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Hot Cars and Guitars — 2013

by Dave on October 3, 2013

Mike Dwight is a friend of ours from the Hollister area (Gary built a set of stainless metal-finished headers for Mike’s Roadster last winter). Mike has a long, colorful history as a custom painter in the area and his handiwork on hot rods, choppers, race cars and boats goes all the way back to the wild-eyed graphics of the 70’s.

Mike’s son Shane, a roots rockin’ guitar player and songwriter, is also a very talented guy. Based in Nashville, Shane has shared the stage with such artists as B.B. King, Los Lobos, Jimmie Vaughn, and the Marshall Tucker Band.

A couple of years back, Mike and Shane joined forces and launched Hot Cars & Guitars. Held each September at the rural San Benito County Fairgrounds southeast of San Juan Bautista, it’s an easy 100-mile roundtrip from Santa Cruz, most of it over scenic two-lane back roads.

The show is small, the venue is bitchen, the food is great, and the music rocks. This year Shane shared top billing with one of our shop favorites, Ray Wiley Hubbard.

I’m not much good at taking pictures from behind the wheel. I’m even worse when it comes to putting in words how good it feels behind that wheel, cruising over backroads with a bunch of friends – so I’m not even going to try. You’ll have to use your imagination.

It’s all grass and trees at the fairgrounds, and anchored by a large stadium we thought might be perfect for a little roadster racing.

A number of cars came from the Santa Cruz area including this trim little ’34 roadster. It belonged to Joe Esperanca. We lost Farmer Joe last January and the roadster was one of four of his cars on display at the event.

The day was kicked-back and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot to see. The Renteria Brothers pro-mod door slammer Valiant runs in the fives:

Rick Kimes’ Willys is a Seabright car:

A couple of Ken Gimelli’s Caddy convertibles:

Fuzzy dice; check. Bongo drums; check. Upholstered wheel wells; check.

Now, this I can actually relate to:

Back on the road, late afternoon, we stopped in San Juan Bautista for a little fortification before our blast back to the beach.


One Comment
  1. Jeff Perkins permalink

    Looks like a perfect California day spent in the proper way. Lots of envy emanating from here in the Midwest! Like that brown roadster (RPU?) in the lineup. It does look familiar?

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