AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – A TRADITION
I’ve heard about this show for years, and being in the Bay Area, I’m just an hour from Modesto. Add to that the fact that I am a dyed-in-the-wool “American Graffiti”-fan (the movie, I mean), there is absolutely no excuse for me taking this long to finally attend. In it’s 16th year now, and sponsored by the North Modesto Kiwanis Club, this is one heckuva show! Hundreds of cars of all types, makes, models, and years up to 1979, and in all conditions. Some were show cars, some were projects. Why Modesto, you ask? Because Modesto is the Central Valley town where film maker George Lucas grew up, and American Graffiti was sort of his story, or at least the story of the times when he grew up and graduated in 1962. So, this show pays homage to the movie, the town that inspired it, and the culture that created it, and still lives on today, bigger and better than ever! I owned some property off of Paradise Road in Modesto, the legendary spot where the drag race took place at the end of the movie. Of course, none of it took place in Modesto, because the movie was shot in Sebastopol CA, 100 miles to the northwest. But, that’s another story…
BELOW: Cars, cars and more cars. Some were arranged in groups, possibly model- or brand-specific car clubs, and some were sprinkled around at random. All were a joy to look at.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – WE LIKE OUR CHEVYS
ABOVE: Two ’56 Chevys at the end of this row, along with some other very nice iron.
BELOW: The Impala Club showed up in force, taking an entire row to display their full-sized beauties of nearly every year.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – LOTS TO DO
ABOVE: The crowds were everywhere, but everyone was in a good mood and having fun.
BELOW: There was a great band playing all day long.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – LOTS TO SEE
ABOVE: Even Elvis made an appearance.
BELOW: There were tons of cool vendors and lots of great stuff to eat & drink (no alcohol).
ABOVE: You saw lots of groups of friendly folks with their lawn chairs out by their cars, eating, sipping, talking and laughing. The show is in a great setting, by the way. Most of it was under the shade of a grove of trees at the Modesto Junior College West Campus, off Highway 99 and Carpenter Road. Shade makes taking pictures tricky, but sure cools things down.
BELOW: The local T-bird club was also well represented.
LET’S SEE SOME CARS ALREADY!
ABOVE: The Kiwanis even had a “Classic Car Show Tour” if you got tired of walking.
BELOW: So, let’s take a look at just a few of the gorgeous cars that were at this show. Below is a stunning, well-optioned ’61 Impala Convertible.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – LOTSA NICE CARS
ABOVE: A sweet ’68 Chevelle SS396.
BELOW: A very original ’66 Chevy El Camino.
ABOVE: Proud owner poses with his mildly customized ’67 El Camino.
BELOW: Check out this jaw-dropping ’70 Chevelle SS Convertible. They don’t get much nicer than this.
ABOVE: This luscious ’60 Corvette was one of the first cars I saw when I walked into the show. It was sitting off by itself.
BELOW: Where else are you going to see a Rat Rod next to a Pantera? Only at the American Graffiti Festival.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI FESTIVAL 2014 – DON’T MISS THE NEXT ONE!
This was also a judged show with trophies awarded. However, unlike most shows, this is ‘non-competitive judging’, designed to keep the show fun, educational and constructive for the most people possible. I’d say they succeeded. This is not only a fantastic car show, it benefits several local charities. Part of the show includes a classic car cruise, and a downtown parade as well. Admission to the show is just $7 and kids under 12 are free. The show runs Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00 and Sunday from 9:00 to 3:00. For more information about future events, call 888-746-9763 or email them at [email protected].