The variety of different cars we see each and every Saturday morning in Monarch Bay is fantastic. However, one thing even better than these gorgeous and interesting classics are the people who drive them. We have such a great time each Saturday, that you could easily say we’ve grown into becoming a family… a family of car enthusiasts. So enjoy the photos I’ve collected over the last couple of months and have a terrific weekend!
Happy New Year!
As the fog cleared and the sun rose, the first car pulled out and headed for Pacific Coast Highway in the 11th Annual Tour d’ Orange on Wednesday morning. Sure, most of us have driven PCH or even a canyon road or two, but not with over 400 other gear heads. With what is typically a quiet little side street in Costa Mesa on the other 364 days of the year, Fischer Ave. was lined with everything from super cars to classic American cars. So, as you enjoy the photos and video, make note to attend next years Tour d’ Orange.
To view a short slide show, Click Here
It’s been one whole year and SEMA opened it’s doors once again to reveal the latest and greatest in the automotive industry. As expected, the show proved to be both entertaining and overwhelming. Some of the top builders across the nation displayed the most amazingly detailed cars and trucks for spectators to drool over. These master pieces created quite a spectacle as they sat on plush carpeting and glimmered under the fluorescent lighting. So enjoy the photos and have a great weekend!
If you’re a car junky, then the place to be Saturday was at the 14th Annual Cruise For A Cure car show at the OC Fairgrounds. Noted as the biggest one day car show around, it definitely lived up to the hype. The primary focus of this show is to bring awareness to prostate cancer and provide testing to participants and spectators. Over 1100 men were tested Saturday and it’s typically 10 – 13% of those men who will receive a letter from the days event recommending that they see their doctor for further testing. This my friends is the first and most important step in battling this type of cancer. Prostate cancer is treatable and highly curable when detected early, so don’t procrastinate.
With just over 3,000 cars piled onto the fairgrounds property, the show was a huge success. All of Saturday’s proceeds are directed to The City of Hope and the latest count reached $60,000. I think that’s pretty impressive and I want to say thank you to all the people who pull together and make this show a success each and every year! I know I’ll be back next year!
With that said, enjoy just some of the many cool rides I had a chance to photograph.
Assortment…… I think that’s a fair way to describe the Monarch gathering lately. We’ve been seeing a wide variety of American classics rolling in recently. The cool part is that most of them continue to come back. I think this is what has contributed to the larger than usual crowd we’ve been seeing on Saturdays. Well, I think it’s a wonderful thing, so don’t hesitate to tell you car buddies about us. We have plenty of room….
2nd Street, Long Beach
Talk about a cool car show…. Belmont Shores Car Show has always proven to be a great event. With 2nd street in Long Beach closed off, the street is lined with bitchin cars and trucks from one end to the other. The boys and I just had to go this year and we brought home some photos of our favorites. Enjoy!
Butt Crack of Dawn
While our group at Monarch gathers each Saturday for coffee, there’s another family of gear heads just north of us known as the Donut Derelicts. Yep, that’s right…. they gather in the parking lot of Adams Donuts in Huntington Beach. These guys are a little more hard core as they roll out of bed quite a bit earlier than the rest of us. If you’re thinking about paying them a visit, you’re going to have to arrive around 6 am. Like us, there’s a plethora of hot rods, customs and american classics to check out. We thought it would be cool to roll up there one recent Saturday and I was able to snap some shots of their gathering. Enjoy!
August 10, 2003 – August 10, 2013
Well, I think it’s safe to call Monarch Bay our home after 10 years of building friendships each and every Saturday morning. What started as a small group of hotrodders who decided to begin meeting for coffee at a local Starbucks Coffee Shop has become one of Southern California’s coolest weekend morning cruises.
Many thanks to Starbucks and Monarch Plaza for their support over the years. Of course, thank you to everyone who attends each Saturday.
So with the long 4th of July weekend, I had a chance to cruise up to Tustin and check out the Million Dollar Breakfast Cruise. This morning cruise attracts a lot of very cool cars and trucks. It’s always nice to see a variety of different classics. They also present a very nice etched-glass trophy to three deserving rides. I know…. because they gave me one. Imagine that! Thanks guys! Oh…. can’t forget the popular 50/50 raffle too. The pot last week was a grand sum of $1550. So if you have a free upcoming Sunday morning, go check it out. It happens the first and last Sunday of each month from 7am – 11am at the 55fwy and 17th street.
