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love little car shows held in town squares, library parking lots, baseball fields, drive-ins, abandoned air fields, burger stands, train stations, or in a marina parking lot like the Slant Six Club show in Redwood City, California. At a small show like this, the pace is relaxed and almost everyone there is somehow a part of your life by only a few degrees of separation. Nono is especially fond of the laidback style of this crew as she fits right in.
The cars on display at a Slant Six Club show are drivers in the true sense of the word; some are driven daily and all are roadworthy––in varying degrees of duct tape and home brewed fixes. The charm of the Slant Six show is this “can-do” backyard engineered quality laced with a humble pragmatism that fosters creativity and individuality. The numbers matching crowd here is restricted to those who think the numbers on the sidewalls should pretty much be the same on all four tires.
With this all-inclusive vibe in my pocket I brought along my friend, her seven-year-old son and his little pal. The little ones love riding in Nono and marveling at the “airplane” seatbelts, the metal roof (the headliner was wasted years ago), the funny dashboard and the collection of treasures on the backseat floor. (Said collection not only wards off thieves, as you know, but apparently entertains seven-year-old boys as well. Bonus!) The show was the perfect size in the right environment to let the boys run on their own and check things out. We adults took a stroll through the cars, saw some friends, stood awestruck at the fact that only a half dozen––how fitting––of the cars had shiny paint, and because we are nerds we stayed on nerd alert.
Along with Nono, several wagons were in attendance including “Big Nate” Tynan’s sweet and surfy ’65, a baby blue bird ’65 belonging to Anita “Pinkie” Migliore, and my pick for best in show: Aaron Downing’s 1963 Valiant wagon.
The ’63 Valiant already has what I consider to be an unfair advantage in the styling department over its later model cousins, so why best in show? Let’s start with robin’s egg blue in more than one hue, all lovingly buffed out and waxed right over the dings. Let your eyes wander to a nearly perfect middle sixties drag stance with cheater slicks on steelies out back and some mags up front with skinnies. A few vintage drag decals in the back glass keep the vibes going and under the hood a warmed up little buzzin’ half dozen keeps the car going. In a sea of slant sixes with hop ups of various styles, this one stood out nicely with its Offy manifold and white VHT-painted headers.