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Community News: Downtown La Verne takes a Cool Cruise

Downtown La Verne was host to its annual Cool Cruise Car Show Saturday where car enthusiasts from across Southern California showcased their classic cars. Bruce Weeks and James Hammond of Hammond Racing displayed “April’s Dream,” a dragster that has seen more than 10 years of racing experience. / photo by Christopher Mora

Downtown La Verne was host to its annual Cool Cruise Car Show Saturday where car enthusiasts from across Southern California showcased their classic cars. Bruce Weeks and James Hammond of Hammond Racing displayed “April’s Dream,” a dragster that has seen more than 10 years of racing experience. / photo by Christopher Mora

Kristina Bugante
Staff Writer

A ’62 VW Bus, a ’56 Ford Thunderbird and a ’69 Ford Mustang were among the variety of cars at Saturday’s Cool Cruise Car Show in downtown La Verne.

Hot rods, convertibles and muscle cars were not the only types of automobiles that occupied the normally quiet streets of downtown.

“I’m a car enthusiast,” said Albert Reyes, Duarte resident and a proud owner of a 1933 Helms Bakery Divco truck.

The quaint, old-fashioned and very rare truck was one of the many Helms Bakery trucks that were in operation from 1931 to 1969.

Deliverymen drove around neighborhoods in Southern California to deliver baked goods and fresh Olympic bread.

After spotting the then deteriorating multi-stop truck in someone’s yard, Reyes purchased it and spent two years restoring the truck.

He gave it a new motor and engine, adorned the exterior with authentic decals and painted it back to its iconic, eye-catching mustard yellow color.

Not only is the truck licensed and insured, but it is fully functional.

“I drove it here right on the freeway,” Reyes said.

Reyes is also a member of the Eagle Rock Trompers, a car club established in 1945.

Steve DeNunzio of the Southern California Sand Drag Association was at Cool Cruise for the first time to promote the SCSDA’s third annual sand drag race event, April Fuels Day, on April 12-14 at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif.

DeNunzio and other SCSDA representatives passed out flyers and allowed children to sit inside one of the many sand drag race cars on display.

Jessica Mendoza, a new resident of La Verne and a first-timer at Cool Cruise, brought her family to the event.

“He’s really into cars,” Mendoza said about her husband, who was thoroughly examining a nearby automobile. “He really wanted to come.”

Though cars were the main attraction, the event catered to spectators of all ages, even those who are not really interested in cars.

Numerous businesses from Reverie Clothing to DirecTV set up tables on the University’s “E” parking lot, and items such as clothing and jewelry were sold.

Jake’s Roadhouse, a La Verne farmer’s market regular, was one of the many food vendors participating in the event, a long with local restaurants and other food stands that sold items such as kettle corn, donuts and fresh strawberries.

The Swinging 8 Balls played classic rock ‘n roll tunes on Mainiero Square, enhancing the retro vibe and family friendly atmosphere.

Participants also had a chance to participate in a raffle with numerous prizes such as Angels tickets, $25 Village Inn certificates, tickets to the Auto Museum, AMC movie tickets and free oil changes. The grand prize was a 46-inch television set.

This event presented by Family Festival Productions, Inc., and Downtown La Verne Business Improvement District, continues to attract more people each year.

Admission was free, and car owners who pre-registered their vehicles paid $30 and received a free t-shirt, dash plaque and special raffle tickets.

Kristina Bugante can be reached at kristina.bugante@laverne.edu.

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