Classic Car Show Just Around the Corner

(David Dierks, Photographer)
Enthusiasts and those just curious admire the impressive array of classic and new cars at last year’s show.

    The first week of September promises big things, especially for sports and car aficionados. Labor Day falls on Sept. 2 with its myriad sporting contests and is followed on Sept. 5 with a Packer/Bears matchup in the first NFL game that isn’t preseason. Since football enthusiasts disdain pre-season contests, Thursday’s game, which includes former Cal Bears’ quarterback Aaron Rogers quarterbacking for Green Bay, should be a red-letter day.  But the big event takes place as the weekend draws near. 
    Orinda’s 15th Annual Classic Car Show kicks off with its pre-show party on Sept. 6 followed by the car show on Sept. 7. There’s nothing pre-season, however, to Friday night’s “Dancing with the Cars.” Sponsored by Mechanics Banks with further support from Clark Thompson-Village Associates, the event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the new Art and Garden Center in Wilder Ranch. 
    Produced by the Rotary Club of Orinda, the Friday night gala features a display of distinctive cars to represent westward travel and the evening’s theme “Wheels That Won the West.”
    Orinda Rotary Club member and auction chairperson Melissa Roeder adds, “The decor has car elements and colors, and some of the auction items will be car and travel-related.” Roeder also notes the evening will feature “signature cocktails, fabulous food, awesome auction items and great music and a gorgeous banquet following cocktails and hors d’oevres.” 
    To help work off all the delicious food, Rotary has planned a mix of live music with a jazz band and a DJ with a “wicked” play list, Roeder says. While past themes have intimated specific attire for some guests, Roeder suggests casual cocktail attire or, in keeping with the car theme and westward progress, something that suggests “travel in style.”
    The auction will feature many items including: dinner at the firehouse, dinner for eight with a master caterer, a golf spree in Lamorinda, a Chinese banquet for 10, a Bollywood dinner for 10, date night for six months, a salon and spa package, and gourmet wines and desserts. Roeder promises an auctioneer “with a sly sense of humor.”
    Proceeds from “Dancing with the Cars” will benefit many Rotary programs including: Tom Fitch Fishing day for inter-city kids; Free Opera in the Park; drivers for Meals on Wheels; scholarships for Miramonte students; 4-Way speech contest; Rotary Field Day for Lamorinda elementary students; the annual Spring Egg Hunt; holiday stockings for families in need in Contra Costa County; State of the City luncheon; Orinda Union School District Teacher of the Year awards luncheon; Oakland Boys and Girls Club scholarship; and Rotary’s international project of power sustainability for an eye clinic in Zambia. 
    Roeder emphasizes that because space is limited for this popular event, people should buy tickets in advance online at
    Then, on Sept. 7 the main event rolls into town with the 15th Annual Orinda Classic Car Show taking place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Orinda Motors, 63 Orinda Way. The free event includes a special exhibit of classic and historically significant Porsche cars, plus an exhibit of station wagons.
    “We’ll also have a wide range of classic cars and new cars from Mercedes Walnut Creek and Tesla,” says event co-chair Bill Waterman. He and his committee — Diane Lautz (co-chair), Orinda Motor’s Allan Pennebaker and John Vanek, Mike Robinson, Bill Criswell, David Alvarado and The Orinda Association’s Kate Wiley — have been hard at work lining up the 200-plus cars that will be exhibited. 
    The family-friendly event includes refreshments from Taverna Pellegrini and Loard’s Ice Cream as well as entertainment by the Lamorinda Idol singers. As always, the day will culminate with the popular drive around Orinda where fans can ride in the car of their choice for a small donation.
    Proceeds from the car show go to the Educational Foundation of Orinda, The Orinda Association’s Seniors Around Town transportation program, Orinda Parks and Rec, local arts and the Orinda Historical Society.
    For more information, go to

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