Rods, Rides & Relics on parade at Redondo pier
Story and photos by Jefferson Graham
Nearly 100 classic cars returned to the Redondo Beach Pier Sunday for the 17th annual Rods, Rides & Relics show, organized by former Redondo fire chief and council member Pat Aust.
Dana Graham’s restored 1929 silver Packard won the “People’s Choice” award while Smitty Smith received the “Participant’s” nod from fellow exhibitors for his 1937 Ford truck.
Rod Benson’s 1909 Model T Ford was the oldest car. The Torrance resident said that despite the car’s Bristol condition, it has declined in value in recent years because few people from its era are still alive.
The show’s high point came at the end of the day, when the 96 cars paraded past Old Tony’s on their way off the pier.
Smith, who lives in Culver City, said he got goosebumps after winning the Participant’s award. “It’s amazing to be chosen when you don’t expect it.” He bought the truck from a neighbor for about $50,000, and spent three years restoring it.
Graham spent $125,000 for the Packard and post restoration. It’s now worth double, he said.
The car collector, who sells real estate in Palos Verdes, said he likes exhibiting in Redondo Beach because “it’s downhill from Palos Verdes, so the car makes it.”
He said he drives clients around in the Packard when he shows them homes. “The brakes are lousy so it makes them want to buy right away. They say, ‘I’ll buy the next house.. Just get me out of this damn car.’” ER
1st place: Dana Graham, 1929 Packard Dual Cowl Phaeton
2nd place: Rod Benson, 1909 Model T Ford
3rd place: Paul Medina, 1947 Ford Woody
1st place: Smitty Smith, 1937 Ford truck
2nd Place: Meghan Kelly, 57 Chevy convertible
3rd Place: Jill and Barry Smith, 1947 Chrysler Town and Country (Woodie)
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