2017 HB Cruise-In Report

What a blast!  Another great Huntington Beach Cruise-In is over and I’m back in New England wondering if the last few days were just a dream! The crew did an exceptional job and the customers delivered huge with some of the best builds and most inspiring stories. The one-day event brings us west each year, and this year’s 10th Annual cruise-in was the very best ever.

This year, the town of Huntington Beach wanted all cars in place and Main Street closed for the show by 9 AM, so many Factory Five customers registered early at 7 AM. It was cool as the sun came up seeing rows and rows of shining Factory Fives waiting for the day to start. Meanwhile, almost everyone enjoyed a killer breakfast over at The Sugar Shack.

The picture-perfect SoCal day started off with blue skies, head high surf and WIND!  A first for this event was some serious wind that had me worried at first light as we were unloading our cars off the FFR big rig.  By mid-day the winds had died down and didn’t really affect the event much, especially because it was 80 degrees!

Cars were registered and parked by 9 AM and the town officially closed the first three block of main street from PCH to turn the town into a Factory Five car show! Above: Factory Five’s Tony Zullo cruises the steel body ’33 down Main Street at set-up.

Factory Five’s Sally Bean was in charge of registration and made sure that no one waited more than a few moments to get their show pack and roll into their spot.

The band kicked off their first set around 11 am and played almost the entire day. Between sets, DJ (and customer) Mike Brassfiled kept the show rolling.

Customer Doug Deffebach led the show judges around the 100+ car field to do a great job picking winners.

Not all show registrations were completed cars. Here is a running/driving rolling chassis Mk4 heading into registration!

Car show awards were at 2 pm and the show wrapped up by 4 pm when the pedestrian mail returned to a regular road, with some FFR’s staying for after-show fun and others rumbling off into the distance.

Special guest Cristy Lee was amazing, signing autographs and posing for pictures with customers all day. Cristy also helped unveil the two newest Factory Fives on Main Street at 1 pm. Most attendees were from the west coast and many traveled from Arizona, Nevada, and NorCal. East coast builder Mark Dougherty came in for the show, and while Karen Salvaggio from SoCal, she actually returned from Atlanta to make the show. Customer Mark Stackler came in from New York, and many others (apologies for any omissions).

This white and carbon GTM was parked at the beginning of the second block and drew tons of crowds throughout the day.

The host hotel Shorebreak delivered up another great year of cool surf-inspired lodging and Timmy at the Sugar Shack made sure show goes had a go-to place to hit for breakfast.

I used to live in Huntington Beach before starting Factory Five. I’ve known Rod Stewart (middle) and Timmy Turner (right) for years. And yes, Rod’s last name is not Stewart. It’s just a nickname.

Last year there were no FFR 818’s at the event so we brought along our sinister black 818C. But it would be unnecessary as six beautiful 818’s arrived for the show.

This year there was a huge influx of Coupes, adding a great set-up for the introduction of the all-new Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe-R on Main Street.

Cristy Lee with “Best Under Construction” show winner Roman Biller and his son. Roman attended last year’s cruise-in and decided to build a ’33 with his son who was STOKED to win his first car show trophy.

At 2 PM, car show awards were given out. Factory Five customer Doug Deffenbach organized a handful of customers to serve as car show judges. It was a difficult year, and there were many cars that deserved awards. Here are the select winners:

2017 Huntington Beach Cruise-In Car Show Award Winners

Best in Show – Justin Fujita
Best in Show Runner-Up – Jeff Biancalana
Best in Show Roadster – Mario Abril
Best in Show Roadster Runner-Up – Ed Johnson
Best in Show Type 65 Coupe – Russ Foster
Best in Show Type 65 Coupe Runner-Up – Steve Presser
Best in Show GTM – Thomas Mills
Best in Show GTM Runner-Up – Mike Bivins
Best in Show ’33 Hot Rod – Rick Walton
Best in Show ’33 Runner-Up – Dick Westrope
Best in Show 818 – Ray Pasquetti
Best in Show 818 Runner-Up – Adam Hudson
Best Use of Chrome – Phil Hodgkins
Best Paint – Don Vaught
Best Engine – Bob Warren
Best Interior/Details – Pat Carse
Best Under Construction – Roman Biller
Most Innovative Design – Frank Maslowski
Highest Accrued Mileage – Paul Gillespie
Hot Rod Magazine “Editor’s Choice” Award presented by Mark Gearhart, Senior Editor – Eric Blakely, Edelbrock
ReinCarNation Magazine “Editor’s Choice” Award presented by Steve Temple, Editor – Wayne Mills
Factory Five Legacy Award Winner presented by Dave Smith, Factory Five President – Don DePonte

This 818R had stunning paint, a well executed build, and top shelf components. It also had license plates!

