A chance meeting leads to wicked vehicles and new friends

By Joseph Lucero


Car shows are so much fun!


Thankfully, they’re held around these parts every weekend during the car-show season, which runs from the first part of April through September—when the weather is nice in sunny California.

I attended a car show last Saturday in Yucaipa (which is an hour west off Interstate 10, give or take 15 minutes, depending where you are in the Coachella Valley). The show takes place on the first Friday of every month through September.

I didn’t plan on attending a show last weekend, but as luck would have it, I was admiring a ’55 Chevy that cruised by my tattoo shop, and I flagged down the driver to see if he would be interested in joining us for a photo shoot scheduled for the next day. The driver immediately said he’d do it, and invited me to go with him to the show—which he was heading to when I flagged him down. How cool is that?

The show was at the Ross shopping center on Yucaipa Boulevard. Shortly after I arrived, I met Smiley, who—true to his nickname—was always smiling. He introduced me to members of his Early Riders club—what a great bunch of guys.

There were so many beautiful cars there, in just about every style and variety you could imagine: hot rods, classics, low riders, sleds, muscle cars, rat rods and everything in between. Local car clubs host the event, and I take my hat off to them. There were close to 200 cars there, as well as a few bikes; contests for spectators were held throughout the day. What a well-organized and pleasurable show to attend.

I ended up getting another beautiful local car for our shoot: Owner Richard Calves has a beautiful and rare 1960 Buick LeSabre. Less than 200 of them are registered in the United States today.

It was great to get out to the show, and to make new friends who share the same passions. Everyone wants to talk about their cars, cars that they are building, cars from the past, and cars they will never own, but nonetheless admire.

After I’d walked through the show, Robert Fouty, one of the artists in my tattoo shop, showed up—and I was more than happy to walk through the show again. It was a great time with great people—and some wicked cars.

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