LA literature and Toy Show, John Willhoit Open House, SoCal Porsche Swap Meet
It is unfair to say that each year early March thousands of Porsche enthuasiast travel hours and hours to South California just for the LA Literature and Toy Show. Many years ago, that might haven been true, even though back then it was probably just a few hundred folks making the effort. Times have changed however. Times have changed a lot.
The LA Lit and Toy show is just one of the events that are part of a weekend piled-up with Porsche related events. The LA literature and Toy show is just the trigger for many dealers and restorers in the wide Los Angeles area to have an open house that weekend too. And the more events to be visited, the more visitors you attract. And the more Porsche enthusiast in the region, the more businesses consider an open house useful.
Thursday the fun starts with a great open house at CPR (California Porsche Restorations) in Fallbrook. That’s approximately a 2 hours drive from LAX airport, but definitely worth the effort. Not only is it a truly unique drive with lots of great sceneries on your way to CPR, the result is truly great. A visit at California Porsche Restorations is always worthwile with dozens and dozens of classic Porsches of all ages on their premises. Not only can you visit the showroom, but you can see the workers doing the restorations too. Amazing. A visit to Sierra Madre Collection might be a good idea too, or a great opportunity to pick up the parts you ordered there.
Friday the crowd gathers in Long Beach, at Willhoit Restorations in Long Beach. John Willhoit is a renowned Porsche restorer, who truly gives great service and quality to his customers. Well, not only to his customers. Everybody’s welcome at the open house to enjoy some great German brats, pour some drinks down and have a great chat with the hundreds of Porsche aficionado’s that come and go to see what great cars John has on display again.
You might do the effort to visit Steve Hogue’s shop too. Don’t expect shiny cars there, as the cars at Steve’s shop are far from finished. However, it is great to see the quality his body shop delivers.
Saturday early in the morning, the LAX Hilton Hotel is the place to be. Even before sunrise there’s some activity in the large ballroom behind the hotel lobby. Exhibitors are building up and between them you can see some folks wearing the ‘early bird’ badge. These are the ones that are looking for that one piece of literature they have been hunting for longtime. Quite stressful sometimes, as you don’t know where to look first with over 200 tables piled up with Porsche goodies and stuff. Once again both Tony Singer and Frank Barret brought some amazing original and valuable Porsche posters this year. Shortly after noon, the crowd seems to disappear from the 2 ballrooms. About time for lunch and to get ready for the next big thing.
Costa Mesa, Babcock Street. That’s probably the most entered address in the navigation systems of the cars that leave the LAX Hilton hotel that Saturday afternoon. Most people visit Jim Liberty’s show before they head to European Collectibles. Both shops are in the same street and are both worth a visit. The early Porsche 911 fans gather first a few blocks earlier. Carparc USA LLC always has some amazing and very early Porsche 911’s in the shop, and it’s a great place to catch up with friends too. 4PM the gates open at European Collectibles and some hundreds people make their way through the gate to see what they have to offer. And exactly as every year, dozens of Porsches for sale. Porsches for each budget one can say, however the budget needed for a classic Porsche is not exactly for the faint of heart nowadays.
Sunday is the last day of the Porsche weekend, with the South California Porsche Swap Meet at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim as the place to be. Unfortunately this year weather wasn’t that good. Ofcourse that has some consequences on both the number of visitors and the number of exhibitors that show up. But despite that, the Socal Porsche Swap Meet was definitely the best way one can imagine to finish the LA Porsche Weekend. See you next year.
Pictures by Carl Douglas.