Cruisin’ for a Cure

Cruisin’ for a Cure

Classic green flatbed pickup truck at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

For any automotive enthusiast, a car show loaded with incredible cars is reward enough, but the OCCA’s Cruisin’ for a Cure goes way beyond just a show. The Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California is packed every year with over 3,500 vehicles on display and 200 vendors at the show. With such a huge turnout, it’s a perfect opportunity for the Orange County Cruisin’ Association to support both prostate cancer research—with 100% of the proceeds going to charity—and to administer free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to screen for cancer.

Custom red hot rod at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
man explains something to some kids at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

That’s where Cruisin’ for a Cure stands out. Not only are the cars amazing, but over the past several years, 10,000 men have made their way into the screening area and got a simple blood test to check their PSA levels. As a direct result, hundreds of lives have been saved. Imagine how cool it is to attend as a cancer survivor, knowing your cancer was detected at the show. It is literally a couple of minutes that can save your life so many make Cruisin’ for a Cure the date for their yearly checkup.

A parade of classic cars at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
man at Cruisin' for a Cure after a blood test to check PSA levels
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

Cruisin’ for a Cure is not just for the men. The many cars cruising the fairgrounds are loaded with wives, daughters, and entire families. There were also many seen cruising with their four-legged co-drivers as well. Even if the show didn’t have a higher purpose, it’s always one of the biggest shows of the summer.

Group of women in a black classic car at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
Lime green Plymouth Superbird at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
Happy dog in a classic car at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

The late summer weather in Southern California can’t be beaten; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a nice ocean breeze kept the heat from the bright sun at bay. For those who spent hours cleaning and polishing their rides, they could cruise all day with no worries. Those who were sporting patina had the same payoff without all the work. The vehicles on hand spanned that entire range.

black first gen Chevy Camaro with silver stripes
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
classic red convertible at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

Beautifully restored classics, hot rods, all types of customs, rat rods, muscle cars; even super clean daily drivers were all circling the show during the day. If you got hungry or thirsty, plenty of food and drink was available. Show food is typically expensive, but the selection of beers and the quality of the food made the prices tolerable. Once you had your beverage of choice, there are plenty of nice spots along the cruise route to take a load off your feet, and take in the rolling car show.

White Avanti II at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
White Chevy Impala SS convertible low rider at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
close up of a white low rider at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

If you needed a break from the sun, several buildings were packed with things to see. Building 12 was filled with many high-end cars on display. Awed by their pristine condition, I was especially impressed when I witnessed several fire up and took a few laps around the show. They were very nice, but apparently not trailer queens. The Hangar, Building 18, had some Meguiars trophy winners on display and included bikes built by Arlen Ness, some old school hot rods, and a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix now owned by John D’Agostino with an incredible paint job by Art Himsl.

black, silver, and red Chevrolet Corvette C2 Stingray Coupes at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
Smiley's Hot Rods and Customs hot rod on display at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
orange chevrolet dragster at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

Building 10 housed several vendors selling custom fire extinguishers, clothing, hot wheels, and model car kits. It is where the model car contest was judged, and where we saw Ed Iskenderian signing books and posing for photos. Other celebrities spotted at the show were Barry Maguire, and Ralph Holguin from the Velocity Channel show, RMD Garage. Ralph was handing out posters at his booth that sat across from the stage in the main mall. The stage was home to the band all day, and then became the place to be as awards were announced and trophies handed out to those who earned them.

Ralph Holguin from the Velocity Channel show, RMD Garage
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
A band plays music at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee
crowd of spectators at Cruisin' for a Cure
Photo Credit: Mike Ingalsbee

It’s always a great day when you can take home some hardware, but the peace of mind from getting tested and the memories formed with friends and family made everyone a winner at Cruisin’ for a Cure.

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