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Rev your Engines at Oldies and Goodies Classic Car Show
September, 2006 - Issue #23
Feel free to look under the hoods, be dazzled by the chrome, or talk to the owners, but don't even think of kicking any tires at the 11th Annual Oldies and Goodies Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show scheduled for September 9 at Saugus Speedway.

Some 500 car owners from all over the Western United States will fill the infield track with their two and four-wheeled artwork. And most of them will have spent more time detailing their cars' tires for the event than you've spent washing or cleaning your ride in the last month. So do all the looking you want, just don't do any touching - with your hands or feet.

With all the hardware on display, it's hard to resist the urge. The retired racetrack will come alive underneath its stadium lights, highlighting the horsepower, grace and style of almost every automobile era. "You are talking everything," says Speedway General Manager Terri Burbank when asked what show-goers can expect to see. "Classic GM models, your Ford Mustang, hot rods, street rods, outrageous customs."

With cash prizes and awards in more than 40 categories at stake, the show has earned itself a reputation in the super-charged world of car shows. "There's good money on the line," Burbank says. Classic Car of the Year nets $1,000, Truck of the Year scores $750 and Motorcycle of the Year lands $500, "in addition to the biggest trophies you've ever seen. Motorcycles have had to come back and pick up their trophies," she adds.

For many winners, the Saugus show is a springboard to more acclaim. "If you win a class at our show, or win Car or Classic Truck of the Year, most of them have gone on to win other more prestigious awards," Burbank says, with others snagging feature spreads in car magazines.

The show is not just a chance for former street racers and gear heads to revisit their youth. Indeed, the owners of some entries are driving cars that first rolled out of showrooms when their grandparents were just getting behind the wheel. "Everything retro has been in for the last 10 years," says Burbank, who has noticed a lot of young people adopting styles that came and went long before they were born.

Get Your Motor Running

What: 11th Annual Oldies and Goodies Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show
Where: Saugus Speedway, 22500 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, 91350
When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, September 9
How Much: Adults, $10; kids under 12, $3
Why: $1 from every paid admission goes directly to Santa Clarita Special Olympics
Parking: Free at the Speedway or the adjacent Metrolink Station
Show Entry: Pre-registration (open until August 28) is $25 and includes a goody bag, t-shirt and commemorative dash plaque; same-day entries will also be accepted.
More Information: 259-3886 or www.saugusspeedway.com
And you don't need to know a dipstick from a differential to enjoy the show. "Families come out by the droves," she says, and there is something for everyone. More than 100 vendors will be on hand, with lots of fresh barbecued food available. Inflatable bouncers will occupy those whose vehicles are pedal-powered, giant video screens will display highlights from previous shows and Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries will provide the evening's soundtrack with hits from the '50s and '60s.

If that's not enough to get you there, the Speedway has teamed up with Special Olympics to give you one more really good reason to go: $1 from every ticket sold goes directly to Santa Clarita Valley Special Olympics. "They've partnered with us and over [the past 10] years have raised over $100,000," says Chris Clark, general director of the local Special Olympics program.

The money buys uniforms, sports equipment, transportation, and event supplies for 500 athletes in 17 sports ranging from bocce to basketball, as well as skiing, tennis, floor hockey and track and field. Each sport has at least 12 practices and 3 competitions in a given season.

After starting just nine years ago with a $500 budget and a basketball team, "we've turned into a major organization," Clark says. And with another 2,500 potential athletes living in the area, "we're not even close to meeting our potential," he adds. This year's budget is $400,000, so the partnership with the car show is an integral part of the group's efforts to keep athletes on the field.

But it's important in other ways, too. Funding is critical to their success, but they also need volunteers and coaches. The group will have a booth at the show staffed by 20 athletes and 40 volunteers who will be more than happy to explain to show-goers how the organization could use their help. They've even recruited new athletes at the show, Clark says, adding that anyone who has a type of intellectual disability like autism, Down syndrome or retardation is qualified to participate.

"It's a good opportunity for the community to get involved with Special Olympics," Clark says of the show, which he described as "definitely the best car show in town."

Come September 9, load up your Little Deuce SUV, grab Barbara Ann, or the Little Old Lady from Pasadena, and head out on the highway to see for yourself. Just make sure you keep your hands off the wheels and your feet off the whitewalls.
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