The 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show: Cool Cars displayed under Heat Wave Conditions

This past weekend saw the return of the 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show, held in the midst of the current heat wave that descended upon Southern California, and Saturday’s weather was no exception. By the shows start at 9 AM, the temperature was already racing towards 90 degrees ( 32 degrees Celsius).

My first encounter of the morning was the hot rod flamed, black 1956 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe race car from a local shop; Whittier’s own VW Gold MIne, as seen below…

Black 1956 VW Karmann Ghia with flames_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Black 1956 VW Karmann Ghia with flames_race motor detail _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked just down the street from the Karmann Ghia, was this sole representative from Stuttgart; a white 1964 Porsche 356 SC coupe.

White 1964 Porsche 356SC_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White 1964 Porsche 356SC_rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further down the street was this beautiful 1930s vintage Chevrolet sedan; with a visible case of extreme negative front camber…

Grey and black, 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

I did overhear the owner talking to a friend about the car’s airbag suspension, thus the  extreme camber angle when the car is lowered.

Grey and black 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Out back, the car even included a period correct, fold down luggage rack, positioned just above the rear fuel tank…

Grey and black 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further down the street was another classic; a Black, 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville (as seen below).

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_front grille and bumper reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Hanging out with the other Cadillacs parked along Cadillac row…

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_parked on Cadillac row_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked around the corner, and located at the far end of the street, was this white, fiberglass bodied twin turbocharged roadster (below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White twin turbocharged roadster_dash detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Race inspired, purpose-built interior (above and below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_interior detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White twin turbocharged roadster_motor detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Turbocharger and polished exhaust pipe (above and below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_turbocharger and exhaust detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Twin turbocharger symmetry (below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_motor/turbo symetry detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked directly across the street was this beautifully prepared, candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster, complete with flames…

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

While shooting the car and studying some of its unique details, I met the owner who was nice enough to share some of the details behind the building of this hot rod. I learned that this car is actually a showcase for the owner’s business, which just happens to be a paint and body shop (Bravo’s Auto Body), specializing in custom paint, and that is located in nearby Pico Rivera.

Obviously, all of the body work, paint and flames were produced in-house by the owner himself, Manny Bravo. The body panels were as smooth and flat as glass, which was the perfect medium for catching reflections.

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_3/4 rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

One of the hidden and easily overlooked details on this car is its quick change rear end; fortunately the owner mentioned this fact to me, so I crawled under the car to get this shot  below.

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_quick change rear end detail _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

While in the process of shooting the right side of the car (below), the owner asked if I had noticed anything odd about the paint and flames on this side of the car. As I looked closer, the owner suggested l take a look at the opposite side in direct sunlight. Once I walked over to the driver’s side, I immediately understood what he was talking about. Apparently, between the painting process and the materials used, he was able to apply both the red paint and the flames in a way that depending upon the lighting, the contrast between the background  and the flames will shift.  When the car is viewed in shadowed lighting, the red background reads as a dark value and the flames appear lighter in color. However under direct lighting conditions, the flames read as the dark value, whereas the red background reads as the lighter value. Definitely an interesting effect…

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_side view /passenger side _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further south down the street, was this root beer brown metallic, 1934 Ford 3 window coupe.

Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_3/4 front view with reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_headlight housing with reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_chromed engine, components and firewall_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked over on the west side of the street was this bright orange, 1930s vintage Ford highboy roadster, built along the lines of a 1960’s AA/Fuel altered race car, complete with a big block, fuel injected motor, and included a period correct “Moon speed equipment” fuel tank secured just ahead of the front axle…

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_3/4 front view_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_headlight reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Overhead view of the Kinsler fuel injection venturi /”stacks”…

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_Kinsler fuel injection venturi/stacks detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_interior detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_3/4 rear detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_hand lettering on back of car_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Located further down the street was this white 1955 Corvette coupe, represented by the owner as an original condition, unrestored vehicle…

White on red 1955 Corvette_3/4 front view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White on red 1955 Corvette_Interior detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Arranged out back in its trunk was a period Coca Cola display, which included a vintage Corvette advertisement…

White on red 1955 Corvette_Coca Cola memorabilia in trunk _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White on red 1955 Corvette_3/4 rear view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked across the street and located south of the Corvette, was this lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe with canvas side and rear shades.

