The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival is back and firing on all cylinders

The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival is the oldest and longest running auto show in northern Orange County, and like most events it’s not the same on Zoom.

The festival moved to a virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19, but this year returns as an in-person event on Sunday at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton.

“There is nothing else in this region that compares,” said Farrell Hirsch, CEO of Muck.

Rare and classic vehicles, like hot rods and customs officials, vintage motorcycles and vintage travel trailers will be on display on the centre’s 8-acre lawn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Century-old cars at the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival.

(Courtesy of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center)

Car owners apply to join the show and judges look for vehicles that demonstrate originality and authenticity while valuing design. Hot Rod classes include Best Paint, Best Engine, Best Interior, Best Open Car, Best Closed Car, Best Truck, Best Motorcycle, Best Chrome, Most Unusual Vehicle, Muck Award, and best of the show.

The competition classes include the 1915-1924 vintage, the 1925-1948 American car, the 1925-1948 European car, the 1949-1975 post-war American car, the 1949 post-war European car -1975, European and Asian sports cars up to 1975, American sports cars up to 1975, special interest and travel trailers.

Along with the classic rides, the event will also feature culinary specialties from Cary Farnsworth and his Vintage Ice Cream Bicycle and Heroes Bar & Grill.

Attendees will also find craft beer and live music from Janet Klein and the Parlor Boys to help set the retro vibe.

First held in 1994, the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival began as a charitable fundraiser for the Muck Foundation, which provides arts and education programs for children.

Today, the town of Fullerton retains ownership of the property and is managed by the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Foundation and its elected board of directors.

Proceeds from the festival, the centre’s first fundraiser of the year and a community tradition, support children’s arts programs at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center.

An inflated Volkswagen van at the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival.

An inflated Volkswagen van at the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival.

(Courtesy of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center)

“This is the 27th year in an unbroken series of presentations of the best automobiles in the Concourse and Hot Rod categories,” said Hirsch. “I don’t believe there is another annual auto show in the state that can say they haven’t missed any events during that time. I imagine it was this spirit in the face of obstacles, this perseverance through municipal bankruptcies, disruptive weather events and cataclysmic plagues that made us love the community.

General admission to the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival is $ 5. You can find more information at

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