MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., --
Vehicles of all makes, colors, sizes and years stretched from Sturgis Street to Brown Street Men, women and children walked down the center of 5th with their heads swerving to the left and right, absorbing the gallery of metal beasts.
The third annual Commanding General’s Car and Bike Show was held Oct. 22, 2011, and hosted classic and modern cars, trucks and motorcycles.
“I love looking at the old cars,” said Beatrice Suarez, wife of Staff Sgt. Jesus Suarez, an infantry platoon sergeant with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
People roamed 5th Street putting in their votes for their favorite vehicle in each of the three categories: truck, classic car or bike and modern car or bike.
“Seeing these cars certainly puts a smile on my face,” said Cpl. Mason Hicks, a computer telephone repair technician with Headquarters Battalion.
Booths in the nearby parking lot filled the air with the smell of food. At the edge of the lot, a large Dub Show Tour showcase played music near a display of decked out Ford cars and Kawasaki motorcycles. Next to the Dub Show showcase, guests won Monster and Dub swag with a spin of a wheel.
In the center of this parking lot, white smoke rose from the back wheel of a motorcycle as a stunt rider skidded in circles, creating black donut- shaped streaks on the already dark pavement. The rider then zoomed across the parking lot to the spectators’ cheers.
Jason Britton, a stunt rider for No Limits Entertainment, put on a show for the crowd of children and adults watching with their camera phones out. Fans gasped and clapped as Britton popped wheelies and rode on the handle bars of his lime green Kawasaki.
At a parking lot down the street from Britton and his two-wheeled metal stallion, a black Ford 5.0 Mustang carefully made its way through a narrow path of orange traffic cones as a line of people waited for their turn to test drive the sleek vehicle through the course.
Ford’s circuit course allowed Marines to test drive the Ford Focus, Fiesta and 5.0 Mustang. The Marine with the best time through the course won an XBox 360. What may sound like a drift-filled “2 Fast 2 Furious” contest actually promoted safe handling and control of each vehicle. Contestants were disqualified at the drop of a single traffic cone.
So what could top a motorcycle stunt show and a chance to win an XBox 360?
“My favorite part was talking to car enthusiasts twice my age,” said Hicks, as he looked at a beige ‘48 Pontiac Silver Streak 8. “It feels good to know I don’t have to give up on my hobbies when I get older.”
The show attracted everyone interested in motorized metal, young and old, military or not.
The annual show was a day of contests, prizes, music and fun. It gave car and bike enthusiast a haven to share their passion, and may have created a few more enthusiasts in the process.