Winners Circle on Sunday, though by early afternoon we were cruising back down PCH in search of a relaxed late lunch overlooking the ocean.