Our Laguna: Classic car show impresses again

October 11, 2012|By Barbara Diamond
  • Rod Hatter presents the Best in Show award to Denny Grundy at the Classic Car Show on Sunday.
Rod Hatter presents the Best in Show award to Denny Grundy… (Coastline Pilot )

Some vehicles are in a class of their own.

Laguna Beach Rotary Club's ninth annual Classic Car Show on Sunday at the Festival of Arts Grounds and the Village Entrance parking lot featured 188 classics in 30 classes — ranging from antiques to hot rods.

The overall winner was a 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible, owned by Denny and Pat Grundy.

The Mayor's Award went to a blue 1954 Chrysler.

"It was Carolina blue," said Mayor Jane Egly, who grew up in the South.

Fawn Memories owner and show judge George Nelson's Woodie took first place in its class, which he could not judge. The People's Choice Award went to a 1931 Cadillac 370-A V-12 Sports Coupe, one of only four in the world, owned by Lagunan Steve Mucillo.

Other local entries included Richard Plavetich's 1953 Ford Facel Comète, Euopean Optical founder Udo Stoeckmann's 1967 maroon and silver MKE Jaguar, Helmut Reiss' 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE, Corky Fontana's 1964 Porsche 356C Cabriolet, John Zraick's E-Type Jaguar, Tim and Patti Tunnell's 1953 XK 120, Rick Shoemaker's Austin-Healey Roadster, Bob and Chris Cuevas' 1961 Bentley — and what would a local car show be without an entry from former school board member El Hathaway.


Hathaway has participated in all nine Rotary classic car shows. This year he entered a 1958 XK 150.

"I am down to two cars," Hathaway said. "The other is a lavender XK 120. There are only 17 in that color."

Bonnie Changstrom bought her 1955 Bentley SI with a Hooper body in 1966 in London and shipped it home.

She drives it up and down Nyes Place, but the Rotary car show is the only one in which she participates.

Fun for car lovers and raising funds for the club's local charities drives the show.

The event kicked off with the inaugural Classic Car Coastal Cruise on Saturday, with 49 vehicles parading from Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel, south to San Clemente and north along Coast Highway to Costa Mesa.

"It was designed to promote the show and those owners [who] love to show off their vehicles," said Harry Bithell, event chair, otherwise known as the Big Kahuna.

It may not take a whole village to put on the show, but a substantial number of folks volunteer their service — about 60 this year.

Steve Dotorotos was up at 4 a.m. making coffee, which he delivered to the site at 5:30 a.m. By the time the show opened at 9:30 a.m., he was napping at home.

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