Tiki-fied 1959 El Camino at Burbank Car Classic

Life is Beachin'

We moved to Burbank a year ago and since then we’ve enjoyed getting to know our little slice of suburbia. On July 27, the city hosted the 2nd annual Downtown Burbank Car Classic, featuring 200 hot rods and other restored automobiles from the days when cars really had style.

Wide Shot

I missed the event as I was out of the country (more on that in a future post), but our friend Saima sent me these photos of this red-hot beauty that had been tricked out tiki-style. Thanks to Wikipedia, I figured out it’s a 1959 Chevrolet El Camino, the original model that was only produced for one year.

Behind the Seat

In addition to the colorful tikis under the hood, there’s more inside along with bamboo and lauhala matting detailing and a tin tiki sign. And check out those tiki door lock knobs!


There’s also a tiki impaled on the antenna, though I just might like the In-N-Out cup above it even more. (I’m guessing it was intentional and not the result of careless littering.)

Related Posts:
Vintage Airstream Trailers from Palm Springs Modernism Week
Mission Tiki Drive-In Movie Theatre in Montclair, CA
Old Town Orange – Classic Cars, Soda Shops & Tikis

Modernism Week – Vintage Airstream Trailer Tours

IMG_7181The closing weekend of Palm Springs Modernism Week featured two days of vintage airstream tours. Dozens of people hauled their restored travel trailers here for us to line up to take a peek inside at their handiwork.

IMG_7144The Decoliner looked like it landed here from another planet. (It was Oregon, actually.) Randy Grubb builds amazing custom cars — Jay Leno bought one — and he made this beauty in 20 months with the front cab of a 1950 COE, 455 Oldsmobile engine, and 1973 GMC motor home chassis.

IMG_7146The inside of it was just as groovy. Those little windows are part of the stairs that lead up to the flying bride. That’s right, you can drive it from the top.

IMG_7153Each trailer had its own unique style. One of my favorites was this 18-foot-long 1964 Airstream Bambi Two, probably because it reminds me of an Anthropologie store. The design was inspired by the Sierra Foothills and the modular furniture was made from salvaged local wood.

IMG_7162Owner Kristiana Spaulding rents out the trailer for commercial shoots and special events, plus she designs jewelry featuring (what else?) trailers. We also saw other airstream enthusiasts turning their passion into businesses by selling themed magnets and t-shirts.

IMG_7205It’s so easy to admire these shiny symbols of the open road (with a few of the comforts of home). RV connoisseurs would have been excited to see this rare (so I’ve read) 1965 Dethleffs Beduin, but I was more thrilled with what I spotted inside.

IMG_7199There was a retro tableau set up in the dining area, complete with ceramic tikis. They looked great with the tropical plant print on the seats.

IMG_7224The Palm Springs High School band program had set up a bake sale and there were also vendors like Vintage Roadside and a dude that made these neat neon signs (and whose business card I’ve unfortunately misplaced). Airstream Life magazine had organized this event for the past three years, but this was the last time they’ll be directly involved. I’m hoping next year will be just as memorable. (Oh yes, we’ll be back.)

Old Town Orange – Classic Cars, Soda Shops & Tikis

Whenever I’m in Old Town Orange, I feel like I’ve stepped into the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It has an old-fashioned small-town feel that you would never think you’d find in Southern California. Disneyland and its reproduction of an idealized Main Street are just five miles away, but lovers of vintage Americana will find the real deal right here.

Walking distance from Chapman University, Orange is apparently the only city in the county built around a plaza. The space was turned into a park in 1887, and the fountain was replaced with a “new” one in 1937. The neighborhood is particularly notable for the many pre-1940 buildings and homes that have been preserved. (Therefore even the two Starbucks locations in the plaza actually look kind of neat.)

This sign for Rod’s Plaza Beverages was one of my favorites. The Old Town Orange Historic District is lined with antique malls and vintage shops, restaurants and Watson’s, which is The OC’s oldest operating soda fountain and featured as a film set in “That Thing You Do.”

And right next door to Watson’s is a branch of the World Travel agency, where I happened to spot some tikis and a United Airlines Aunty Menehune figurine in the display window.

Just as tikis help sell jacuzzis at the fair (via the idea of creating an island paradise at your home), we have these tikis tempting you to an exotic getaway. Well, they caught my attention anyway.

Although, I nearly walked right past them because I was too busy checking out this beauty. Classic car owners love to cruise around these streets, especially on Sundays. (There’s also an annual show in April.)

This guy gets bonus points in my book for having a dashboard hula girl!