In the event you heard about Jay wrecking his ’30 Model A, I just wanted to let everyone know that Jay is okay and not injured. As for the Model A, well that’s a different story. Jay was performing a test drive at about 45 mph to trouble shoot a recurring vibration when he lost control and hit both a curb and a light pole after the right rear axle came out. While Jay’s son “Little Jack” loved that hotrod, we’re just thankful that he wasn’t in the car at the time of the accident.
That was the vibe last night at the Monarch Sunset Cruise at Chelas. We had the chance to mingle in the lot and shoot photos of Arlene and Melody with the guests. Then the party really got started as we passed out eight different raffle prizes consisting of wax and polish thanks to the gents at Sanctioned Automotive Car Care Products, two $50 off vouchers for either chrome plating, polishing or powder coating from the generous guys at Terry’s Wheels and Chrome. Then of course, three lucky winners received Chelas gift cards from Art and Karla. All and all, it was the perfect evening to hang out and visit with some good friends.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and of course to the guests who brought their rides out. We’ll be back next Wednesday night.
With over 3,000 vehicles and three days of continues fun, I look forward to this event every year. The best part…. cruising your ride up and down the center row. One can walk the halls and see some gorgeous hot rods, customs and classics. However, the real party is outside where I enjoyed watching hundreds of cool rides cruising up and down the center row.
The party continued for three days as herds of people strolled the fairgrounds admiring one ride after another. When we needed a break from all the bling, we stepped over to the autocrossing event. This is an event in and of itself.
I was able to capture some of the fun, so enjoy the photos.
Have a great week!
The Monarch Sunset Cruise’s kick off party was a huge success. We began the evening with Arlene and Melody entertaining the crowd with free event t-shirts, swag and photos. We then had a chance to kick tires and share stories as one car rolled in after another. Then the party moved indoors to have dinner at one of the best mexican restaurants around. The place was packed and it brought a huge smile to my face as I looked around to see all of my friends laughing and having a good time.
I want to thank everyone who made it out. It isn’t a cruise without you guys! If you missed out on the fun, please join us every wednesday from 5 – 8 as we gather for rides & chelas (beer).
Have a great weekend!
We’ve lost another good friend and cofounder of the Monarch Bay Saturday morning cruise last week. Dave fought the fight with lung cancer for a year and passed away March 27th at 2 a.m. at his home in Laguna Beach, CA. You will be missed greatly Dave.
Monarch Bay Motor Club’s other cofounder, Johnny, has this to say about our friend Dave.
To describe Dave Gibbs is to attempt to illustrate my vision of what a true artist that creates beautiful canvases for all to enjoy strives for throughout their life.
Dave’s canvas was indeed life itself. His artwork was his intricate/detailed framework of lives he touched. I am fortunate to have been one of those whom Dave had an important role in reforming in the short span of time I knew him.
Goog’s as Dave was known to family and close friends was a renaissance man of sorts. He constantly reinvented himself. Nowhere was this more evident than in the collector car hobby. To say Goog’s was ahead of the curve on what was hot and cutting edge is an understatement. I personally relied on him to give me direction when making important decisions on what and when to buy my next collector car.” Cool Factor” is the trademark term used to describe his talent.
Dave was one of the cofounders of the Crystal Cove Saturday Morning collector car gathering and when that grew to large he helped establish the Monarch Bay Motor Club. “Church for Gearheads”. You might call him the Collector Car Senior Pastor of sorts.
One of Dave’s most poignant statements I remember of late is “We’re all circling the drain. Some of us are just closer than others”. He would say this jokingly. Well I for one hope to see him on the other side of the drain.
Keep Motoring Dave,
A memorial service will be held for Dave on Thursday, April 18 from 1 – 4 at Baby Beach in the Dana Point Harbor. All friends and family welcome.
Dave and his wife Carolyn
Just another laid-back saturday morning with the crew
From deep-glossy paint to rat rods, you’ll be sure to see something cool in Monarch Bay on Saturday mornings.
Have a great week.
