The Santa Clarita Elks Lodge transported attendees back into their past, reflecting on their moments in growing up, at its ninth annual car and motorcycle show on Saturday.
David Hernandez, an Elks Lodge member, and Mike Barnes, his friend and attendee, were seen exchanging looks over a baby blue 1955 Chevy Bel Air.
They peeked their heads in, smiling as they pointed to the bench seats. They talked about riding in this exact car and cars like it back in the day. The two laughed as they explained they would never have worn seatbelts and instead would tuck them away.
“If you wore one you were called a sissy,” said Barnes.
Barnes defined himself as a car aficionado. He loves old cars, but what he loves more is the memories that come with them.
Barnes grew up in the 1950s in Kansas City. He spent his nights driving up and down the streets alongside hot rods.
“Cruising, that’s what they used to do,” said Barnes. “That’s what you did on Friday, Saturday nights.”
Hernandez said he felt the same way as Barnes. He looked around and said that he grew up with these cars. The cars were the first ones he drove as a teenager getting his license.
“It was the first thing you did as a teenager to have your freedom,” said Hernandez. “The open road, you can take off with your friends and be back by whenever 10 o’clock, midnight. Coming back here, it takes you back to those days and you say, ‘Oh, I had my first girlfriend sitting next to me and it was sort of neat, you can just put your arm around them (referring to the bench style seating).’”
Hernandez added that, as a kid, he would stand up on the little bump in the middle of the back seats’ floor and lay his hands on the top of the front seats, peeking out to the open road and moving his head side to side to watch his parents.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air was just one of 61 cars lined up on Saturday.
Attendees could walk down the lines of cars and motorcycles to see a 1969 Ford XL, 1932 Ford three-window coupe, 2014 Jaguar F-type S-model, 1971 Chevy El Camino, 1956 Ford F-100 and a 2019 Harley Davidson Road Glide.
Karen Arellano, the first woman president of Road Kings, said the turnout of registered participants was especially strong.
“We actually had, I can honestly say this is unusual, everybody that preregistered for the show, showed up, which is fantastic,” said Arellano.
The Elks Lodge worked in collaboration with Road Kings to make the event as filled as possible.
A chili cook-off, boutique, raffle, live performances by the band CATCH 22 and a variety of food and drinks took place adjacent to the car show.
“They (the Elks Lodge) have a nice facility to get food, things for people to do,” said Arellano. “When you go to this car show, you don’t just have to sit there and wait while other people look, but they have people coming in, walking around. It’s got things to do for everybody, so if a husband is into the cars and the wife isn’t, everybody can do something.”
The proceeds of the car show go to benefit local charities.