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San Juan resident and artist Jack Schmitt created this watercolor painting for the Jan. 31 car show. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell
San Juan resident and artist Jack Schmitt created this watercolor painting for the Jan. 31 car show. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell

By Allison Jarrell

The annual San Juan Capistrano Car Show is set to take place on Jan. 31 at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center/Sports Park, featuring more than 400 hot rods, muscle cars, classics, cruisers and more. Pre-event reservations for this year are 50 percent above registrations last year at this time, according to show organizers.

“There is always a big surge in the last week before the show,” said organizer John Caldwell. “We expect over 400 cars.”

Jaeleen and Spark perform in Southern California’s Disc Dogs, which is returning to the car show this year as a side line feature. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell
Jaeleen and Spark perform in Southern California’s Disc Dogs, which is returning to the car show this year as a side line feature. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell

After 11 years of being known as the CARE Car Show, and later as the Rotary/CARE Car Show, the name of the iconic gathering of classic cars has been permanently changed to the Historic San Juan Capistrano Car Show. Organizers said the new name is representative of the historic link the show has to San Juan, and also represents a new partnership with the historic Mission. Within that new partnership, the Mission is providing two free future Mission admission tickets to each participating car owner.

This year’s show is unique in that it will also feature the unveiling of a watercolor painting created for the event by San Juan Capistrano resident and commercial artist, Jack Schmitt. Schmitt, a successful and respected commercial artist, specializes in historic cars in selected settings. His work can be seen all over the country and is frequently commissioned by automotive professionals. Schmitt’s new work has Mission San Juan Capistrano in the background with classic show cars in the foreground. Prints of the watercolor will be available for sale in various formats during the show.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse roadster on display has 1200 horsepower, a W16 engine, a top speed of 253 mph and is valued at $3 million. It is owned by a South County car enthusiast and will be on display up front at the show. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell
The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse roadster on display has 1200 horsepower, a W16 engine, a top speed of 253 mph and is valued at $3 million. It is owned by a South County car enthusiast and will be on display up front at the show. Photo: Courtesy John Caldwell

Another exceptional feature of this year’s show is the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse roadster, which will be on display in the front of the show. With 1200 horsepower, a W16 engine, top speed of 253 mph and valued at $3 million, the car, owned by a South County car enthusiast, is likely to be a highlight for many auto aficionados.

The event will also feature the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort, or CARE, and well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome. Proceeds from the event go toward supporting CARE as well as SJC Rotary charities.

All of the event’s catering will be done by Las Golondrinas Mexican Restaurant. They’ll be serving hot coffee and their popular breakfast egg burritos. The menu throughout the day will include soft tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos, with a wide array of ingredients.

The car show is hosting San Juan Capistrano Cub Scout Pack 12 with their Pinewood Derby competition, which will take place on a side field of the car show grounds. The winners will be recognized and receive awards on the car show stage. The show is also the terminus of the Dr. Joe Cortese Drive in Bike Show and Poker Run.

“We are trying to make this event as family-friendly as we can, while also playing to the serious car buff,” Caldwell said.

To register a car, visit sjcrotary.org/Page/carshow. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children (11-17) and free for kids under 11.

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, Jan. 31
(Schedule is tentative. In case of rain, event reschedules Feb. 7)

5:30 a.m. VOLUNTEERS ARRIVE AT ASSIGNED LOCATIONS
Vendor parking begins at Del Avion Gate

6:30 a.m. VENDOR PARKING ENDS AT DEL AVION GATE FOR VENDORS /SPONSORS /DISPLAYS

6:45 a.m. ENTRANTS LINE UP ON VIA POSITIVA STARTING AT THE SAN JUAN COMMUNITY CENTER
Coffee and donuts will be for sale at lineup. Restrooms are nearby.

7:30 a.m. OPEN DEL AVION GATE FOR CAR SHOW ENTRANTS (This may be earlier pending vendor setup)
• Free Mission tickets passed out to car entrants as they drive through the Del Avion gate
• Las Golondrinas Food Court open for breakfast
• Judges meeting for cars

8 a.m. CAR SHOW JUDGING BEGINS

9 a.m. SHOW OPENS TO PUBLIC VENDORS / DISPLAYS OPEN
• Guest admission gates open on Del Avion and Via Positiva
• Raffle drawing tickets on sale (Tickets will be available for from 9 a.m. to noon.)
• Announcements from show event team
• T-Shirt sales open at the Rotary booth

9:10 a.m. WELCOME TO THE SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CAR SHOW

9:15 a.m. THE NATIONAL ANTHEM / DJ Starts his Play List (Thumper MacDowell)

10 a.m. DISC DOG PERFORMANCE NO. 1

11 a.m. ANNOUNCE FIRST ROUND RAFFLE DRAWING WINNERS and
CUB SCOUT PINEWOOD DERBY WINNERS

12:30 p.m. DISC DOG PERFORMANCE NO. 2
• Motorcycle judging begins
• Poker Run officially ends

1 p.m. TROPHY PRESENTATIONS FOR BEST IN SHOW CARS
Winner of Car Club with most participants
MAYOR’S TROPHY PRESENTED BY MAYOR DEREK REEVE

1:30 p.m. AWARD OF JOE CORTESE MEMORIAL POKER RUN PRIZES to best and worst hands
• Motorcycle “Best in Show” awards presented
• Club chapter winners announced / final round of raffle drawing / last call at bar

2 p.m. CAR SHOW ENDS

A scene from last year’s car show. Photo by Brian Park
A scene from last year’s car show. Photo by Brian Park

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