Classic Chevys show supports youth — and crowns a Ford

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This 1957 Chevrolet 210 'post' coupe was among the cars on display at the 36th annual Classic Chevys of Southern California Club Classic Car Show | Howard Koby photos

Chevys, Chevys, Chevys and a few other makes of classic cars thrown in for good measure were beautifully organized on the green turf of the San Antonio Boys Town grounds earlier this month for the 36th annual Classic Chevys of Southern California Club Classic Car Show.

Despite its name, the show was  open to all makes and models of 1900-2018 cars and trucks and, as a special treat, the 14th annual Southern California NNL Model Car Show exhibited some of its finest scale-model cars, ranging from formula racers to lowrider.

Back in 1975, Steve Kershuk, the founding father of Classic Chevys of Southern California, had the urge to gather a group of ’55, ’56, and ’57 Chevy lovers to form a club.  Prospective members received a letter and the first meeting was held on January 14, 1976.  

The show is open to all makes and models, but Chevys dominate

By the end of the year the club had 70 members, and by September 1979 there were 124 from Los Angeles, Duarte, El Monte, Bellflower, Downey, Torrance, Wilmington, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, Garden Grove, Palmdale, Long Beach and 19 other Southern California communities.

Since 2005, the club’s chosen charity has been Rancho San Antonio “Boys Town of the West” in Chatsworth, a fantastic facility with a beautiful grassy field and picnic area perfect for a colorful car show.  The school has helped more than 5,000 boys and young men since its founding in 1933.

The event is hosted and run by the club members and raises funds to help the boys at Rancho San Antonio Catholic School for Boys, a non-profit organization that serves court-ordered adolescent boys to provide an opportunity for rehabilitation of the total person through a balanced physical, social, spiritual, psychological, and educational experience.  

This month, more than 300 classic cars graced the verdant landscape, including vehicles from many brands, and from stock to hot rods and specialty creations.  Admission was free and local vendors offered $3 hot dogs and $1 drinks, as well as bake goods and silent auctions, a Rydell Chevrolet 350 engine raffle.

Some of the cars that caught my eye included a jet black ’51 Mercury “Led Sled” custom with the top replaced with a “Carson” convertible top and the engine by a Chevy drive train.  

A a ’51 Chevy Deluxe in “Mercedes Red” powered by a LX Wildcat 425cid  Nailhead with a ’59 Impala steering wheel was a feast for the eyes.  Then there was a ‘36 Chevy Master Deluxe (2 ½” chopped top) powered by a 400cid Chevy small block with a Holley 4-barrel, all sitting on Mustang II front suspension, as was a red ’59 Chevy El Camino housing a 409 engine.  

A real “looker” was a ’64 Chevy Impala Super Sport convertible painted in a striking Cardinal Red with a Polar White folding top.  The hydraulic suspension is controlled with a 6-switch mounted underneath the dashboard as the car rides on 13-inch red and chrome wire wheels with chrome knock off hubcaps.

Sunny California rays bathed the field all day, and by the awards presentation in early afternoon the Best of Show wasn’t a Chevy at all but Larry Brewer’s superb 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Station Wagon with a 239cid Flathead V8 displayed. 

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Howard graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design in California. He has been a photographer and automotive journalist for 35 years out of his Los Angeles studio. He has been published in Hot Rod, AutoWeek, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Jaguar Journal, Forza, Vintage Motorsport, Classic Motorsports, Robb Report, Motor Trend Classic, Hemmings Muscle Machines, and 50 Years of Road & Track (MBI Publishing). He has served on the Advisory Committee of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design. He is the author of the books Top Fuel Dragsters of the 1970s and Pro Stock Dragsters of the 1970s, both available on amazon.com.

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