Dozens of brightly painted classic cars rolled into Old Town for a special event aimed at raising funds for a good cause while simultaneously supporting local businesses.
The Mad Lil’s Car Show took place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 18 and car enthusiasts and curious visitors alike came to see a wide selection of cars.
Some of the vehicles were almost a century old whereas others were new as recently as the 70s and 80s. There were muscle cars, hot rods, customs, low riders and many other types of cars to be seen.
Some cars proudly bore spots of rust that showed their age while others were dolled up with bright metallic paint and a thick coat of wax, bringing people back to the time they were new.
The main center of the event was the parking lot between Mad Madeline’s Grill and Texas Lil’s, two area restaurants.
The car show was the result of a joint initiative between the businesses and Slow Lane Car Club. Together, they aimed to bring a car show to Old Town Temecula that was somewhat different than other shows to take place in the area, according to Slow Lane member Boxer Segura.
“The Rod Run that we have in Old Town Temecula is cool, but sometimes you need to get there the night before and there’s a lot of heavy traffic,” Segura said. “We wanted to do something milder; something on a lower level.”
Cory Montgomery, owner of Old Town Temecula Root Beer Company, said she liked the way the car show was set up because it brought many local residents to the area. She said the increase in locals appeared to be bolstering business for her and other merchants.
In March, Montgomery expressed concern over the city’s handling of the Rod Run. She said she wished there was better communication between city officials and merchants and that she would like to see the event extended through Sunday to attract more people.
But this event seemed just right for businesses, she said.
“It brings a lot of the local people in instead of the people who are from out of town who are just here for the car show,” she said. “And the local people will come in and shop the merchants.”
Sid Hamilton, owner of Mad Madeline’s grill, said many merchants were in favor of having a car show on a regular basis for just that reason, but wanted to do something that wouldn’t leave all parties worn out.
He said the ideal situation among the merchants would be to have a car show the second Sunday of every month, but for now they are starting off slow with the event and only doing it every once in a while.
The show on May 18 was the second to be put on by Mad Madeline’s, Texas Lil’s and Slow Lane Car Club but many classic car drivers were apparently getting word of it.
Approximately 80 cars strolled into Old Town at the top of the morning and that number increased to approximately 120 cars by midday, Hamilton said.
Many car owners were excited to share their cars and the stories behind them. One of those individuals was Denny McCoy, who aptly named his 1929 Ford Model “A” Roadster Convertible Pickup, “The Real McCoy.”
The car was elaborately decorated with faux fish and fishing poles and was marked by a rustic paint effect McCoy created in his garage by sanding away parts of the black paint that had been put over the car’s original deep red in the 70s.
McCoy said he found the car rotting away under a painter’s tarp in a storage yard in Rainbow and decided to fix it up; he bought it for $7,000, rebuilt the car’s original four cylinder motor, and got it running.
McCoy’s fish car was just one of many to be seen and hundreds of local residents stopped to look at the various cars throughout the course of the day.
The proceeds generated from raffles and some of the vendors at the event went to benefit Single Mothers United in Rewarding Fellowship (SMURF), a Murrieta Church of Christ Program that provides single mothers with resources and events.
Hamilton said he was happy with how Sunday’s event went and said he’s looking forward to doing it again in the future.
“We like doing this, and we’re looking forward to do this again,” he said. “Hopefully everyone’s on board.”