The 2013 Cajon Classic Cruise had its season opener April 24 along the broad Main Street and promenade of El Cajon. The cruise nights will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 25 and each has a theme and a club highlighted in the Car Corral.
Opening night had a good turnout of around 300 cars and a well-populated Bike Row. Main Street was closed for the occasion and people strolled freely among cars on either side and along the center strip. The renovated downtown area never looked better or more inviting.
The evening fired up at 5 p.m. with the national anthem and a flyover by a World War II era Navy SNJ trainer. “Little Effort and the McCoys” rocked the promenade area and DJ Jumpin’ Jack Flash filled Main Street with tunes and announcements. De La Fuente Cadillac had a prominent display of the new 2013 ATS compact sport sedan and a midsize CTS.
The restaurants, several with sidewalk dining, were doing a brisk business. The red sauce at Nicolosi’s is worth the trip, but their specialties include lasagna and a rich mac ‘n cheese that can be loaded with accessories, such as bacon and sausage.
The annual cruise has been organized by “Charger Steve” Lordigyan since 2006. He is the current president of the San Diego Association of Car Clubs (recently reorganized from the San Diego Car Club Council). He’s also active in the East County Cruisers club, has a collection of movie cars and a website for his “star” cars (ChargerSteve.com). He also stages a few other car shows through the year, including the big Wild Rides show in Pacific Beach (Aug. 18), for which Catherine “Daisy Duke” Bach will attend.
The Downtown El Cajon business partners put on the Cajon Classic with the support of sponsors, including Sycuan Casino, El Cajon Harley-Davidson, Law Tigers, SDG&E and De la Fuente Cadillac. It is free to view and show a car. Volunteers from the East County Cruisers help with traffic flow (people and cars) and just about anything else that is needed.
Upcoming theme nights include the May 1 Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Topless Night (convertibles) May 22, Charger Steve’s Starz Carz June 12. Off-Road Madness on July 17 and Thunder on Main Sept. 25 will again have full street closures.
The season opener was the best attended in three years, said Charger Steve, but attendance was held back by the cool and rain-threatening weather. In the pre-recession years, the opener could have been brought in as many as 5,000 visitors and 450 cars.
See what was on the Promenade this week: