Tuesday, September 14, 2010

La Mirada, La Habra, El Camino?

The 35th Annual El Camino Antique Motorcycle Show is this coming Saturday. In some ways that statement isn't true. I don't know how many regular attendees know it, but it wasn't always at El Camino College in Torrance.

I first heard about the show in the Feb. '83 issue of Supercycle magazine (first one I bought), when they did a feature on the '82 show. It seems they usually had the show in La Mirada in those days. The first one I went to was in '84, but was held close by in La Habra. The following year it was again in La Mirada. La Habra, La Mirada... whats the difference?

They used to make some pretty cool posters each year. This one from 82 was printed in the Feb. '83 Supercycle. Check the credits for technical assistance. I have a couple of nice posters from some later years.

Any way, it moved to El Camino in 1986 and has pretty much been there ever since. One year it didn't happen as there wasn't a promoter to pick it up (I don't know the politics or how or if the So. Ca. Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America works with the promoters these days). It also, sort of got rained out one year (2007).

I do know that Glen Bator kept it going for quite awhile. At one time he was putting on the Del Mar show too, which was some years, only a week apart.

I forgot that '84 was my first year until I dug out this old shirt. Notice it was a two day event. The show bikes were invited to a ride. I only have a few other year's shirts. Most year's designs weren't to my liking.

In those days, it was like Antique M/C Season here in So Cal. Sometimes El Camino was on Saturday, and Sunday was the Long Beach Swap Meet. Other times they were a week apart. Some years all three events were in a week's span.

Two years ago Glen announced at the show, he's moving on and not doing it anymore and the show was going to die if someone didn't step in. It was strange as it had the largest attendance ever. It didn't seem right, everyone was in disbelief and disappointed.

When the current promoter (Classic Cycle Events), took over last year, he stated he's keeping the traditional date in Sept. but up until a few years back it was always on the first Saturday in Oct. Then it crept up to the last Saturday in Sept. Now it's in the middle of the month. So much for tradition.

The old shows were quite different for better or worse. The better, it was a free event held in a shopping center's parking lot and more like a field event with riding games/contests. The worse, the bikes were roped off from spectators. It was still that style of show the first few years at El Camino where they also first began charging admission ($3.00), in '86.

I've never missed a year yet, and don't intend to miss this one.