The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival brought nostalgia,
entertainment and showmanship of some of the most luxurious classic cars and hot rods in North Orange County over the weekend.
Spread over eight acres of grassy lawn cars were parked side by side to be admired by attendees, while owners proudly answered questions and shared stories of how they came to acquire such beauties.
Saturday was the “Hot Rods” event, which featured sports cars and muscle cars. Sunday was the Concours D’ Elegance event that featured classic cars, and luxury vehicles.
“I’ve been coming to this car show for 15 years. It’s great, its a lot of fun, and it’s such a different mix of cars. It’s a higher class group of cars and people than the average show you see around town,” attendee Chuck Ray said.
Owners of vehicles were mostly older folk who stressed the importance of appreciating the qualities of vintage motors and the history behind them.
“I love the nostalgia, Everything is vintage. You don’t see this anymore. Hopefully the new generation will come and appreciate this and keep it going. You notice you see a lot of elderly here, but if we get more kids coming here and more inspiration
this is going to go on forever,” attendee Maria Bernell said.
A bright pink 1968 AMC AMX stood out among the crowd. Owner Mark Melvin shared his story about how the 1968 Playboy Playmate of the Year won the car as her grand prize. It was even featured in Jay Leno’s Garage show last April after Melvin bought from her and restored it.
On both days, judges gave out awards for several categories, including Best Paint, Most Elegant, Best of Show, Best Interior, Best Flames, High School Memories, Best Custom and Best Engine.
At the end of the show on Sunday, the grand prize, the Muckenthaler Award, went to Deanna Roth, for her green 1952 Maverick Sportster. This car is the first of only seven ever built and show-goers had the rare opportunity to see the unique car at the event.
The hot rods and elegant cars were judged separately.
“We have different judges who know all about these older vehicles, they know what to look for. The gentleman go out and critique them
and decide who is going to win,” chairperson Tom McDonnell said.
Mcdonnell also described what it was like to put the show together.
“We have some good committee members, really good volunteers, and a lot of hard work that goes into the show, along with 6-7 months of planning,” McDonnell added.
He explained how they gather different sponsors, like car dealerships, who donate money, and how they work together to coordinate all the different vendors they have on site.
Food, drinks and merchandise for spectators were available for purchase. Bootleggers Brewery was there, and the Muck also had a live band for entertainment.
“This is my first year being chairman. Overall, I think the show was fantastic, We generated a lot of income for the center, and that’s what its all about,” McDonnell said.
All the proceeds from the event went to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center to support various art programs for kids.