A parade of vintage glory: Mustang rally dazzles in the valley heat
In the northwest corner, Mustangs were gathered like the cool kids in high school and the low-riders situated behind them stood as their Danny Zuko-esque foil.
To their south were the custom rods, the wild children of cars. A truck resembling a World War II army transport truck stood next to what could only be described as a death mobile.
Inside the lone air-conditioned room, the Galpin Auto Sport showroom, the original Batmobile laid in wait, terrifying evil as it did in the 1966 show.
Those who passed over the proceedings on the 405 North overhead, hurtled over an organized orgy of steel, oil and rubber that was the 3rd annual Galpin Auto Show.
The free show, which drew thousands to the San Fernando Valley auto dealer, featured over 500 show cars from low riders, to rat rods and tricked out customs.
However, the star of the day was the Ford Mustang. Mustang of various model years lined the entrance to the show with multiple 1966 1/2 models making appearances, including one that was first sold at Galpin Ford in 1966.
For those who prefer cars of a more modern vintage, the 2015 Mustang made its public debut under the sweltering San Fernando Valley sun.
The new Mustang features 435-horse power and will be the first Mustang to have a global design.
“They have taken the best of European design with American muscle and blended them,” said Jeff Skobin, marketing manager of Galpin Ford.
The prevalence of Mustangs at the show highlighted the enduring allure of the first great American muscle car.
"The big attraction was the body style in '64 1/2, the sporty look and that the price was reasonable in 1964. That's why they sold a million of those cars quickly," said Craig Cunningham, president of the Mustang Owners Club of California.
This year’s show was held in honor of George Barris, the legendary custom carmaker to Hollywood.
In addition to countless private custom cars, Barris is best known for the Batmobile used in the 1966 television series as well as the Munster Koach and Drag-U-La from the Munsters and later versions of KITT from Knight Rider.
One of the unique cars of the show was Mike Parente’s 1971 Ford Pinto, the “Disco Pinto.”
The car, covered in 23,000 mirrors over six months, draws attention both at the shows Parente enters it in as well as on the road.
“My biggest problem [on the road] is people driving up next to me trying to take selfies, and potentially crashing into me,” Parente said.
Throughout the day, masses flocked to the car, taking photos as they went. Skobin even set up an official shot with the Disco Pinto.
"I'm sure there are a lot of shows that [the Pinto] wouldn't be allowed at. For us, its about individualism and people showing their artwork," Skobin said.
For Parente, the pride of owning the Disco Pinto comes from what the car does for others.
"It's nostalgic, it's kind of funny and it's just different. It makes people smile," Parente said.