Cool ride

Now <i>this</i> is an awesome ride.

Now this is an awesome ride.

The second annual California Automobile Museum Car Cruise will begin with staging and voting at 3:30 p.m., followed by a car cruise at 5 p.m. The cruise will start at the museum and end in Midtown for a final car show and entertainment until 9 p.m. Cost is $49 to cruise a car; admission for spectators is free. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street; (916) 442-6802;

California Automobile Museum

2200 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95818

(916) 442-6802

I grew up in an era when most kids didn’t want to keep their first cars to eventually restore them to their former grandeur.

Case in point: My first car was a mid-1990s Ford Aerostar van—with the extended rear.

Technically, it was my folks’ former car, but when I turned 15, I was stuck driving it to school. (Yes, I started driving legally at 15.) As with all first cars, it went through its fair share of teenager abuse: being packed with 12 hungry kids on the way to lunch; cluttered with books, school papers and fast-food wrappers; decorated with shoe polish on the windows from smart-ass friends.

If I would have been a teenager in the 1950s—or any other era except the mid- to late ’90s—I probably would have preserved my first car so I could participate in events such as the second annual California Automobile Museum Car Cruise, featuring more than 200 pristine cars.

The event will begin Saturday, July 31, at 3:30 p.m., with staging and voting at the California Automobile Museum (2200 Front Street). At 5 p.m., the cars will mosey from the museum through the streets of Midtown so spectators can ogle at them. The cars will park between J and L streets and 22nd and 25th streets for the final car show, awards and entertainment from 6 to 9 p.m.

The participating vehicles technically don’t have to be classic cars. In fact, the vehicles can be from various eras and manufacturers. They just have to be unique—which means my Ford Aerostar with shoe-polish writing on the windows that would never come off could be a real contender. OK, maybe not. But it still has a place in my heart.

For more information and a map of the car cruise route, visit