On Saturday July 14th, 2012 Mooneyes held their world famous open house, car show and BBQ. It’s a way for Mooneyes to demonstrate appreciation for all of their loyal customers and supporters. The staff spend the prior weeks preparing the store, machine shop, and parking lot to get ready for the crowds that come out in droves to snatch up the one day only discounts as well as check out the awesome cars on display, and snatch up a tasty Chico burger.
Every year, Mr. Shige Suganuma flies to Southern California from Yokohama, Japan along with some of his Mooneyes Japan staff, which includes the famous pinstriper Hiro “Wildman” Ishii who comes along to offer up his brush skills during the show. In talking with Mr. Suganuma he mentioned that they had made a run to the local Costco and they rolled out of there with 5 large flat carts full of burger patties, buns, chips, sodas and cases of water.
The staff of both Mooneyes USA and Japan take a ton of pride in what they do. They actually pull out all the equipment from their machine shop so they could thoroughly clean and ready the shop for visitors to proudly open the doors for all to see and enjoy.
The Friday right before the show they washed down the parking lot so it would be ready for the custom cars and trucks that would be coming the next day.
As usual, the festivities were scheduled to start at 9:00 AM but come Saturday morning as the sun rose over the Mooneyes facility there were already cars lined up and down Norwalk Boulevard, waiting to get a prime spot inside the parking lot. With limited parking (and more importantly – limited number of Chico’s Burgers) everyone was waiting anxiously for the day to begin.
Mooneyes has a very diverse clientele so the vehicles on display were equally mixed, from 30’s traditional hot rods to 60’s customs, slammed trucks to lowriders and choppers to custom scooters.
Daggers Orange County and Gonners were lined up along Norwalk Boulevard ready to show off their custom creations as well as get a glimpse of something new from others. Members of the Corsairs, Crusaders, and Cavaliers were the first in line and the lucky few to make it inside the parking lot when the gates opened right on time at 8:00 AM joined by a few other over-the-top customs that included a couple rides from Chop It Customs.
As soon as the gates opened at 8:00 AM the DJ was spinning some tunes and by about 10:00 AM The Hot Rod Trio started to play live and they were awesome. The crowds started to pour in and filled up the inside of the store quickly. There were a few vendors on hand offering clothing and hot rod inspired art.Penny Pichette of West Coast Kustoms was there promoting their event, the West Coast Cruising Kustoms show in Santa Maria, California. Keith Weesner had copies of his latest prints on hand, and of course Mooneye’s had special deals and “show only” buys on some of their products. But what everyone really comes out every year for besides for all of the amazing customs and camaraderie with the builders–we come for the Chico burgers–and Mooneyes never disappoints.
Of course the biggest draw of the day happens to be the custom cars on display and spectators were not disappointed. Mooneyes has a very diverse clientele so the vehicles on display were equally mixed, from 30’s traditional hot rods to 60’s customs, slammed trucks to lowriders and choppers to custom scooters, the list goes on.
Another cool thing about this laid back get together is since it’s not an official car show that requires that participants stay till the end of the event, the cars that were there in the morning would leave and their spot would instantly get filled by another killer custom.
A big thank you goes out to Shige, Chico and their staff at Mooneyes for hosting a first class event year after year. It is truly great that after so many years a place with this much history is still in the same location as it has been since the 1950s and they always have their doors open. Of course the BBQ is just a precursor to their Annual Mooneyes Christmas Party and word has it that they have Irwindale locked in for this year’s event. We’ll see you there!