Food, folks and fun. We often kid around here at Ford Social that those three words are always a simple and surefire way to describe any car show. We could definitely use those words to describe the annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show held in Los Angeles, California, on June 1, 2013. But the three wouldn’t even hint at the huge presence Ford had nor at the volume of unique and cool Blue Ovals to boot.
What makes the show special is that it’s limited to only 100 vehicles; however, the volume of spectators makes it seem like a massive display of automotive history. The event is held at the uber-popular Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax, which is always hustling and bustling with people there to eat or shop, or hang out nearby at The Grove. But plant a car show dead center and you’ve quickly got standing room only.
“I like this show because of the amount of people who come. There’s just tons of people who go to The Grove and often they don’t even know there’s a car show happening,” explained Dave T., whose customized ’46 Ford coupe was on display. “Sometimes they don’t know anything about cars and we have a chance to talk to them about what kinds of cars are here, their history and so on.”
That sure seemed to be the case with the dual Model As owned by Mike Sriro and Alan Bennett. It was as though every spectator wanted an opportunity to pose for a photo next to both of the old-school Fords. And the 1953 Ford COE crew cab owned by Joe and Diane Chandlee was another photo-op stop for Grove-goers and show attendees alike.
Les Bateman brought his 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL, which had a lot of people scratching their head. What is that? “You don’t see these cars at the shows. I come to big car shows and I’m one of one. But I like to be not just somebody else with another car that you can see 10 others of at another car show.”
Other Ford cars populating the Gilmore were Mustangs, various pickups, Model Ts and a Falcon, Fairlane and Ranchero. In fact, a wide range of Ford automotive history was represented, and judging by the crowds surrounding each and every car, it was clear that late- and early-models rank equally in popularity.
Greg Gill, who owns a 1971 Thunderbird and attended only to sightsee rather than show his car, noted that “in the 1970s, there was a lot of detail left over from the really special eras of automotive styling, and I see that in the Ford products of today. We’re in a renaissance. Have you driven the twin-turbos sixes instead of the eight in the F-150? Windows down, feel those turbos spool up? I prefer to drive that than the V-8. And I like V-8s.”
And at the Gilmore Heritage Auto Show, old and new collide each year for one special day of innovation, reflection and admiration.