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_ 3/4 front view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_ 3/4 rear view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_wheel & hubcap reflections _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe _Hood badging detail _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe _engine detail _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Located just to the north of the lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe, was this two toned Tri-5 Chevrolet Bel Air / Nomad wagon…

Butterscotch and white Tri-5 Chevrolet Bel Air / Nomad_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked over on the east side of the street was this pristine, 1955 Chevrolet Panel in sea foam green and white, and in better than new condition…

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ 3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ Side view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Reflection in the side of the black 1963 Lincoln Continental parked to the left of the drivers side…

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ reflection on side of black Lincoln Continental_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

And parked just several cars north of the 1955 Chevrolet panel, was this beautiful 1963 Buick Riviera. Looking at this car brought back fond memories of my dads black on black 1964 Riviera…

Lite blue metallic 1963 Buick Riviera_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue metallic 1963 Buick Riviera_wheel detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

The last car I photographed from the show was this amazing copper-colored, 1950 Ford  coupe; lowered suspension and complete with a chopped top, shaved door handles, frenched headlights and smoothed bumpers front and rear.  Obviously a lot of time was spent block sanding the entire body, as the finished paint simply glowed, displaying flawless, distortion-free reflections. By far one of the nicest customs in the show.

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_side view reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_Rear trunk & bumper reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Ironically, these photos are just a small sampling of the many cars assembled for this years show. Given the huge spectator turnout, there seemed to be something for everyone, regardless of the high temperatures. Hopefully next years show will witness another collection of equally cool cars, but hopefully under much cooler conditions.

(All photos by the author)

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Hot Rods, Hamburgers, Customs, Olympics and Coca Cola…

What better way to celebrate the end of the week, than with a car show on a Friday evening? Or for those of you like me ( my wife describes me as car obsessed), how about encountering a car show totally by accident?  Well, that’s exactly what occurred last Friday evening, as my wife and I were driving home after going out to dinner.

As we were exiting the mall, I spotted a coned off section of the parking lot that appeared to be full of custom cars, classic Chevrolets and hot rods, all in close proximity to the Ruby’s diner (http://rubyscruise.com) located towards the west side of the mall. Since my wife had some shopping to do for her mom, she dropped me off so I could check out the cars, and would return when she was done. So off I headed into the middle of this unexpected, surprise (at least for me) car show. As I made my way through the aisles of the parking lot, checking out the diversity of cars in attendance, I realized that I recognized several of these cars from other cars shows. And just when I was wishing I had my camera with me, my wife drove up. By the time we arrived home, I had decided to grab my camera and head back to the car show before I lost the remaining daylight. Within 15 minutes, I was back at the mall, with camera in hand, ready to capture the cars gathered for the evenings event.

My first subject for the evening was this beautiful matte green, 1932 Ford 5 window coupe as seen below…

Matte green, 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_3/4 front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

One of the most unusual and obvious features on this car is the engine; in this case, the owner chose to install a 401 cubic inch Buick “nailhead” motor as seen below.

Matte green 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_401 c.i. Buick nailhead motor_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Matte green 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_front cowl & pinstripe detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012After walking around the car multiple times, shooting it from a variety of angles and focusing on specific details, the owner approached and we struck up a conversation.

I asked if he had shown this car down at Cars& Coffee in Irvine, since this was one of the cars that I recognized. It turned out that I was correct; the owner had shown this car only once at Cars&Coffee, back in March…

Matte green 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_left front wheel & motor shot_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Matte green 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_headlight housing & engine detail shot_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012His car looked just as good on this night as it had the first time I saw it. The build quality and detailing found throughout this car is spectacular…

Matte green 1932 Ford 5 window coupe_3/4 left rear shot_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Next up was this beautiful, plum-colored 1932 Ford sedan…

Plum colored 1932 Ford 4 door sedan_3/4 front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Plum colored 1932 Ford 4 door sedan_front grill detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Mounted up front ahead of the grill, and secured onto the period correct California license plate, was this vintage Olympic Games of Los Angeles, circa 1932 badge (as seen above and below)…

1932 Ford 4 door sedan_Olympic games of Los Angeles, Ca. 1932, commemorative grill badge_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

And located out back, applied onto the rear body work, was this design accent celebrating the artistry of pin stripping…

Plum colored 1932 Ford 4 door sedan_Pinstripe detail at back of car _Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Parked just up the row at the opposite end, was this black 1963 Lincoln Continental, as noted by its license plate.

Black 1963 custom Lincoln Continental _front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012The black paint on this car was flawless; every surface smooth as glass and acting like a mirror, reflecting all of its immediate surroundings.

Black 1963 custom Lincoln Continental _3/4 rear  view w/ reflections_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Black 1963 custom Lincoln Continental _hood emblem & reflections_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Located just across the row, was this stunning example of a true American classic; a flamed, chop top Merc. And what was even more amazing was that this car appeared to have been driven to the event, and not brought in by trailer.

Aqua Blue with magenta flames, chop top Mercury coupe_3/4 front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Every surface and detail on this car was flawless, and obviously a lot of time and effort had gone into the building of this custom show car.

