Eric Lemus/Courier Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod & Classic Car Show in Pasadena.
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There was a lot beneath the hood of the 12th Annual “Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod & Classic Car Show” and Police and Fire Open House in South Pasadena on a hot, 100-degree Sunday afternoon Sunday.

Nearly 200 vintage and specialty cars lined the city’s main thoroughfare, Mission Street. Five blocks, from Fair Oaks to Meridian, were closed to traffic for the event, which took place from 10 a.m.until 4 p.m.

Hundreds of car enthusiasts, families and other pedestrians strolled down the middle of the street to admire the unique vehicles. All were parked along the curb, nose out.

During the show, awards were presented to car owners. The Mayor’s Award went to a blue and white 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

“It was a hard decision,” Mayor Diana Mahmud said from the event stage, “because there were so many beautiful cars . . . many that I pined for as a teenager. You can tell I’m a boomer.”

“In the end,” she said, “I went with my heart. I picked this car because it was the first vehicle my parents owned.”

Owner Victor Lucchesi of Alhambra, who has participated every year in the show, accepted the award. He purchased the classic car after it was spotted by his son at a Pomona swap meet.

Almost 40 awards were presented by show organizers in 18 vehicle classes dating from pre-1939 to 2016. PCC played an important role in judging the entries.

Six PCC automotive technology students and engineering and technology professor Jason Norris served as judges for the awards. The students were Michael Brown, Macy Compton, Clayton Leavell, Daniel Navarro, Atwill Tam, and Kevin Tran.

“Judging involved going from car to car and rating the different classes, speaking with the owners and asking about the history of the cars,” Tran said. Judges evaluated the cars according to multiple factors, he said.

“We looked at the cosmetics, the paint, whether there was rust, the wheels, the tires, and the engine bay,” Tran said. Although he is not a collector like those in the show, he said he “has a love for and interest in cars.”

Professor Norris won the Class 18 award for his 2016 Mustang. The category was “Special for 2016, modified,” according to the show flyer.

“The Mustang is a 2016 ‘premium’ with a performance-pack option and Recaro seats,” Norris said. “It has its paint stripes, not vinyl tape strips.” This was a main reason he won, the automotive engine instructor said.

The car show is titled “Cruz’n for Roses” because all vehicle entry fees, sponsorship donations and other revenue from the show help fund the city’s New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses float. South Pasadena’s entry is the oldest self-built float in the parade, and it is created and constructed by an all-volunteer committee. Many were volunteering at the car show.

The car show nets about $20,000 toward float costs of between $80,000 to $100,000, said long-time Tournament of Roses Committee Chair Ted Shaw, according to the Sept. 15 “South Pasadena Review.”

While the car show was taking place on the street, hundreds of families filled the large fire truck garage and adjacent parking lots for a Police and Fire Departments’ Open House.

Approximately 50 vendors offered engaging and educational activities.These ranged from hockey provided by the LA Kings to a hands-on fire extinguisher demonstration to a puppet show on safety sponsored by the American Red Cross. There were long lines for tours of the fire station.

One activity was “The Force Option Simulator.”

“This is an interactive video simulation,” said Detective Richard Lee in an email, “that puts you into the shoes of an officer. During a scenario, you must decide to shoot or not to shoot.”

One of the city council members tried it and liked it, Lee said.

Attendees saw a helicopter landing on the second story of an open parking lot. Promoters of “Queen of Katwe,” a movie to be released Sept. 23, provided a chess instructor from the Pasadena Chess Club. Pets were available to be adopted from the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.   

 

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