It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the last Ventura Nationals. This show is always incredible, it’s the perfect mix of great cars and great people, and this year was no different. This year I headed down to Ventura with my Mother-in-law to vend for the weekend, leaving home, school, and the girl of my dreams in the rear view for a few days. Being away from my wife is always really tough; the entire drive there I was dreading the impending loneliness of being without her. We pulled into our motel without incident at about midnight, Ventura was tightly wrapped in a blanket of beach fog, but you could still feel the errant energy in the air, as if the entire town was electric with anticipation.
I slept little, restless alone and without any idea what the morning would hold. It’s ironic I suppose, I hate gambling, and would never throw down any amount of cash at a card table, but in Vending we take a pretty big risk every weekend.
We headed out early to the fairgrounds to wait in line. When I saw Coby’s van waiting in the car line, I started to get a good feeling about this show. Surfers were piling out of cars at the beach in total darkness as we finally rolled into the fairgrounds.
We set up quick, and I waited for things to settle down before I made a quick run through the show. It was freezing cold, overcast, and windy, but still the fairgrounds were packed with a collection of cars well worth the drive.
This car deserves all the attention it’s been getting on the web and then some. The quality of finish and attention to detail made me think it was from Japan, but I was happy to hear it was from California. Whether it was consciously influenced by recent Japanese builds or just another case for Jung’s collective unconscious, it warms my heart to see cars here taken to a level most commonly seen from Japan. Anyways:
Every time I look at these photos I find another detail that I love, from the really creative body seam fades to the engraved trim, I just can’t get enough:
Check out the trunk; genius:
No shortage of interesting builds at the Ventura Fairgrounds:
Interesting use of Econoline headlight trim:
A newer club, the Tangiers, had a pretty impressive showing, I dig the plaque:
I had a great time walking around and talking with a bunch of great people, and at the end of the day we wrapped the booth and headed out. I stopped by the Motel 6 to spend a little time poolside and had a blast. I know it’s been said a million times, but this club and the friends that are around the club are some of the greatest people in the world. I walked into the parking lot and instantly felt like I was at home with family. As much fun as it is seeing cars at the show, it’s even greater to get to know the people behind them, it really feels like a community. It doesn’t seem to be a geographic anomaly either; people come from all over the world to Ventura, and after a few minutes of bullshitting you feel like you’ve know each other for years.
Exhausted from the long day and early morning I headed back to the hotel. I spoke with my wife on the phone for nearly an hour about everything and nothing. I feel sorry for people who have to spend time apart, even the most amazing car show or gathering still doesn’t fill the void in your heart from not being able to see your one and only.
I watched TV until I passed out from exhaustion and slept a dreamless night. Closed captioning was provided by Sizzler, which I assumed was long out of business.
The next day was a little strange. The previous day’s weather seemed to have taken a great toll on attendance, but that gave me more time to really appreciate the subtleties that made the cars there so incredible and unique. Ironically, the weather was much nicer on Sunday, allowing for better pictures.
A novel use of 59 Caddy taillights:
Less cars means there’s more time to appreciate what does show up, I love the upholstered top:
Sweet DIY grille on this Cadillac:
The Buggy; incredible.
Before you knew it, the show was over, the merch was back in the truck, and we were back on 101-N. I was home before midnight, back in my wife’s arms and asleep in my own bed.
I had an amazing weekend, it was great making new friendships and reinforcing old ones. I can’t even attempt to thank everyone personally for their kindness and generosity because the list is so overwhelming. I can’t wait until next year.
Thanks for reading.