The day began at 7:30am as the group assembled at my home for the short caravan to the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Participants included Jay Miller, Bob Bolling, Chuck Jakowski, Phil Caliva, Tim McNiff, and Dex Kaytis who all drove their Healeys. We were joined later at the base by Tom Spangler, sans his Sprite.
Some dew appeared on the windshields as we drove the few blocks to the event, but once assembled in the assigned parking spots the weather cleared and the temperature was in the low 70's. The group then headed to the vendor area to partake of the delicious pancake breakfast being served by the Kiwanis Service Club. Then we were off to tour all of the many offerings on display. Among these were the Air Forces Thunderbirds (The AF acrobatic demonstration group which had staged an airshow over the beach in the city of Huntington Beach]. WWII war birds from the Army, Navy and Marines were on display. Among these were a P51, T-6 Texan, Navy/Marine Corsair, and an F8F Bearcat. Helicopters of every kind, drones including the Predator also attracted viewers.
One of the biggest attraction was the display and flying demonstration provided by the model plane contingent. Some 35 to 40 of these 6’-8’ models of WWII aircraft were on display and then staged a reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the famous Midway air battles. Both turning points in US history. This demonstration was complete with dropping of actual explosive devices as well as an aerial dog fight between a US Army Air Force P-40 and the Japanese Zero. The workmanship and detail in these aircraft is amazing down to the fact that the owner/ builders have researched the actual pilots of these planes using squadron and serial numbers on the aircraft.
The “wheels” aspect of the show was approximately 300 vintage and collector cars. The seven Healeys on display again, as in the past, drew many interested viewers. Many with the comments we have all heard before; i.e. " I had one of those when I was in high school or college" or "My dad had one of those when I was a kid and we rode in those little seats in the back". Or most commonly, "What do those cost?” Car judging took place during the day with the Mayor, Base Commander and the President of the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce, who was the event sponsor , doing the judging. When the awards were given for cars, Ken Rocke was presented with the Sponsors trophy along with a 5 gallon pail of Mothers Car Products. As the awards were presented, the expected afternoon rain started, light at first but then more heavily. With the roar of six jet engines the Thunderbirds took off into the rain and the car show ended with those of us "topless” having some excitement and a speedy departure, while the BJ7/8 guys with their tops departed more sedately.
All in all it was a great event as the club members sat under a popup and solved most of the world’s problems and got to know each other a lot better. See you there next year. Drive safely! cheers.