The 101>> Southern Cali Car Meets

One of the things I like about living in Southern Cali is the car life we have here. There are plenty of reasons that people find themselves involved with cars – some people are just hardcore driving enthusiasts, and want to do nothing more than to drive anything hard on a race track or a winding road. That's cool, that is what modifying cars and buying performance parts is all about.

Some guys prefer to meet up with their friends in the middle of the night on weeknights, so they can hit up winding roads like Glendora Mountain Road, Route 74/Ortega Highway, Turnbull Canyon, Azusa Canyon, Angeles Crest, Mount Wilson, Trabuco Canyon, Malibu, and Southern Cali's many other winding roads.

There's also the drag racing contingent; these are the guys who hit up deserted industrial areas in the Valley/Sylmar 818 area, Ontario, Compton/Maria Street, Terminal Island, City of Industry, and other spots to feel the excitement of drag racing.

However, in my years of living in Southern Cali, I've also come to learn that there are plenty of people out there who are into cars for entirely different reasons. Some people just enjoy wrenching on their cars and driving stylish looking cars on the street. That's cool, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. That's why the customized car scene in Southern Cali spans so many different genres and types… and it seems like each one of those different sects has their own car meet. Let's see, we have VIP meets, Honda meets, Scion meets, MR2 meets in Orange County, AE86 nights in San Gabriel Valley, Euro meets off Grand and Valley, Muscle car meets on Grand Ave in Covina, Supercar Sundays in the Valley, Exotic cars at Cars & Coffee in Orange County, JDM inspired 626 style cars at Tab Tuesdays, and sooooo many more. The list just goes on and on…

Here's a photo from the Euro meet that happens on Wednesdays in Walnut.

Here's another pic from a Club Lexus gathering – again, in Walnut, on Grand and Valley.

Can't forget Tab Tuesdays, which has been running strong for like 5 years in the West Covina/626 area.

Early birds can get up to go to Cars & Coffee in Irvine on Saturday mornings; I'm surprised that people can wake up that early on a weekend! I guess they don't go out on Friday nights..?

Don't think Southern California car culture is only Japanese or Euro vehicles. It's the classic car scene, muscle car guys and hot rodders that started it all, way back when. Even though I don't own one of these cars, I think it's super cool to see them driving around randomly on the street, or parked at meets, such as Donut Derelicts in Huntington Beach. Damn, this one is even earlier than Cars & Coffee! These guys show up at 6 freaking AM to get a good parking spot at this meet! Now that's hardcore! (and I'm guessing most of these car owners get to bed by like 8 or 9pm, if ya know what I'm saying…)


Just goes to show, it's not only "young kids" that are into fixing up their cars… although, if you think about it, these guys were young outlaw punk kids at one point in their lives… and these were probably the cars that were cool when they were in high school, or maybe these were the cars they always wanted back when they were younger.

I think we'll see this trend continue 10, 20, and 30 years from now, when we take the place of the "old geezers" that come out of the woodworks early in the morning… but it will be with pristine condition JDM-styled EF, EG and EK Civics, AE86s, MR2s, S13s, S14s, etc for meets.

These cars will be super incredibly rare in 10 and 20 years, because currently, many of the people who own these cars are trying to "keep it real" by setting lap records in the canyons or drifting their junkyard spec cars into walls and such. Nothing wrong with that; that's what cars are for, I suppose. However I think that people with enough money, vision, and dedication should try to preserve some clean examples of these cars so future generations can enjoy them too. Just think how cool it would be to see a glass roof CRX slammed with Mugen wheels and a built up B16A cruising down the street, let's say, 20 years from now.

One thing I like about car meets is the variety of cars you get to see, all in one spot. Here's a Toyota Cressida (a micro-trend in the FR/drifting scene), which has been built up with Mitsubishi Starion stock wheels and a customized front bumper lip (I didn't get to see it up close). A lot of Southern Cali guys like these front engine, RWD cars because of the resemblance to the Toyota JZX81 MarkII/Cresta/Chaser platform in Japan – there are quite a few of these Cressidas popping up in the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley areas…

Of course, you can't forget the Benzos… another photo from the Euro meet in Walnut.

