Monday’s Early Times

The sounds of the morning Owls awoke me prior to the alarm clock and I was glad that I had not overslept, as this morning, we were headed to the Early Times Mid-Winter Rod Run to the Pechanga Casino. I always look forward to this event which has been held for the past 45 years by this very active club. The moon was still shining when we headed down the 405 toward Long Beach. We were running smoothly, dreaming about the days events when we suddenly hit a bump that sent us airborne for a few feet. I thought the front end was going to come off the car and Pepe had lost a few of his components. We slowed down and all seemed normal again. We will remember that bump the next time. (noted in my iPhone) Soon we were parked with several other participants in front of Richard’s Hot Rod Shop. Richard’s had a lot of nice projects for us to look at and I spent some time looking around his very neat and tidy shop. He builds my style of car. Soon we were lined up headed to Wheelers in Huntington Beach for a tour of this very well know speed shop. I think we had around 65 cars in our group so it was quite a sight as we rolled up the 405. (no bumps north bound) I had noticed a new sound coming from the right rear but a quick inspection by our crew couldn’t detect any problem. Our next stop was 60 miles up the road so I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be stranded. Wheelers had several nice projects going and again a very well organized shop. One particular car caught my eye. It was a 29 roadster with an Aston Martin V-12 engine. Another beauty was a 33 phaeton painted a Washington Blue and featured a fully dressed flathead engine. Time passed quickly and we soon were headed for our journey to Lake Elsinore for a tour of a private personal collection of cars.

We arrived without incident and were greeted by our gracious host who showed us around his vast collection of several brands of cars. Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers and many others. I fell in love with a black pickup and a over the top 55 Chevy post. We were invited to come back for a special event he was having but we had to move on to the Drag Race Museum and the Pechanga Casino. The Drag Race Museum was at a private residence and was surprisingly one of the largest collection of drag racing memorabilia and cars I have seen other than the NHRA Museum in Pomona. We literally spent about an hour looking at several rooms full of just plain cool stuff.  The weather was getting hot and it was time to finish our run to Pechanga about 30 miles down the road. We thanked our host and headed south to our final destination. When we arrived at the Casino, we were directed to our reserved parking near the entrance. (Thank you Early Times) The lot was filled with some car enthusiasts who drove over from Palm Springs to join the event. We quickly looked over the new cars and then it was off to the beautiful Pechanga Casino for some lunch and bench racing. We didn’t gamble but it was tempting as I wanted to win the new Corvette being given away next week.

We headed back to the cars and began saying our goodbyes and offering gratitude to our Early Time hosts for proving us with the opportunity to enjoy the day doing what we love to do best….drive our hot rods. Thanks to the entire club for a great day on the road. We would also like to thank you for selecting Pepe and Walt’s 3 window for your special awards. We are both grateful.

Enjoy your week driving you hot rod and watch out for the dips in the road.

Stay Tooned!


Richards Hot Rods

I arrived early and parked behind this primo 34 sedan. Greg has owned this on e for a long time. Gary, you would like this one.

My wife was hanging out with the boys talking cars while I was getting the trip directions. Early fog was a little chilly but it soon warmed up.

The Early Times members have held on to their cars for a long time. I can recall this 29 from years ago and it still is in fine shape.

Richards had some nice cars in for some of his handiwork. This Vicky hiboy looked good in two tone Silver and Gray.

It has been a long time since I have seen this one on the street. In the days…these were being built like Deuce roadsters are today.

I was following Walt who actually stopped for these lights on Beach Blvd. Note the little taillights under the car.

 Wheelers Speed Shop

The poker run guys/gals picked up their next card at Wheelers. The FI Chevy motor caught my attention. The shop was also full of projects.

A rare 33 phaeton was in for some work and was a first class ride with a dressed flat motor plus excellent Washington Blue paint.

The engine was very nicely detailed and appeared to be fresh.

A couple of customs were under construction from the ground up. The Chevy had a Cadillac engine and the 51 Mercury promises to be a winner when completed.

The Aston Martin engine fills up the little 29 roadsters engine compartment.

You know I liked this one. SO-CAL chassis and very nice body plus all fenders stored inside. I don’t know the owner but the sedan is off to a good start.

We discussed Pepe’s rear noise problem and decided to go for it and headed east to Lake Elsinore. Walt’s coupe is my old 3 window from the 70’s. I still haven’t had a ride in the car but soon I hope.

Rightway Collection

Jane love this black on black 55 post with lots of details.

The engine compartment was spotless and note the air cleaner which indicates the engine size. Cool!

An early truck was also fully detailed and black, black, black.

The ladies were admiring the nicely decorated tables for the event being held later in the day. We were invited back for lunch but elected to head out to the Pechanga Casino.

Wally’s old Chevy was in the collection and looked as fresh as it always did. A TRJ feature car a few years back.

Just a sample of the rows and rows of cars in his collection. Each one has a history and is special.

Randy’s Drag Race Museum

Just one of many rooms filled to the top with funny cars, dragsters and memorabilia from the past and present. What a site!

Racing suits over the years have evolved just a fast as the cars have. He had some from past to present along with signatures of the drivers. Copies of the checks the racers won was really clever. The purses have grown over the years.

Pechanga Casino

A group of fellow car enthusiasts drove over from Palm Springs to join in the fun at the Pechanga Casino.

The ladies are deciding if they need to bring “Their” money into the Casino. Of course you do!

Our crew was looking good sitting in the reserved space at the Pechanga Casino parking lot. Flames are in this year. The first four cars have flames and Dave just purchased his Nomad but we have him thinking. Richard flamed his clone of the famous Hollingsworth 57 Nomad and it looked fantastic.

The End

Nose to nose these two nicely finished 40’s were the final staging station for the event at the Casino. My wife wanted the pickup for herself. Pepe would approve.

Thanks again to the Early Times for their hospitality and planning this wonderful day for all of us. See you next year.

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