The answer is YES! To all of those who are questioning whether or not we continue to meet at the Starbucks in the Monarch Bay Plaza next to CVS, yes, we do. If you haven’t been down in a while or didn’t know about us, I encourage you to drop by.
Please, please, please be considerate of the neighbors though. Idle into the lot and if your vehicle is louder than normal, consider looping around the back way.
Have a great week and hope to see you at Monarch!
Great read…. but only if you like a good barn find story.
Click Here for full story
Our good friends Eric and Roy are known for their ingenuity and “one of a kind” Studebaker creations. Well, these good gentlemen invited us down to their compound for some breakfast and a chance to mingle with other Hotrodders. Thanks again guys…. for opening your doors and allowing us to hang out.
The collector car hobby is huge in Scottsdale and that couldn’t have been more evident by what we saw at the Rock & Roll Car Show at a local shopping center. The weather emulates our So.Cal weather and with that… it brings out some really cool American iron. Here’s just a peek of what we saw.
If you’re a fan of the Barrett Jackson Auctions, then you already know the name Ron Pratte. For those who don’t, well, he’s an American businessman who founded the Pratte Development Company, Inc. Ron became a well known face at the Barrett Jackson auctions around 2003 when he began his collection. He was notorious for bidding on the best of the best cars and not backing down until the hammer dropped. As a result, Ron quickly assembled one of the most eclectic collections of American automobiles and memorabilia.
Fast forward to January 2015 when the Barrett Jackson Auction House announces the news that the entire private collection of Ron Pratte will be auctioned-off in Scottsdale, AZ. That’s all we needed to hear to know that this would be a historic moment to see some of the rarest American automobiles cross the block once again.
For news and photos of his collection, go to Barrett-Jackson.com
While Ron’s collection was impressive, I captured photos of some equally stunning cars. Enjoy!
It was another wild experience at the O.C. Fairgrounds this weekend as we met up with over 3,000 other gear heads to join in on the fun at the 15th Annual Cruisin’ For A Cure charity car show. Definitely put this one on your calendar for next year…
Have a great week!
11 Years of Building Friendships
The weekend couldn’t have started any better as we gathered to celebrate 11 years of sharing stories, telling lies, kicking tires and sipping coffee at Starbucks in Monarch Bay. I truly enjoy these moments and thanks to our good friend Herb, we have captured some of them to share with all of you. I’m proud to be a part of this great group of people and I’m looking forward to another 11 years!
Have a great week!
Not sure if it’s the warmer weather or what… but we are seeing more and more of the coolest hot rods on Saturday mornings. It’s great to know there are still some true craftsmen out there building these bad ass machines.
While in town for the Scottsdale – Barrett Jackson auction, we were able to take in some eye candy at the “Rock ‘n Roll McDonalds” car show. It took nearly two hours to walk the show and the weather was absolutely perfect. This 1958 Pontiac Bonneville was absolutely breathtaking. Then, if one wasn’t enough, there happened to be two of them. Needless to say, the copper one was by far my favorite. Enjoy the photos.
Barrett Jackson – Scottsdale was absolutely phenomenal. It was everything I imagined and more. If anyone has ever said it would be impossible to find more than one collectable corvette, camaro or mustang with nearly identical specs in the same building – they are simply wrong. If one could pick any color combination and drivetrain manufactured from GM or Ford, then it would have happened the weekend of the Scottsdale auctions.
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: email@example.com
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.