Fall is upon us and I’m still catching up from last month’s Long Beach Cruise-In where I not only met some new neighbors and great new cars from my hometown area, but I found myself smiling at the variety and oddities that showed up. If my own Studebaker is any indication, I like the unique – and the following Pinto, fellow Studebaker & heart-shaped steering wheel, among other customizations, grabbed my attention at August’s #longbeachcruisein. If you’re looking for the upcoming September event, it’ll be 3rd Thursdays as usual in downtown Long Beach.

Pinto Cruising Wagon

Pintos are becoming about as rare to see on the road as Studebakers. Just when I think I’ve been around cars long enough to see one of everything, something like this rolls up. It’s a Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon. Offered straight from the factory with its nifty round rear windows, a la the creepy van craze of the time – which for this car looks to be a ’79 or ’80.

This model was completed with a back window valence, hood pins and additional roof racks, looking to be ready for a couple surf boards. I can’t think of a much better surf wagon, I only wish I could’ve met the owner and seen more detail for myself (like what’s under the hood?!)

Drag-Ready ’53 Studebaker

Speaking of engine detail, I included a pic of the “other” Studebaker coupe when it showed up a couple months back. This one’s got a little more bite than mine, but should anybody mistake its red primer for my original paint, the fat rear tires and missing hood should cue you off if you overlook that it’s a ’53 to my ’55. Thanks to Mike for ensuring my Studie isn’t the only one there, that’s a rarity!

I Heart You

Last, but not least my friend pointed out this heart-shaped steering wheel inside an apple green Monte Carlo. The only thing that warms my heart more than seeing a masculine hombre clutching a wheel like this are all the peeps that have been showing up to the friendly Long Beach Cruise-Ins. Nostolgic, street rod, lowrider and beyond – heck, an NSX even showed up – you’re welcome in Long Beach.

Next Long Beach Cruise-In:

  • Thursday, September 21st
  • 6pm to 9pm
  • Downtown Long Beach – 3rd Street & Long Beach Blvd (Google: 240 Long Beach Blvd)
  • Enter via 3rd Street, public parking lot, $5 city fee
  • Tons of great restaurants nearby for a bite to eat
  • September Facebook Event Page

Feel free to copy and share the flyer above for September’s event and browse the gallery for more of who showed up in August.

One Response

  1. JP Kalishek

    Waaaay back when I was a senior in High School (83-84) one of my classmates in Machine Shop had one of those round window Pintos with a 302 in it, wnd the big and littles with shackles (because tubs were unheard of).
    He almost crashed it in the rain, driving to class one day. 3 guys came from Rock High and instead of the bus, came in his car, They came in a few minutes late and their excuse included a viewing of the grass and mud still all over the car from the spin and venture into the ditch.


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