By Art Hall
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You saw “The Last Picture Show” – well now it is “The Last Mooneyes Xmas Party” which was held at the Irwindale Raceway in the city of that same name where the 605 meets the 210 freeway. December the 9th, 2017 was the final party for this event that moved to the facility back in 2006 – It’s been a good run but the events center takes up too much valuable land set for development.
As a brief mention for some who don’t know, Mooneyes is acknowledged throughout the world as a quality manufacturer of nostalgic automotive hot rod parts with a product and character recognized by racing buffs everywhere and has expanded into the motorcycle world as well. With authorized dealerships stretching around the globe from its 1950’s original home facility in Santa Fe Springs Ca. to Japan, Australia, Finland, Thailand, France, Indonesia, Germany, Mexico, Malaysia, and Canada to mention only a few.
The grand finale was indeed grand, bringing in approximately 1,500 vehicles and 15,000 spectators for one last hurrah of an old time era that can hopefully find a new home for 2018. A unique feature of the festivities is a mostly vintage collection of cars competing in a ‘run what you brung’ drag race– which needs a hard to find drag strip– which is why I say ‘hopefully.’ the only drag strip left in SoCal I know of is the Pomona Raceway at the L.A. County Fairgrounds. The affable Mooneyes owners Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama now have the task of finding a new home for the show. The “Show” by the way is really just in the parking lot which is full of classic and vintage hot rods, rat rods, motorcycles, lowriders, muscle cars and custom creations that the enthusiasts drive most on a regular basis. It’s a family day of tailgate style BBQ with lots of car clubs and individuals having a nice day “in the park” – and a nice day it was this year with a warm high temp of 80 degrees.
Along with crowds, cars and bikes, come vendors a-plenty, mostly supporting the eclectic lifestyle scene with period goods, clothing and oddities of all sorts, being a bit of a show itself. Bands, five of them, played all day long for additional entertainment, live music style. In keeping with the theme there is also a pin up contest with the ladies done up in their finest outfits, hairstyles, and make-up of the times. If you didn’t bring your own BBQ there were also lots of food choices available on site. It was all covered.
So enjoy some of the final photos and stay tuned to find out when and where the 2018 party will be. Better yet, visit the headquarters in Santa Fe Springs for the free summer BBQ and car show to get the scoop.