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Gearheads Rev Up Main Street For Classic Car Show

Seal Beach Chamber's 25th Annual Classic Car Show, the cities largest annual event, drew thousands to marvel at mire than 500 cars.

Nothing says Seal Beach like sun, surf, and classic cars. Today, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce’s 25th Annual Classic Car Show had all three.

The smell of car exhaust masked the smell of the ocean and marked the beginning of today’s event.

At 10:45 a.m. this morning, nine dragsters lined the Seal Beach pier and took turns firing up their eight-cylinder engines as the crowd plugged their ears and cheered.

Ed Oe, who supplied the show with several Ford F100s from 1953-56, summed up the event: “Nice vendors.  Nice cars.  Nice crowd.”

Main Street virtually glimmered as the sun gleamed off more than 500 perfectly waxed classic cars. There were roadsters and dragsters, muscle cars and even one Indy race car. Three bands set up along the strip provided classic rock ambiance to the spectators, who were never far from a variety of food and art vendors.

Always surrounded was the crowd favorite--an original Helms Bakery truck.  Diane Thomson was one of many on-lookers who stood reminiscing by the car.

“Good memories,” Thomson said. The Helms truck would drive down her street when she was a kid and pulled out those long drawers in the back so she could pick out her 10 cent donut.

“And they were darn good donuts, too,” added Thomson.

Legendary drag racer Shirley Muldowney’s 1977 Top Fuel Dragster was another highlight of the show.

Behind each car were the proud owners sitting in their fold-out chairs.  Mark Demers, Gary Ulmer, and Bob Barker are three car show veterans.  

Mark, who has six show cars, chose to show off the purple 1969 Camaro he bought several years ago and restored.

Gary, who has known Mark for 30 years, decided four years ago to buy the red 1960 Ford Mustang he’s always wanted so he could join the guys in showing off his classic car.

“It’s a guy thing,” Gary describes of the car show experience.

Don't tell that to the hundreds of women who turned out Saturday to indulge their inner gear-head.

Nat Ferguson April 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Jessica, great pictures and story. The Chamber of Commerce has a long standing tradition of making the car show our most prestigious event of the year. It's only made possible by our volunteers and Seal Beach Lions who generously give of their time. What was your favorite car or display at the show?
Jessica Carreiro April 29, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Well, it's always been my dream to own an exact replica of Steve McQueen's '68 mustang fastback from Bullitt, so getting to see that yesterday with all the memorabilia inside was pretty great!
Seth Eaker April 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Even on the other side of the world, I think I could hear those dragsters and the awards announcements for the 25th annual, Silver Anniversary Car Show. Congratulations to Brian Warner, Nat Ferguson, Esther Kenyon, Gina Phillips, Deb Machen, Bryce Turner and all those dozens of volunteers that helped make the event so remarkable. As always - it is a jewel in our city by the sea!

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