BERNARDINO, Calif. -- More
than 1,700 classic cars, hot rods and custom cars were expected
to participate in the 23rd Annual Route 66 Rendezvous. However,
the actual number of cars was closer to 1,600, according to event
organizers. This year's attendance figures came in at less than
400,000, a drop of about 50,000 from 2011. Temperatures were pushing
the 100's for all three days of the festival. The Rendezvous took
place over four days on the streets of downtown San Bernardino
from Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 16.
were many possible reasons for the slight decline in attendance
and participants: the city's bankruptcy, the high temperatures
and even the possibility of attendees being at another big event
across town, the IndyCar championships in Fontana, Calif.
try to make it here every year," said Martin Willis, a festival
goer from Redlands, Calif. "I just got here so hopefully
we'll have a good turnout and be lots of people here. Classic
cars--that's what brings me out. I like a whole lot of cars. There's
usually a guy that comes out with a nice '65 Riviera that I like.
There's also a couple of really old Cadillacs and Lincolns, low
riders like this Chevy pickup truck. I'm not set on one make or
model, I like them all, everything. I bought some shirts. I come
out and get some shirts every year. I have a '67 Mustang fastback
and a '70 El Camino. I'm not one for bringing my cars out and
having people walk around them and stuff. They're just for driving.
They usually have a good band here every year."
awards were given out in the following categories: burnout, neon
lights, open header and model car. Rick Rodriguez of Riverside,
Calif. won the neon light contest in the Old Skool category with
his '49 Deluxe Oldsmobile. Meanwhile, Hegel Quezada won the neon
light contest in the LED category with his '65 Chevelle Malibu
had the car for about 35 years," said Wayne Winters, a car
owner from Yucca Valley, Calif. "I made this conversion back
in the early '80s. It's been the same ever since. It was a Plymouth
Valiant two-door custom hardtop that I turned into a pickup truck
now. It's got a Chrysler 360 cubic engine with a four-barrel carburetor.
It's got a faux or imitation fuel injection system. I really don't
have a clue to the top horsepower. I've been coming here every
year for about 13 years. We were here last year, but not with
the car. It's kind of getting where I only drive it to car shows,
four or five times a year."
Buhl of Boulder City, Nevada won the open header contest in the
best sounding category with his '70 Nova. David Wishaw won the
open header contest in the highest decibel category. Chris Nohfer
from Valencia, Calif. won the burnout contest his with '69 Mustang.
is our first time here, we came out from Orange County,"
said Meredith Kirby of Orange, Calif. "It's pretty cool,
we're looking forward to the neon lights show. I like the Mustangs
and all of the classic stuff from the '50s especially like T-birds
and Chevys. I'm liking the '60s and '70s cars too. We've watched
a little bit of Jonny Come Lately. We're looking forward to the
kid rockabilly band. There was some sausage they were giving out.
It was pretty good. I just wish it would cool down a bit, it feels
like it's going to."
Kristof Nadasdi, added: "We like the bands too and all of
the cars, it's awesome. My favorite car is right here, this Notchback.
I'm a VW guy and I just love the Notchbacks. We had the barbecue
sausage but haven't checked out all of the food yet. There's a
lot of great food. We're just getting started. There is still
a lot to see."
the city of San Bernardino has declared bankruptcy, Rendezvous
organizers have been asking for donations to keep the annual event
in the city. To become a "Friend of Rendezvous" and
make a donation, visit www.route-66.org.
never really raced it so I don't know the top horsepower,"
said Robert McBay, owner of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. "I
don't really take it on the freeway. The gearation is set up for
in town from light to light. It's quicker in town. I put in bucket
seats instead of the bench seat. People often think it was a factory
option. It looks like it matches the car after I installed them.
There's been quite a few things done to it and a little things
too. Before you know it, you have a car that's complete, you're
happy. Even if you don't drive it all of the time, it's in the
garage and you can look at it. I've been to the Rendezvous for
eight, maybe nine years."
Come Lately performed on Friday at 6 p.m. In addition, Mad Max
and The Wild Ones entertained audiences at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
Other performers throughout the weekend included Wild Child, Neil
Morrow, Ashley's Midnite Riders, Cold Duck and the Restless Blues
is my first time here on Route 66," said Tyler Bennett, who
recently moved from Georgia to Loma Linda, Calif. "They've
got some sweet cars, better than east coast. I like the Chevrolets,
the Bel Airs. I hear there's a Doors tribute band tomorrow and
I love The Doors. Hopefully, I can check them out. I haven't had
anything to eat yet. If I had to choose a car to drive, I'd like
to drive a rat rod or a Mazda RX-7. I hope everyone has fun."
supermarket chain Stater Bros. was the title sponsor of the entire
Route 66 Rendezvous. They also sponsored the family fun zone,
which featured carnival rides and much more.
a 1929 Ford Roadster," said Susan Flores, a car owner from
Highland, Calif. "It's what I call a chick magnet car. It
has a ZZ4 engine, which is like a 350 engine with a 7-inch rearend.
It's a fast, little toy. We have a lot of fun with it. We tore
it down and rebuilt it. It was stock when we first got the car.
We turned around and took out the handles and the rumbles and
we took out the sidesteps on the running board. We just souped
it up and made it a hot rod. I couldn't tell you what the top
speed is, but it goes fast and its quick. We've been here since
1992 every year. I'll be going to the Loma Linda Veteran's Car
Show in October."
(99.9) radio personality and "Voice of the Rendezvous"
Vic Slick was awarded with the 2012 Cruisin' Hall of Fame Lifetime