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Ladies Night At the NHRA Museum
June 2005
Story By Bill Groak
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Lady Rodders Rule at Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum during June Cruise Night

POMONA, Calif. (June 2, 2005) – You knew it was Ladies’ Night during Twilight Cruise Night at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum when the hot rods showed up wearing mascara!

Sure enough, the third Cruise Night of the 2005 season had a distinct feminine hot rodder touch to it. For example, Olive Moore’s 1926 Model T had long lashes and mascara on the headlights and Brittany Lustig’s ’70 Mustang included a mounted flamed heart with “heartbreaker” written on. Yes, ladies certainly ruled the Fairplex in Pomona for the evening. Cruise Night has become a highly popular event at the Parks Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, and the cars and people poured in for this one. All told there were approximately 1,000 people and almost 400 cool classics, rods and muscle cars.

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“I like everything fast,” said Lustig, 17, who also has a ’70 Mercury XR-7 to go along with her blue Mustang. “I’m not done with the Mustang. I’m waiting for my new rims to come in.”

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Moore’s ’26 Model T (the one with the mascara), drew a lot of looks. Her husband Art built the car, but she drives in hill-climbing races. “It’s a lot of fun. I like the old-fashion hill climbing races…and I win almost every time.”

 “Guys aren’t the only ones who like hot rods,” said Sam Jackson, executive director of the Parks Museum. “Ladies’ Night gives women the chance to show off their rides. And like the guys, they are proud of their cars and love hot rodding.”
He’s not foolin’. The women who displayed their colorful creations were quite serious about the sport…and their cars.

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Sheri Watson, who works for the Parks Museum, stressed on choosing between her top choices. Finally she tabbed Lee and Susan Lucero’s ’51 Merc. “It’s just a beautiful car,” Watson said. “I like the color and it’s done very nicely.”

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A real eye-opener was the ’38 Lincoln Zephyr Marie O’Dell pulled up in. Owned by her and husband Roger, it always had a crowd around it. “I just love old cars,” O’Dell said. Her favorite, though, is her own personal ride, a candy green ’60 Caddy with pearl white scallops.

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Checking out O’Dell’s Zephyr was 13-year-old Caitlin Walker, daughter of National Dragster Managing Editor Vicky Walker, who was one of the guest judges for the evening. “I like the back of the car,” said young Caitlin. Her mom, however, picked a way-different car as her winning choice: a color-shift-painted ’55 Chevy Bel Air owned by Charlie Tachdjian of Laverne, Calif. “I like the detail – the shaved door handles, custom brace under the hood and the off-white interior with accents,” Walker said. “And the color really grabbed me!”

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Rani Riedel, 32, brought her 1924 Model T, which she got from her dad Ted about a year and a half ago. “We both like cars. He gave me this when he got his ’39 Ford Roadster.”

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Color was the key for the last two judges, Louise McClelland and Joe Martinez. Louise, wife of legendary NHRA announcer Dave McClelland, went for the green, tabbing Richard Swatsley’s green-trimmed ’31 Essex Super-Six. “Green is my favorite color,” McClelland said, “and I just like this car. It doesn’t look like someone just dreamed it up last week.”

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Besides have a winning entry, Lucero, from Chino, Calif., was also a guest judge. She picked a ’37 black Wild Rod Cabriolet owned by Doug Morris of Lakewood, Calif. “I like the clean lines – it’s very smooth to me,” Lucero said. “It really stood out over everything here tonight…except my car.”

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Martinez on the other hand, saw red – literally. Martinez, who along with Gary Moline give out “The Look” award each Cruise Night (and a $50 donation to the Museum from J.R. Martinez Design and Power Puzzles), picked Kevin Penna’s custom-red ’68 Camaro. “I own a red ’69,” Martinez said. “This is straight and tasteful, and it’s a real driver.”

Scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month – from April through December – Cruise Nights transform the popular motorsports museum in Pomona, Calif., into hot rod heaven as cool pre-1970 rods, customs, classics and muscle cars fill two parking lots.

Next Twilight Cruise is set for Wed., July 6th. Cruise Nights, which run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are hosted by the Cal Rods car club, include raffles, prizes and a huge 50/50 drawing. Admission to the Twilight Cruise is free, and all who attend receive free admission to the Parks Museum as well. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Dates for the rest of the season’s Twilight Cruise Nights are: July 6, Aug. 3, a special Aug. 31 date, replacing September’s cruise due to the dates of the L.A. County Fair, Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and the annual Toy Drive on Dec. 7. For more information, call 909/622-2133 or visit http://museum.nhra.com

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.

The Parks Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST, with extended hours during NHRA national events. Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non-members is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Parks Museum is also available for private parties, meetings, corporate events, weddings and special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit museum.nhra.com.

 

 

 

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