FALLBROOK – For the last 44 consecutive years, the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club has held a car show that has grown in popularity with each passing year.
In 1961, the then-called Fallbrook Car Club held a private member (invitation only) car show at the high school which was first called “Model A Day” because those were the only cars in the club. In 1964 it became an annual Memorial Day weekend Sunday event held on the Fallbrook High School athletic field. The show continued at that site for 32 years, after which time the application of a new football field and track surface forced its relocation to the football field east of the school along Stage Coach Lane.
In 1965 the first advertised show was conducted. It was open to all qualified cars and available for public viewing. There were 50 or 60 cars displayed at that event.
In 1974, the show drew over 100 cars for the first time. In 1975 the club was renamed the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club after joining the Antique Automobile Club of America as a chapter of the San Diego Region. Since then the club has become its own chapter of the AACA.
In 1976 there were over 250 cars entered in the event. This was a landmark year for the show, not only in terms of vehicles displayed but it was also designated the AACA’s Bicentennial Southwest Region show. Judging was by AACA standards. In celebration of the event there was a tea party given in the high school cafeteria for guests. As well, there was an antique popcorn wagon provided and manned by members of the newly formed Fallbrook Historical Society on the grounds of the show.
In 1985 the first poster advertising the show was done by local artist Ken Eberts depicting several antique cars in front of the long-since torn down Ellis Hotel. Since then most of the annual posters advertising the show have featured historical buildings in the Fallbrook area. The posters have become collectables.
In 2004 the show hit the big time with over 400 entries. That proved to be too many for the facility, so the following year the count was limited to 300 only by pre-registration.
In 2007 the show was held for the last time on the grounds of Fallbrook High School, where 42 consecutive shows had been presented.
In 2008 the show was moved to Potter Jr. High School on Reche Road and has been held there successfully for the past two years. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend this year (May 30), Potter Jr. High school will play host to the 45th annual show.
Today the Fallbrook Vintage Car Show is known to the AACA as the most successful of its kind west of the Mississippi River. It routinely draws over 300 entries, many from out of the area and a few from out of the state.
Recently, a list has been added for unrestored cars and now features a Car Corral for vintage cars (25 years and older) for sale.
The show’s all-volunteer staff works throughout the year to ensure that the next show is always better than the last one. This year will be the 25th consecutive year of having a poster to celebrate and advertise the show. This year’s poster has been designed by artist Jim Krogle and features the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant as the historical background site.
The show is always free to the public and proceeds from the sale of club merchandise are used to donate to worthy charities in the Fallbrook area throughout the year.
With free admission, the organizers only ask participants and visitors to adhere to two regulations required by the school – no pets and no smoking on the grounds.
For more information on the show visit the club’s Web site at