Known as the hub for car enthusiasts in Southern California, notable car shows in Long Beach happen annually. From Los Angeles, the port city is just 25 miles south and a mecca for hot rods in particular. Listed below are shows that will interest aficionados and those without specialized knowledge.
1. Belmont Shore Car Show. Cost: Free
The premier Long Beach Car show is the Belmont Shore. Held annually, it draws upwards of 40,000 people. On display is over 300 vehicles. Organized by Bay City Rodders, it's held annually on the Sunday after Labor Day weekend. View it all. From low riders, limited editions, muscle cars and more. It runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. 5200 East Second Street. Parking is available at the Ocean Ave beach lots or Marine Stadium at 5255 E Paoli Way.
2. Offset Kings. Cost: tickets start at $40 Fatlace puts on a meet where owners can showcase their rides and be judged. An awards ceremony follows. Past meets have coincided with formula Drift in LB. Cars are modern with some in the upper echelon.
Formula Drift is the precursor to the annual Toyota Gran Prix started in 1977. Parking: $10. 300 E. Ocean Blvd.
3. Japanese Classic Car Show. Cost: $10 online or $12 day of show. Founded by a group of car enthusiasts, it celebrates Japanese car heritage with over 400 vintage cars. Although the focus is on classics from the past, sponsors like Nissan show limited edition new cars. Typically happens late sept.
This year' event is on September 24. Parking is $18.00. $15.00 with restaurant validation: up to 3 hours from time of entry. Tel: (562) 472-4562. Take place at Harry Bridges Memorial Park.
4. Thunder Thursday Cost: Free. Get yourself perpendicular and over to Pine and Broadway in downtown LB. This is the kick off to Grand Prix Weekend in April each year. Motocross professionals perform gravity defying and freestyle stunts. Watch the IndyCar pit crew competition. Check out the classic car show or race cars on exhibit. Time: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Long Beach Car History And Culture
Los Angeles played a major role in the formation and acceleration of automotive history. Second to Detroit, the impact was seen not just in production but culturally. In the 1920s, the oil industry gave public transport the back seat by funding roads and highways such as the Arroyo Seco. Motorsport would flourish later with several racetracks.
The car culture of Long Beach is a long and storied dating back to the 1940s. Car clubs sprung from this particularly in the early 1950s. Hot rod historian Brian Darwas went back generations in his Documentary "This is Long Beach". See the resources section for more info.
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