Factory Five Hot Rods are taking up more and more show space as the model continues to grow.

This Gen 2 818 has a stunning Maserati-like tan leather interior.

Above & Below: HB is a great show to check out Factory Five Roadsters and Hot Rods, but Coupes, GTMs, and 818s have been starting to make a bigger splash. This year, there were some beautiful examples of these smaller volume makes.

It was really beautiful seeing over 100 Factory Fives parked on Main Street as the sun was coming up.

The Edelbrock Mk4 will be delivered to the crew at Edelbrock on May 6th (the following weekend).

Jason from Wilwood Brakes was one of the vendors present and was available to answer customer questions all day long. Sally says he was a nice guy too.

Two blue Coupes represented the Type 65 Coupe builds well.

Above & Below: The amazing variety of cars was impressive from the “Rat Rod” Roadster above to a beautifully built 289 USRRC/FIA car below.

This Factory Five 289 USRRC/FIA was absolutely perfect. No surprise that it had been shown in Factory Five’s booth at SEMA 2015.

Very cool to see all of the 818s. This one is a Gen 1 roadster.

This yellow Challenge Car was featured on the SEMA Special produced by PowerNation TV.

This Coupe, like so many of the cars at this year’s HB Cruise-In, had a ton of custom mods and was a well-executed non-blue and white Coupe build.

This beautiful Mk4 Roadster sits just right!

Above & Below: One of the great things about coming to an event where there are over 100 Factory Fives gathered is having the opportunity to check out cool custom build ideas.

Power Automedia is producting a 5 minute video of the event featuring customers and their cars, but Factory Fives are magnets for cell phone cameras and videos.

Dave Smith with Power Automedia’s Michael Harding.

Factory Five’s 818 Coupe was displayed along with five other customer-built 818s.

Deke Brown’s root beer metallic ’33 Hot Rod came down from NorCal.

Bob Warren’s multiple show-winning ’33 snatched another award this year for “Best Engine.”

Its tough to see cars that anyone would love to own NOT get an award.

As soon as the street was closed, the crowds started filling in.

At mid-day, Cristy Lee and Karen Salvaggio helped Dave Smith introduce the 800+ HP Edelbrock Roadster and the Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe-R that was built with the team from Snap-On Tools.

Above & Below: The mid-day unveil gave everyone a chance to get a close-up look at these two latest Factory Five builds. Cristy Lee was available all day for autographs and photos.

Both the Edelbrock Roadster and the Snap-On Coupe will be shown at the May 6th Edelbrock Car Show at Vic’s Garage in Torrance, CA.

Best in Show Type 65 Coupe winner Russ Foster.

Best in Show GTM winner Thomas Mills.

Best in Show GTM – 2nd Place winner Mike Bivins.

Best Engine winner Bob Warren.

Most Innovative Design winner Frank Maslowski.

Hot Rod Magazine “Editor’s Choice” Award winner Eric Blankley.

ReinCarNation Magazine “Editor’s Choice” Award winner Wayne Mills.

Best in Show – Runner-Up winner Jeff Biancalana.

Best in Show winner Justin Fujita.

Highest Accrued Mileage winner Paul Gillespie (over 100,000 miles on his Factory Five Roadster!).

Factory Five Legacy Award winner Don DePonte.

Factory Five crew enjoys stopping at In-N-Out Burger every year when we come out for the Cruise-In. Left to Right: Sandra, Tony, Sally, and a big thumbs up from the Honey Badger.

Huge thanks to Factory Five’s Sally Bean for organizing this huge annual event. This year, she made sure the sign was over the very first intersection off of PCH!

The HB Cruise-In is one of the few events on our schedule where we attend for the pure purpose of enjoying cars and hanging with west coast customers.

Every year, at the end of the show, there is a good group of people who gather at The Long Boarder restaurant for cold drinks and to celebrate another great year.

A great show and the best people in the world. HB 2017 is a memory and I’m ready to head back for the 11th annual show already. Factory Five’s favorite hot rod chick Jo Coddington got married out in Palm Springs on the same day of the show, so we all missed her tremendously. This show really cannot be successful without the help of so many customers like Dave Hodgkins and his son Grant, DJ Mike Brassfield, Doug Deffenbach, Jeff Miller, Deke and Corrine Brown, Karen Salvaggio, Erik Hansen, Mark Stackler, Mark Dougherty and anyone I forgot to mention. Huge thanks to our sponsors: Ford Performance, Mothers, Wilwood, BluePrint Engines, Shorebreak Hotel, ReinCarNation Magazine, Hot Rod Magazine, the town of Huntington Beach, and the folks at The Sugar Shack.

Dave Smith