Despite Southern California's supposed year-round good weather and never-ending show season, the Mooneyes Christmas Party is seen by many in the kustom culture/traditional sector of this thing we call hot rodding as the end-of-season show, here on the West Coast. Of course the show season kicks off again a mere seven weeks later with the Grand National Roadster Show, so I guess it is almost never-ending!
After last year's rain-lashed Christmas Party, and the subsequent re-scheduled event last summer, it was good to get back to business as usual for the early December event at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California, with warm sunshine and T-shirts replacing 2009's sodden socks and coats. Once again the venue was packed to capacity from 6 a.m. when the gates opened, and for a drive-in show (as opposed to an indoor show) it offered probably the most eclectic range of vehicles on display we can think of. Where else can you see traditional hot rods and kustoms mixing it up with lowriders, street rods, Gassers, VWs, bombs, pickups, a gaggle of early '70s vans, dragsters, and more than a few custom motorcycles?
Kustoms, or customs, depending on your preference, seem to be gaining in popularity of late, and this was evident at the Mooneyes Party. Not just mild customs either, but chopped, heavily dropped examples seemed to be everywhere, and finished nicely either in gloss or semigloss, rather than a quick squirt of primer.
You certainly couldn't complain of having nothing to do at this show, as not only were there live bands-Dead Beat Daddy, Gamblers Mark, Hot Rod Trio, and the Dynotones-playing almost non-stop throughout the day, except when the art auction or pin-up contest were occupying the stage, but the eighth-mile dragstrip was also open all day. In addition to the regular racers, this year the strip was open to pre-'69 "run what ya brung" and motorcycle entries, as well as a 16-car exhibition AF/X Challenge.
One of the more exciting moments on the track came when a Chevy coupe's rear tire exploded during the burnout, taking the rear fender with it! With more vendors than you could shake your unopened umbrella at, offering perfect Christmas gifts, there was no way anyone could be bored. Oh, and there were one or two cars to check out in the show area too ...
With a collection of lowriders, this 3-inch chopped '50 Chevy fastback is Ritchie Valles'
Chris Casny's six twos-fed Nailhead-powered A is always a treat. With a Kiwi Konnection '3
Sonja Serventi owns and built this '40 Merc, and runs her shop, Dame Customs, in El Monte,
Wow, a Model A Sport Coupe that hasn't been turned into a roadster! This beautiful full-fe