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Ladies Night at the June Prolong Twilight Cruise - June 4, 2008

Ladies Night at the June Prolong Twilight Cruise - June 4, 2008
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Ladies' Night at the June Prolong®
Twilight Cruise a Hit

Celebrity Female Judges Pick Their Favorite Rides
Text & Photos By Dick DeLoach and Bill Groak

One of the coolest street rod, hot rod and muscle car gatherings in Southern California is the Prolong® Twilight Cruise, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in the L.A. County Fairplex (Pomona, California). Held the first Wednesday of every month from April through December (except September), the Twilight Cruise is run by the Cal-Rods Car Club (www.calrods.com) and coordinated by Vic Cunnyngham, on behalf of the Museum, and they do a super job!

All 1970 and earlier rods, customs, classics, and muscle cars are invited to attend the free event in the Museum parking lot from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, and everyone in attendance may also visit the Museum at no charge. There was also a large 50/50 raffle with all proceeds generated going to support the Museum. Food and beverages are also available. The MC for the event was none other than “The Voice of SEMA,” Dave McClelland.

The June Cruise was “Ladies’ Night,” with six Budweiser celebrity female judges picking their favorite rides. They had their work cut out for them as more than 250 classic rods, muscle cars, collector cars and specialty vehicles that rolled in, despite overcast skies and a threat of rain. One couple (from the Vultures Antwerp) even came from Belgium to see the show.

Leave it to the ladies: Judges Linda Vaughn, “the first lady of motorsports,” and speed shop co-owner/model Melinda Miles didn’t know it, but they both wanted to pick the same cars—badly. Vaughn and Miles were vacillating between a slick ’40s Willys and a clean sea foam green ’40s Ford Sedan. In the end, Vaughn chose the Willys, owned by Lynn Park and Miles tabbed Jim Daleo’s Ford as winner.

In all, there were six female Budweiser judges for the evening. Drag racers Shelley Anderson and Mendy Fry were also on hand, along with Gloria Gibbs (wife of Museum board member Steve Gibbs) and Sarah Allen (late of Hard Shine Reality Show and currently in the NHRA tech department). The ladies had quite an assortment of cars from which to choose, including a rare 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2 +2 Series 2, owned by, of course, a woman: Linda Lockhart.

In the end the Ferrari didn’t win, but Chuck and Rosemary Ross' ’52 Chevy Bel Air did, courtesy of Fry’s choice. “The three two-barrel carbs had me,” Fry said. Anderson went with Marc Fields’ sweet 1960 Corvette. Gibbs said she loves ’57 Chevrolets and she picked a nice one: Dominic Brucato’s candy “burple”-colored ride. Allen chose Ron Cole’s ’40 Ford coupe as her favorite. All vehicles chosen by the Budweiser celebrity selectors also win the opportunity to parade down the Auto Club Pomona Raceway drag strip on Sunday morning during the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in November.

“Ladies’ Night is always fun and this one was great,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of the Parks Museum. “As always, some of the coolest cars in Southern California showed up at the Museum.”

The remaining Twilight Cruise Night schedule is: August 6, August 27 (replacing September’s cruise due to the L.A. County Fair), October 1, November 5 and the annual Charity Toy Drive on December 3. For more information, call (909) 622-2133 or visit www.nhramuseum.com/cruise.