Aqua Blue with magenta flames, chop top Mercury coupe_front grill detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

But even cooler was seeing that the owner actually drives this car, and had brought it to the show to share with others; a true celebration and tribute to the Southern California car culture.

Aqua Blue with magenta flames, chop top Mercury coupe_front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Parked several rows over behind the Merc, was this black on black, 1950s vintage Ford F-100 custom truck…

Black  1950's vintage Ford F-100 custom truck_3/4 side view and reflections_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012complete with a Ford Motorsport  / SVO V8 engine tucked in between the front fenders…

Black  1950's vintage Ford F-100 custom truck_engine detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

and once again, another black paint job that shone like a mirror…

Black  1950's vintage Ford F-100 custom truck_rear fender reflections and wheel detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012And parked over in front of the diner, amongst the other hod rods on display, was this raspberry colored coupe with polished aluminum velocity stacks rising skyward through its front hood…

Raspberry colored hot rod_ injection stacks thru hood and reflections_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Raspberry colored hot rod_ injection stacks thru hood, reflections & Ruby's diner neon sign_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012Back over across the lot, and half way up the nearest row, was this black vintage Pontiac coupe with red interior…

Black vintage Pontiac coupe_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

complete with rear trunk badging as seen below…

Black Plymouth Sedan_rear trunk badge_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Below are several of the classic Chevrolet sedans that were present; the first being this beautifully presented, pale green 1950 4 door Deluxe, parked next to the black Pontiac…

Pale green 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 4 door sedan_3/4 front view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

followed up by this spotless, late 1940s vintage blue 4 door, with period appropriate chrome front grill and accessories…

Blue 1940's Chevrolet 4 door sedan_front grill detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Another of the cars parked out in front of Ruby’s was one of the many 1960’s muscle cars in attendance; in this case a black, 1969 Camaro Z-28, showing off its spectacular paint finish…

Black 1969 Z-28 Camaro_with 1932 Ford hot rod reflections in front fender_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

As evidenced by the reflection above, parked immediately to the right of the Z-28, was this bright red hot rod; a 1932 Ford highboy roadster complete with flames…

Red 1932 Ford highboy roadster with flames_ 3/4 rear view_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

And its ultra clean engine compartment.

Red 1932 Ford highboy roadster with flames_engine compartment detail_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

Classic flames and stamped louvers…

Red 1932 Ford highboy roadster with flames_ flame detail  3/4 front view drivers side_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

complete down to the pinstriped accents…

1932 Ford highboy roadster with flames_ louvers and flame detail, drivers side_Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

As the sun set and the neon signs and architectural trim lit up, it was time for one last photo to capture the spirit of the event…

Red 1932 Ford highboy roadster with flames_twilight shot with neon sign _Ruby's Diner car show_ Whittier,California_August 3, 2012

So should you find yourself in Whittier on a Friday night (from May through October) with some time to burn, just look for the Ruby’s Diner in the Whittwood Towne Center, and you will be rewarded with a local car show that weekly celebrates some of the nicest hot rods, classics and muscle cars from throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

(All photos by the author)

The devil’s in the details…

How many times have you looked at a particular make or model of car without ever stopping to take notice of the many smaller, unique features or design details that collectively combine to define each car, and create sufficient visual interest to grab your attention?

Saturday, July 28th was one of those mornings where I suddenly found myself drawn to a study of these lesser details, rather than obsessing about shooting each car as a whole.

The following photos represent that mornings shift in visual perspective…

Roof detail - flying buttress_Red Ferrari 599GTO_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Ferrari 599GTO_ Black prancing horse logo on rear trunk _ Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Ferrari 599GTO_3/4 side view _ Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Front hood contours, stripe and ducting_Black Ferrari 599 GTO_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Black Ferrari 599 GTO_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012Fender & mirror detail_Red Enzo Ferrari_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Enzo Ferrari_3/4 rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Enzo Ferrari_front nose detail_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Rear end detail_badging & reflections_Black Porsche 991_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16 built_Front headlight & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16_badging&reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16 built_cockpit detail_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

White Porsche GT3RS_front fender graphics & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

White Porsche GT3RS_rear wing & shadows_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_Interior shot_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_rear view/license plate & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_side view_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Ivory 1960 Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_headlight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012 Ivory 1960 Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_rear trunk badging & reflections_Cars &Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Black Porsche GT3_ Rear end reflections & themed license plate_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Linen colored 1950's vintage Volkswagen_ rear  Split window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Linen colored 1950's vintage Volkswagen _opened rear deck lid, license plate & Split window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

And if you look closely, you will actually see that each vehicle is truly a sum of its parts…

(All photos by the author)