Car Culture / Events / Stories

SoCal or Bust, Part 1: Saddling Up


I don’t often drive 1,800 miles for a six-hour car show, but that’s what happened recently when, along with several other members of the Puget Sound Toyota Owners Club, I decided to make the trip to Long Beach for the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club 14th annual ToyotaFest.

Say it along with me now… Road trip!

This would be a chance to attend the “mother of Toyota shows”, build some community relationships, and take a drive on the Ortega Highway. Ok, ok… it was really just an excuse to get out of the Washington rain for a few days.

With the decision made, and the crew chosen (four cars and eight Toyota fanatics), excitement was building. We hit up our friends at Wired Energy and Oberto Beef Jerky for lucrative sponsorships. Sure, some guys would try and land a deal with a parts supplier, or a company that would pay for gas. But we had our priorities in order. Yes, beef jerky and energy drinks would fuel this trip. We spent several days, staying up until the wee hours, detailing and getting our cars in shape to make the run. Ever polished a car under a utility work light?

We saddled up on a dreary, drizzly Wednesday morning at Griot’s Garage in Tacoma. The clock ticked over to 5:00am, and with 1800 miles of asphalt ahead, we set off for ToyotaFest 2009.

Next Installment: “What? You only made it to Portland?”

Don Treat's '93 Celica All-Trac loaded with new goodies

Don Treat's Celica All-Trac full of goodies

Eric Gearhart put the spit and polish on his Lexus SC300

Eric Gearhart put the spit-shine on his SC300

Dedication: Late-night detailing

Dedication: Late-night detailing

Early-morning start at Griot's Garage

Early-morning start at Griot's Garage

All photos courtesy of Eric Gearhart


  1. It was a great trip, I can’t wait to see the rest of your story.

  2. Welcome everyone to our adventure. šŸ™‚

  3. Ahh the memories! It was a Great Trip, can’t wait to see the rest of our journey on the blog!

  4. I can’t wait for the next installment of this. šŸ˜€

  5. Makes me wish I owned a Toyota šŸ˜‰

  6. Awesome trip! Can’t wait to read the rest of this. (although I already know what happened, but this is a great read)

  7. I still win the distance award. šŸ™‚

  8. Jennifer says:

    Nice pictures! Can’t wait to see more!

  9. Thanks everyone!

    We had a great trip and I just thought sharing with with the world would be fun. Once a detailing nerd, always a detailing nerd!

  10. Great beginning can’t wait for the rest of your guys wacky adventure.

  11. good read now on to part two

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