To New Friendships
Besides all of these beautiful classics, we have one of the greatest group of car guys and gals around. If we continue to grow, we’re going to need name tags. I have met so many new people at the Monarch Bay morning cruise. I can’t think of a better way to start my weekend.
Have a great week!
It seems as though more and more premier hot rod builders are being recognized these days. All of us know that there are a plethora of top-notch shops across the globe that are creating award winning show cars. With that said, let me introduce you to one by the name of “Squeeg’s Kustoms” in Chandler, Arizona. Enjoy the video.
Mother nature was generous enough to give us a sunny, 70 degree weekend. With that, we gathered once again to socialize and laugh with our friends. Life is good…
Have a great week.
Dan “Yard Dogg” Tavarez
As most everyone knows by now, we lost a great friend on December 24th to a tragic accident. Dan Tavarez was a fixture at the Saturday morning Monarch Bay cruise as well as most of the local car shows. Arrangements have been made in honor of Dan.
Dan’s Celebration of Life has been set for Sunday, January 20th at noon. A brunch will be served at Hapa J’s in San Clemente. Parking accommodations have been arranged for anyone bringing their classic ride. There will be a reserved parking lot across the street for the classics.
Dan’s request for his send off was to have everyone wearing a Hawaiian shirt. So, no suits necessary.
Please drop an email to Diane Tavarez in the event you will be attending.
Diane’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to share something funny I read from one of the Saturday morning attendees. In a recent email, one of many of Dan’s friends wrote the following…..
A funny “Dan anecdote”. One Saturday morning in November about two years ago Dan called me as I was just getting up about 6.
Dan: “Hey I am at Starbucks…Where is everybody? Is there another car show going on this
Chris: “Ummm….It’s 6 am, you forgot to reset your clock back after daylight savings time….
We’ll be there in an hour!”
Reading this brought a huge smile to my face, as I hope it will yours too. We will miss you Yard Dogg.
2016 South El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672
(click for map)
Tour D’ Orange 2013
Staging of the Cars
Starts in Costa Mesa, travels through Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Trabuco Canyon, Santiago Canyon and ends up at the In-N-Out Burger in The District (Jamboree & Barranca, Irvine).
Tour D’ Orange Meetpoint:
Where: Corner of Fischer Ave & Red Hill Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (map)
Arrival: 7:30 am
Take-off: 9:00 am SHARP
See you there!
You Will Be Missed Yard Dogg…..
It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that we have lost a great friend. Dan Tavarez aka Yard Dogg passed away Monday, December 24th. Danny was struck by a Pacific Surfliner train around 4:20 p.m. near Camino Capistrano and El Camino Real. According to family members and witnesses, it appears as though it was a complete accident.
Link to full story
You will be missed buddy, you will be greatly missed….
To all of his friends and family:
Our thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.
Trip to the Candy Store
From muscle cars to customs, the excitement surrounding the auction block was amazing. As expected, the cars in the halls looked like glimmering pieces of jewelry as the lights shined down on one beautiful car after another. There was a plethora of corvettes, camaros, chevelles and mustangs under one roof that were ready to change ownership in less time than it took to order a burger from the snack bar. Either way, I had a great time and brought home a few photos of my favorites.
SEMA to me is one of the baddest automotive events on the west coast. The Las Vegas Convention Center transforms into a colossal playground for the automotive enthusiast. Aside from the latest innovations and technologies that make SEMA so unique, there’s an overwhelming display of the coolest rides on the planet. One cannot describe in detail just how spectacular and mind blowing the custom car show scene really is at SEMA. So I brought home a gallery and a tidbit of what one would experience if given the opportunity to attend in the future. I highly recommend it! So buckle up and cast your peepers on these beauties.
More Eye Candy From Monarch Bay Morning Cruise
We were treated to two new examples of automotive art this past Saturday. I think you would agree that the automotive hobby is a form of art. So that is exactly how I explain my deep passion for cars to most of my non-car enthusiast friends. I describe Saturday morning’s cruise as a rolling art museum with new pieces of art appearing all the time. Thank you to the newcomers and we hope to see you again.
The Chelas “Best of Show” award could not have gone to a better person. Jim is a regular attendee and a super great guy. Oh… and to top things off, he has a bitchin Mustang GT500 that is impeccably detailed beyond anyone’s imagination. Congratulations Jim…. and thank you for being a loyal supporter of our cruise.