You know, when Rod asked me to do a "101" article on the different car meets
happening in Southern California, I was kind of confused to be honest.
To me, the title "The 101" implies that I'll be schooling the readers
on something or dropping some sort of knowledge I suppose… but that's
not really my intent here. After all, am I an expert on Southern Cali
car meets?! No. I don't even know how one would get to the point where
they were considered an "expert" or guru on "car meets." Doesn't that
sound funny? "Hey guys, let me introduce you to ________, he's a car
meet expert." LOL that sounds ridiculous!

Anyway, these are only some of the car meets that I've been to… I'm sure other Speedhunters readers from Southern Cali know of a lot more meets than I do! What meets do you guys go to? Leave us a comment and let us know the time/place/location!

I know, for instance, there's a big Scion meet going down at Knott's Scary farm this Thursday, October 23. What else do you guys know of? Post up your favorite meets! Location and Time and Day and all that!

-Antonio Alvendia



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It's interesting, these meets are really popular here in Northern VA too, though we refer to them as cruise-ins. You can see cars most of the year several days a week. One difference is most of the cruises here are geared toward the Hotrod/Muscle guys, but the tuners usually squeeze in the back. One thing I find a little weird is this "segregation" b/t the tuners and rodders, they are always in seperate areas and for the most part don't talk to each other.


man, i wish i was in Cali.=)


You can't forget Bob's Big Boy in toluca lake. Every Friday since before i was born. Muscle Car based but every kind of car shows up. Low Riders, Classics, Porsche, Motorcycles, etc etc.


Cars and Coffee? I would love to pop along to that


I'm having deja vu. I swear I saw this posted before.


The good ol days living in the 626 in Glendora. I took my Civic up GMR a few times. I was stupid and went up there one night and almost hosed myself. It wasn't that close, I kept it on the road, but I only went back once after that. My dad and uncle grew up in Azusa so they have a lot of stories of taking cars up the canyon, my uncle had a Datsun 510, a Nova, my dad with his Comet, another neighbor with a caged BMW 2002. My dad took me for a ride in his WRX after he bought it and we ripped up and down GMR, what a blast.

I would take my son to cruise-ins all the time. The NHRA museum in Pomona has a big hot rod show the first Wed of each month with a theme car each event. The In-N-Out/small burger joint had a cruise-in every Thursday or Tuesday, can't remember. I wish I had been into imports more, when i lived there. I got into Mustangs and hot rods. ;)

I love reading socal car culture stuff. Thanks!


hechtspeed: yeah the In n Out cruise-in you're talking about happens on Thursday evenings on Grand Ave/Arrow Hwy. I used to live right across the street from there for many years... lots of cool car shops in that area, especially for those into hot rods and musclecars! Sounds like we used to be neighbors!

Jim: thanks for letting us know about the Toluca Lake meets! I haven't heard anything about that one yet, but maybe that's because I don't live near there. Actually, I don't even know where in Southern Cali that is, pardon my ignorance!


recycled content


Didn't you already post all this? The bmw and lexus shots are both from the same meet arn't they? Not separate like this post implies.

Lame, I'd rather wait longer for decent new content than get regular recycled filler!


It's not all about the pics fellas. Enjoy the commentary! ;)

I really like concept of what the scene will be in 10, 20 and 30 years. What will you drive when you're 50, 60 years old? Will you man up and drive that lowered, loud exhaust 240sx or civic or WRX because you did when you were 20 and 30? How much will the first year WRX (2002 in USA) be worth? Look at the 64 mustang and the 65 Fastback stangs? Cool stuff to think about. I worry about the 240s getting smashed up at drift events too. People have to preserve some of these. ;)


Word, thanks hechtspeed! I think people just get used to seeing new photos on Speedhunters everytime they hit refresh on their computer, haha.

If you look at many of our "101" themed posts, the photos are taken from the stock archives we already have.

However, I know that not everyone actually READS the Speedhunters stories, some only look at pics!


