Vintage Car Cruise 2021—A rumble from the past

Classic cars haven’t graced the Old Town area since the 2019 Car Show. Last week, the inaugural Vintage Car Cruise brought them back. (By the way, the Car Show is scheduled to return Oct. 9. Registration at the Chamber website is scheduled to reopen on Aug. 1.) Photo by Andrew Ficke

Inaugural event expected to become annual offering from Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce

On Saturday, April 24, the streets of Seal Beach were filled with sights and sounds from days gone by.

Nearly 200 painstakingly maintained vintage cars and trucks cruised the streets of The Hill and Old Town, thrilling spectators with their throaty roars and flashy paint jobs. Leading the pack was Seal Beach realtor Wyatt Hill in his 1962 Plymouth Valiant Signet 200, chosen as a symbol of the valiant perseverance of our local businesses over the past year.

The cruise featured nearly 200 vintage cars from 1980 or earlier. Seal Beach residents and spectators watched, socially distanced, from their yards, balconies, green belts, parks and businesses along the 3-1/2 mile route, manned by volunteers of the Seal Beach Lions Club, led by Nikki Muller.

The event was entirely volunteer run by members of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Seal Beach Lions Club and other members of the community.

“I am very pleased with the event and deeply touched by all of the community support around it. It was fun to see people out socially distanced, watching from their yards, front porches and on the greenbelts,” said Tim Way, chair of the Car Cruise.

“So many participants mentioned how great it was to cruise past everyone waving and cheering them on. It made them feel like they were in a parade,” Way said.

Trophies were awarded in eight classes, as follows:

1. Best Truck was a 1950 Studebaker pickup, owned by Brian Bateman and sponsored by Ferguson Realty.

2. Best Convertible was a 1967 Pontiac Convertible Grand Prix, owned by Richard Scandaliato and sponsored by G & M Oil.

3. Best Coupe/Sedan was a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle, owned by Jimmy Mercurio and sponsored by OPGI.

4. Most Unique was a 1936 Great Racer BeerSter, owned by Milt Thomas and sponsored by Republic Services.

5. Best Car for Mom was a 1961 Nash Metropolitan, owned by Patrick Halbert and sponsored by the Seal Beach Lions.

6. Best Car for Dad was a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, owned by Don Kammerer and sponsored by Baytown Realty.

7. Best Paint Color was a 1963 Chevrolet Nova, owned by Robert Raices and sponsored by 16th Street Garage.

8. Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce Choice was a 1932 Ford Roadster, owned by Randy Palmer and sponsored by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The first seven classes were judged by spectators who cast their votes online.

It is not yet known how much money the Chamber made from the Car Cruise, as the final reconciliation was not complete as of editorial deadline.

The inaugural Vintage Car Cruise—which organizers anticipate will become an annual tradition—is an official event of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and could not be produced without the support of the following event partners: the City of Seal Beach, the Seal Beach Lion’s Club, Boeing, Seal Beach and generous event sponsors, G & M Oil, Republic Services, Baytown Realty, 16th Street Garage, the Sun Newspapers, Original Parts Group, and Ferguson Realty.