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Sunnyvale PAL Auto Show Brings Out the Local Hot Rods

Bigger and better than ever; the third annual Police Activities League (PAL) Auto Show in Sunnyvale drew large crowds and great looking cars on Sept. 15.

“I came last year for the first time it’s really nice with all the trees and restaurants, perfect venue,” said Ramsay Lopez of Santa Clara.

Lopez attended this year’s event with three of his friends. All of them belong to San Jose’s Rod and Wheelers Car Club and enjoy sharing their cars with other people.

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“We come to different shows. Just get out of the house,” said Lopez. “It’s either stay home and mow the lawn or come to the show and sit around talking.”

For Rick Fleming of the Rompacoglioni Car Club it wasn’t just about the cars but also about the cause.

“We’re out here raising money with our shirts today, proceeds for the PAL,” said Fleming.

The car club and its members brought five cars to the auto show including Fleming’s 1960 Bel Aire.

But it wasn’t just car clubs at this year’s event; it was also people who just enjoy showing off their cars and spending time with their families.

“It’s a good fun family car. It doesn’t go very fast, but it’s a nice cruiser,” said Danny Serna of Sunnyvale.

Serna brought his 1949 Chevy convertible, that’s not just for car shows, but also driving around town.

“[Danny] works in Sunnyvale, so he’ll drive it to work because it’s a nice commute,” said Danny’s wife, Tammy Serna. “We’ll take it to the grocery store, put the kids in the back.”

“We take it down to the Santa Maria car show,” Tammy Serna continued. “It only goes 60 miles per hour, so it takes a little while but we take it to Santa Maria, we take it to Gilroy, Morgan Hill, all over the area.”

For Drew and April Kelsey of Sunnyvale, the auto show is a chance to show off Drew’s dream car, a 1949 Ford Woody.

“I grew up in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa area,” said Drew Kelsey. “We were always driving those VW buses, that’s what I grew up with is a VW Bus. We were always seeing the Woodies; I always wanted a Woody.”

In 2008, Drew got his wish.

Drew and April are both surfers and while they can’t get to the ocean as much as they like, they still load up the Woody every now and then and take it to the beach. For Drew, it brings back fond memories of his youth.

“We would load up the buses with surfboards, drive down 101 and surf all day long,” said Drew Kelsey. “[I] finally got a chance to get one of these.”

This was the second year the PAL Auto Show was hosted in Downtown Sunnyvale. Murphy Avenue and part of Washington Street were closed off and filled with the classic cars instead.

The event was co-hosted by the Sunnyvale Downtown Association.

“We believe that this is another event that can foster more diversity in our activities that we produce and deliver to our community at large,” said Mike Johnson, the Executive Director of the Sunnyvale Downtown Association. “It’s a great cause; it’s a great engagement.

“All of it is really driven toward enhancing, supporting, encouraging our locals and visitors to come in and experience Sunnyvale and help support keeping downtown, the vitality and life thriving,” Johnson continued.

The PAL Auto Show is just one of a series of events going on in Downtown Sunnyvale from now until the end of the year. Other events include the Halloween Pet Parade and the Holiday Tree Lighting. Visit sunnyvaledowntown.com for more information.

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