Cars and Coffee. You have to check out Cars and Coffee, right Antonio?

And who says people that go to Cars and Coffee/Donut Derelict's don't go out Friday nite?


Cars and Coffee is nuts. Last time I was there there were Deloreans, r32s, 356 Porsches, e28 5's, Lotus', shelby coupes, vws, mk1 GTR(skyline) and everything in between, above, and beyond.

(Bob's is in Toluca Lake, next to Burbank)


ohhh... nice, I should check out that Toluca Lake thing sometime when my schedule isn't so hectic!


Antonio you guys should do a profile on car meets up here in the bay, we have some ridiculous cars coming to the meets lately including a pair of GT-R's that rolled up to Santana Row last weekend!


Thanks guys for removing my comment....

Like Kuriso and jblaine pointed out, those pics were seen on here not too long ago......they were indeed.

I also added to my previous comment that got "magically" deleted: "running out of ideas Antonio?"....obviously my comment was "too harsh" to digest.

I looked at the fact afterall....

And to answer your comment Antonio, yes some of us look at the pic ONLY. Pics tell a lot actually. I don't need to read your "I love how flush those wheels are, and how slammed this car is" ALL the gets old. By now all of us know that, no reason to pointed out all the time.


Dude, I wish I could be in Cali, then again Vancouver isnt half bad, we have imports coming in from Japan :D


Or sit on PCH on the weekend in Newport to Laguna and count the 911's Lambo's and Ferrari's.

I'm a cars and coffee regular


I've started looking at the pics only because the commentary as of late has been shit, "here's an impala" "this guy was spinning his wheels" etc.


Alex is a dick :O

But seriously I think his IP should be blocked from posting?


I agree Zeb.


Maybe you SHOULD read more instead of only looking at photos, Alex. If you took time to read and learn more about the English language, then maybe you wouldn't have so many spelling errors in your comments.

You always talk sh!t and speak harshly about people on this site, and frankly, THAT is getting old. If you don't like it, why don't you just stop reading it, Mr Negative?

I agree with Zeb and Mike. Block this guy.


They're not going to ban him because after that they would be extremely encouraged to take down the "snap" of his S14


That isn't his S14, guys...


Feint: Actually more Bay Area stories would be a great idea. I can probably look through my archives and bust out old photos from SFR SCCA autocrosses or Duel at DeAnza, or the drag races at Ringwood, Montague, etc... oh yeah, and I've never even been to Santana Row. Do people have meets there? Where are the Bay Area meets? Aside from the Japantown SF meets or Daly City ones, I don't know of any regular meets in the Bay. School me on what's going on up there man!


Zeb, Mike and Stan, sorry if my English is not good as yours. I wasn't born here (maybe that is a good excuse to use, don't you think?)....

I'd like to read news. I don't think I talk sh!t, I'm just very opinionated, that's all, If you're guys are up to the task, maybe you should contact Rod and ask him for a position on here, who knows?

Besides, I'm not the only one that pointed out that those pics are from an old post.

I'm sure Antonio has more pics about those meets. In my opinion it would have been better to post other pics.

Regarding my comment about, "I only look at pics".....if the thread has personal preferences and opinion written by the blogger, I don't bother to read. Why? Because I don't learn from opinion, I learn from actual facts.

...and that S14 you guys are talking about it's not mine.


Antonio. There are two car meets on Lawrence and El Camino (in front of Starbucks) on thursday's and Fridays. Thursday's are for muscle car guys, Fridays are for imports.

There are also car meets at Ranch 99 in Milpitas on fridays....mainly Honda guys....and if I'm not mistaken at the same location the 350Z people show up as well but on a different day.


@ Alex, why did you say "Thanks for the compliments," in that post when it's not even your car?


@ Jeroen, there are more than one Alex on here. and I am not the owner of that S14 you feature.

You're talking about someone else. Sorry.


Joe is right i would do any to go to Cars & Coffee meet


We can host your car meets! Check us out -

We have a great parking lot and are located in the Old World Village in Huntington Beach. 

Contact us on Facebook for more information -