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Tustin Thunder Gearing Up To Be The Biggest Vintage Car Extravaganza In Southern California History

1 July 1997

Taking place, as it did in 1996, on the grounds of the Tustin, California Marine Blimp base--which boasts the biggest man-made wooden structures in the U.S.--the second annual Chrysler Tustin Thunder Historic Road Races are shaping up to be a three day orgy of vintage car speed and beauty. The event, staged for the Marconi Foundation for Kids, will showcase 600 racers for the 100,000 race fans expected to attend the spectacle in Orange County, CA, just a few miles from the blue Pacific.

The organizers, John and Dick Marconi have really been doing their homework to bring in a series of motorized attractions the like of which will be seen nowhere in Southern California, at least not during 1997. If you had your choice of the Tustin event and any other (there is no other as far as we know), you would select Tustin as your vintage car weekend away from home.

Imagine this: three hundred vintage cars racing in over 30 classes (Vettes, Cobra, Porsche, Sprite, Formula and Touring Cars). How about some 3-wheel Morgans? or exhibition racers such as Nissan/Toyota GTP cars, F-5000, Indy and F-1 cars. Then there will be the new Kragen/Checker/Schucks American Race Trucks on an airport course of 2.0 mile, with 11 turns. There will be shifter Karts, a carnival, radio controlled cars, a Taste of Tustin food and beverage pavillion, a celebrity race, inline bicycle racing, 250 vendors, a skate board and stunt show, and best of all, a 1,500 car concours.

Weekend race sponsor Chrysler will show off their cars of tomorrow, and TACH will be there. A lot of race fans will also be there, as tickets are only $15.00 per day, or 40 bucks for the 3 days (and that includes a grandstand seat). Try buying a ticket to the Monterey Historics for 40 dollars . . . that's a per day price at Laguna Seca. Parking at Tustin is free and the 55 freeway is two blocks away. Kids 6 and under are free. Chrysler dealers and Home Base stores have discount tickets.

The Marconis hope to raise $300,000 for their childrens charities, For info: 714 258 7123

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel