Cars were stars at Hot Pebble Beach show

NILES, Calif. — A sharp contrast to the glitzy Concours d’legance at Pebble Beach, the annual Hot August Niles car show here two hours north of the Monterey Bay attracted its own crowd of car lovers.

Special cars lined both sides of the street and side streets for several blocks, and occupied parking lots as well, on a clear and sunny Saturday morning.

Some were painted alarming shades of pink; many were powered by outrageously big motors; a few were in showroom-perfect condition, and all were obviously loved by their owners.

Peter Rosario embodied the collector perfectionist. The Fremont, Calif. resident was seated on the sidewalk behind his glistening 1956 India-ivory and twilight-turquoise Chevrolet 210. Rosario said he has owned the 210 for 27 years.

“It was worn, faded and aged-looking when I bought it, the result of an ad I placed in a magazine,” he said. In 1993 he took it off the road and began a serious restoration.

Today the Chevy, a mix of original and rebuilt, racked up 998 out of 1,000 points at a competition back in 2006, said Rosario, admitting he doesn’t drive the car much.

Local resident Kevin Scott owns a 1965 half-ton Chevrolet pickup he drives everywhere.

Scott was touting the Inliners Club International and its Bay Area chapter at the Niles show with information and a newsletters for passersby.

The club, Scott explained, is for all who own or are interested in inline engines. His ’65 pickup has a 292-inch straight six with 69,000 original miles.

“I’m only the third owner of this all-original, all-stock truck,” he said. “This motor actually was not sold in California in 1965.”

Larry Vincent of San Leandro, Calif. has been tinkering with his 1949 Cadillac ever since he bought it about 20 years ago. It was a stock Coupe de Ville, said Vincent, a machinist who has made a softtop for the luxury car.

“It has a 472-inch 1968 Cadillac motor and a Cadillac three-speed TH400 transmission,” said Vincent, adding that there still are things he’d like to do with his longterm project.