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May 10, 2011

Car Shows are in Bloom in SoCal

It's a special season out here in Southern California. Smog season? No, the air has been quite clear lately actually. Bikini season? Not yet, but there have been a few nice days already.

It's that time of the year when car shows start to bloom all over the landscape. They come in wide range of sizes and varieties, but it's a great time for car enthusiasts.

We are not talking about formal, corporate car shows such as the Los Angeles Auto Show (which is actually in November) or even the car expos that accompany events like the recent Long Beach Grand Prix.

We are talking about the free ones that pop up in parking lots either on a weekly basis or just once a season. We are talking about the no charge events that local towns close their main street for. We are talking about shows populated with cars drawn from and driven by the local communities. Here is where the Southern California car culture meets.

There are of course the larger ones that you may have already heard of. A perfect example is Cars & Coffee () on Saturday mornings in an Irvine parking lot. This event has grown in popularity to the point where it attracts prototypes and other cars before they show up in more formal shows.

Beyond those are the dozens, if not hundreds of hyper local events that crop up every weekend. One we checked out this weekend was the "Cruise at the Beach" in Redondo Beach. It's a perfect example of SoCal car culture on the small scale. It's held in the parking lot of a Ruby's Diner on Friday nights from 4-8pm between April and October. Several dozen cars (sometimes more) attract hundreds of people each week right next to the harbor. The pics in this post are all from that event.

California does not have the corner on the local car show market. So next time you are driving around and see a bunch of cool cars parked with a forming crowd, think about pulling over and checking it out.