Cajon Classic Cruise show starts its engines

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Both sides of Main Street in El Cajon glistened with fierce reds, bright yellows and deep purples at last Wednesday’s Cajon Classic Cruise.

The thick smell of gasoline and rubber could almost be tasted as only the throaty, rumbling sound of old school carbureted engines was hotter than the day’s 98-degree temperature. Car-owners did their best to set up their chairs in the shade as they happily answered questions from curious passersby.

Both sides of Main Street in El Cajon glistened with fierce reds, bright yellows and deep purples at last Wednesday’s Cajon Classic Cruise.

The thick smell of gasoline and rubber could almost be tasted as only the throaty, rumbling sound of old school carbureted engines was hotter than the day’s 98-degree temperature. Car-owners did their best to set up their chairs in the shade as they happily answered questions from curious passersby.

Though the theme for the week’s show was Cinco de Mayo, everything from custom-built hot rods to stock classics were showcased – there was even a Volkswagen Thing.
Switch Car Club co-founder Pelon Arevalo said his club brought five low-riders and was excited by the wide range of cars.

“It’s a canvas,” he said. “It’s a big picture out here of different cars. There’s different styles of cars, everybody’s different. There’s some unique cars out here and there’s some really standout cars here. We see some cars, we call it patina. A little rusted, a little weathered, but that’s the style now that’s coming in. Leave it as-is.”

Ray Deschnes’s red and white 1959 C1 Corvette convertible fell on the opposite end of the spectrum, but he said he also enjoyed the event.
“You’ve got a variety of cars to look at,” he said. “You’ve got a number of different places to have dinner or get a drink or something like that. It’s a real fun show.”

Hungry enthusiasts filled Main Street restaurants’ outdoor patios, their necks rotating almost as fast as the crankshafts of the cars driving by.
Four wheels were not a prerequisite for fun at the Cajon Classic Cruise. Switch used hydraulics to rest some of its cars on three wheels in Prescott Promenade Park and Bike Row welcomed an assortment of motorcycles ranging from custom Harleys to brand new Indians and a pair of Ducatis.

El Cajon-native Norman Milstead’s orange 1971 Ford Mustang seemed to blend with the setting sun. He said his father helped pique his interest in cars.
“I’ve been in cars most of my life,” he said. “That car was given to me by my dad and he bought it 35 years ago, so I’ve been doing this for quite a while.”

Milstead also said the car show is one of El Cajon’s better traditions.

“It’s just a lot of fun and enjoyment,” he said. “You get out of the house, come down here and get to meet a lot of good people.”

The Cajon Classic Cruise takes over downtown El Cajon every Wednesday at 5 P.M. until the end of October. Next week, Main Street will “Return to the 50s.”

Arevalo said enthusiasts would enjoy the show regardless of the theme.

“Car guys are car guys no matter what,” he said. “We’re just car nuts, so whenever there’s an event going on we just come out.”

Visit www.cajonclassiccruise.org.

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