Classic cars return to Redondo Beach Pier


After taking a COVID hiatus last year, classic cars returned to the Redondo Beach Pier on Sunday for the 17th Annual Rods, Rides & Relics Auto Show, with nearly 100 cars on display, mostly on the west side of the pier.

Cars from all eras were on display, from Rod Benson’s 1909 Model T Ford to many classics from the 1950s and 1960s.

Rod Benson and his 1909 Motel T Ford at the Redondo Pier Car show

Rod Benson and his 1909 Motel T Ford

Dana Graham’s restored 1929 silver Packard won the People’s Choice award for favorite on display, while Smitty Smith got the “Participant” nod from other exhibitors for his 1937 Ford truck.

Pat Aust, retired Redondo Beach fire chief and avid car collector, was the curator of the exhibit. He said it was good to be back on the pier. “People were happy to be here,” he said.

Retired Redondo Beach Fire Chief Pat Aust Congratulates People’s Choice Winner for Rods, Rides and Relics Car Show at Redondo Beach Pier, Dana Graham, with his Packard 1929

The show finale was the highlight for many of the pier attendees, as the 96 cars on display left their bunks with a slow ‘parade’ through Old Tony’s and across the pier’s main thoroughfare.

Smith, who lives in Culver City, said he got goosebumps winning first place for the contestant. “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.

Smitty Smith with his 1937 Ford pickup truck, winner of the “Participants’ Choice” award, voted on by exhibitors.

Graham (no connection to this writer) spent $ 125,000 on the Packard and after the restoration it’s now worth double, he said.

The car collector, who sells real estate in Palos Verdes joked that he enjoyed exhibiting at Redondo Beach from his nearby perch. “It’s downhill from PV, so the car does it.”

The car runs so well, in fact, that he drives customers into the Packard when he shows them houses. “The brakes are ugly so it makes them want to buy right away. They say, “I’m going to buy the next house. Get me out of that damn car.”

Classic hood ornament

The complete winners:

People’s choice:

1st place: Dana Graham, Phaeton Double Hood Packard 1929

2nd place: Rod Benson, 1909 Motel T Ford

3rd place: Paul Medina, 1947 Ford Woody

Participant’s choice

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)

1957 Ford Fairlane convertible


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