Thousands of people traipsed Second Street in sticky tropical heat on Sunday to check out hundreds of cars of the last 10 decades at the Belmont Shore Car Show—from the 1919 Model T Touring to a modern Toyota Prius lowrider.
The car show marked its 32nd year this weekend, and speaking of the 1919 Model T, its owner, John Brennan has been participating in the Second Street car show since the very beginning.
“It’s a good way to spend an afternoon,” he said.
Brennan has lived and wrenched on classic cars at his home in Belmont Shore for some 40 years, he said. During the early years of the car show, Brennan said he would display “newer” cars.
“Like a ’40 Ford or a ’35 Ford, then I got interested in Model T’s because they’re so easy to work on,” he said.
For Rick Smith, the annual car show has been an opportunity to represent The Sultans Car Club of Long Beach, which formed at Jordan High School in the late 1950s. Smith, a 1971 graduate of Jordan, joined the club about 12 years ago.
“I’ve always liked cars,” he said. “And it just so happened I [found out that] my friends I went to high school with were in this club.”
Sultan members displayed 25 classic cars from years 1947 to 1965 on Sunday, spanning an entire block.
Smith said the morning hours of the show were much slower than usual as many participants and classic car owners decided to skip this year’s event due to overnight rain and early morning drizzle. But the afternoon proved to be busier than ever, with many braving the humidity.
Vince Scully, dressed in some form of old military garb, said his shiny black 1933 Lincoln is an old Hollywood car. And it isn’t just for show.
“It’s a daily driver, it gets groceries, it goes out to dinner,” he said. “I don’t own a modern car.”
Scully, who lives nearby and can regularly be spotted cruising his daily driver around Second Street, said he bought the original stock vehicle in 2013 and had its mechanics modified and modernized at a shop in San Francisco.
Because of the large greyhound hood ornament, which was Lincoln’s original insignia, Scully said people often mistake is car for a Jaguar.
“This greyhound eats Jaguars for breakfast,” he said.
Several classic cars, including Scully’s, also displayed a bottle of Grey Poupon mustard on Sunday, a satirical ornament and nostalgic reference many younger car show attendees might have scratched their heads at.
For Alex Alvarez, who displayed his classic Chevrolet Impala and Camaro, the car show holds nostalgic significance. Born and raised in Long Beach, he’s been coming to car shows since he was a teenager with his dad and brothers who also own classic cars.
His 1960s Impala displayed plenty of personality, with a retro food tray, and also a Lyft sticker, but he said of course he doesn’t use the classic vehicle for the rideshare app.
“It’s just a joke, but everyone always laughs about it and asks ‘do you guys really do that?'” he said.