The Monarch Sunset Cruise has ended for this year. However, we’ll begin working on a future cruise at this location with even bigger and better entertainment and prizes.
Thanks to all who attended and made this cruise possible.
Chelas Mexican Grill & Monarch Bay Motor Club
Old and New Friends
I said it before, I’ll say it again. We’re constantly making new friends at the Saturday morning Monarch Bay cruise. Check out some of the first timers and their classics along with some of the regular rides. Life is good! Have a great week.
Perfect Way To Finish Off That Restoration
For an extra $50, California car enthusiasts will soon be able to order vintage license plates, including the black plates with yellow lettering issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the 1960s, thanks to action taken by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Among the hundreds of bills signed by the governor last week, AB 1658 is aimed at Californians who restore and drive vintage automobiles, as well as residents who are just nostalgic for the good old days.
Other plates to be offered after Jan. 1 include those used in the 1950s, with a yellow background and black lettering, and those issued in the 1980s, with a blue background and yellow lettering.
The DMV will only produce one of the designs once 7,500 applications have been received for that design statewide. The cost of producing the plates would be covered by the money raised if the minimum number of each of the three designs is sold. State officials hope additional plates are ordered to bring in money above the cost. Excess funds beyond those needed by the DMV to run the program would go toward environmental programs.
“AB 1658 will enable the backyard auto restorer, the nostalgic, or the owner of a brand-new retro-styled automobile to choose a license plate that best matches the look of their car while making a little money for the state too,” said Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), who introduced the bill.
Information sited from California State website – click here to read
Seems as though each Saturday, there’s a few new rides that sneak in. Well, we welcome that. So thank you to those who recently heard of our morning gatherings. We enjoy seeing new stuff.
Most of us have seen customs that are mind blowing and are usually only seen in annual-indoor autoramas with ropes and mirrors. Well, that’s exactly what we were treated with last Saturday at the Monarch Bay Cruise as the talented gentlemen from Chopit Kustoms brought two fine examples of automotive craftsmanship. The first radical ride started life as a 1955 Ford that has been transformed into the world’s largest bubble top car. The creation named “Beatnik” is owned by Barry Weiss from the popular show “Storage Wars”. The second radical ride is a 1932 Ford Pickup that is wicked cool from every angle.
To Chopit Kustoms,
Gentlemen, thank you for surprising us with your rolling artwork. We look forward to seeing you again.
The Perfect Saturday
Things couldn’t have been better in Monarch Bay last Saturday morning as we celebrated our ninth year. The early morning sun spotlighted some of Southern California’s classics as we gathered to share stories once again. Life is good…..
It happened again. Yep, we were greeted with plenty of first time participants at the Monarch Sunset Cruise last night. We made a lot of new friends and one in particular is Jim Tavasci from San Juan Capistrano. Jim heard about our cruise night and decided to bring his super sharp 1967 Chevy El Camino. Art and Karla Vasquez from Chelas Mexican Grill had their work cut out for them as they walked the lot searching for that deserving classic. And guess what….. Jim was presented with a beer stein trophy and a $50 Chelas gift card. Thank you to Jim and all the others that came.
Mid-Summer Extravaganza at Chelas
Reminder that the Monarch Sunset Cruise is taking place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. Our next cruise is scheduled for the 15th of August and we’re turning it up a notch with additional entertainment. It will be the mid-summer extravaganza. You’ll be greeted with the Corona girls and appetizers, music by a DJ playing Oldies music as well as prizes. Of course we’ll have the trophy to give away as well. So bring your appetite, your camera and oh yea, your classic car.
So mark your calendar and bring a friend or two. It’s guaranteed to be a good time. You don’t want to miss this one. August 15th…… see you at Chelas!
Jim’s Flamed ’56 Wagon
Deep glossy paint finishes are common on most of the rides we see down at Monarch Bay on Saturday mornings. However, the real challenge for some of these builders is choosing a color combination like no other. Well, Jim Cooper nailed it my friends. With the perfect shade of blue flames outlined in green over a silver base is just captivating. Jim’s wagon isn’t just for show either. It’s all business under the hood with a Chevy 496 cu in motor. Jim is a regular down here, so make sure to take a peek at this masterpiece next time you’re hanging out at the morning cruise. Have a great week.