Inaugural Car Show on the Circle debuts

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Rat rods are exaggerations of the early hot rods. Santee resident Ken Whitney, who made his own rat rod, explained, “I get videotaped taking it on the highway. People take pictures of it at stop lights. Crowds form around it at the store.” A celebrity rat is born.

Whitney’s rat rod was one of 50 cars displayed at the inaugural Car Show on the Circle held by and on the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon’s land on September 23th

Rat rods are exaggerations of the early hot rods. Santee resident Ken Whitney, who made his own rat rod, explained, “I get videotaped taking it on the highway. People take pictures of it at stop lights. Crowds form around it at the store.” A celebrity rat is born.

Whitney’s rat rod was one of 50 cars displayed at the inaugural Car Show on the Circle held by and on the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon’s land on September 23th

Whitney’s rat rod, one of the more novel vehicles displayed, was built of parts from junkyards, swap meets, or anywhere a part showed up.  “I had to go through the CHP because there was no VIN number. Plus go to a special smog referee.  I got one of only 500 special permits to register it and it took nine weeks and $1,000 to register” explained Whitney.

Rick Sparks, car show chairman, explained the why and when of the show with “Our church started an outreach committee to get the community involved and to find out about our church. They decided, in July, to have a car show. We had three months to put it together.”

“Several clubs are represented – Mustang Club, Over-the-Hill Gang Car Club, Christian Rods & Customs,” Sparks elaborated.  

According to Sparks the 250-member church, founded in 1883, is the oldest church in San Diego County other than a catholic one. The 100-year-old oak tree in front of the church on Farragut Circle is used as a crest in some of the church’s artwork. The church burned down around the early 1900s, Sparks relayed, and was rebuilt.  The current church has a bell tower, contains the Circle Preschool founded in 1957, houses a pipe organ, home to theatrical group — The Circle Players who perform in  their Richardson Fellowship Hall, and they maintain a nearby community garden. 

Awards were bestowed as such: Sponsor’s Choice winner was a 1930 Ford Model A owned by Rudy Vazquez, Best of Show was a 1932 Chrysler Convertible owned by Robert Schlesier, and the People’s Choice was a 1948 Ford Convertible owned by Doug McMurray. Accolades continued when an attendee had fun putting up a fake winner sign on an obviously beat up truck of his friend.

Donuts from Mary’s Donuts in Lakeside were sold out by late morning but nachos, chips and other snacks were available. The band, The Rollers, a Beatles tribute band, lent music to the occasion. Vendors were the finishing touch of the car show.

One such vendor was former editor of the Daily Californian, now named the East County Californian, Del Hood, who was on hand with his wife, Sandy, to sell his autographed books. Sandy said, “It’s a fantastic day. It has cars I love” and added “I’ve been a church-goer all my life at this church.”

Brandy Marquez, owner of Lucky Charms, was selling her repurposed horseshoes as wall hangings. The church’s Orange Room for youth had a tent canopy.  Theresa Faith-Eister offered Mas Awesomer products out of her tent among other vendors.

The church will host their fall craft fair on Oct. 28. The Circle Players will put on a mystery dinner theatre experience Oct. 20, 21 and 22.

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