Classics fueling this charity event

John Von Holle and Darryl Nance want everyone to get rich off the Surf City Beach Cruise this weekend.

Everyone but themselves, that is.

Von Holle, the retired president of the city's Municipal Employees Assn., and Nance, the owner of D&P Classic Chevy in Huntington Beach, have spent more than a year planning a classic car show on the beach. The Saturday event will bring together hundreds of vintage models along with food, music and vendor booths and, organizers hope, plenty of business for Surf City hotels and restaurants.

Nance, whose family-run business refurbishes classic cars, is on the board of Hot August Nights, an annual car show in Reno, Nev. Over the years, he said, he's watched the show grow steadily and bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for Reno, and he'd like to see his event do the same for Huntington Beach.

"This isn't just about us putting on a car show," Nance said. "This is about helping the city raise money."

It's about something else, too. In honor of Veterans Day, all proceeds raised at the event will go to charities that benefit servicemen and women. Admission is free, but registration for each car is $30.

Von Holle, a Vietnam veteran, has worked on fundraisers for veterans before, but the Surf City Beach Cruise is his first time organizing a benefit himself. He and Nance chose the date because it came after the peak period for beach activity and didn't conflict with any other car shows, then realized that the date coincided with Veterans Day. The Marines will provide a series of military vehicles and also send a Color Guard and conduct a Toys for Tots drive.

"Being a veteran, I had a lot of friends who were wounded and went through it like I did," said Von Holle, who ran for City Council this year. "So I wanted to give back some respect."

Nance and Von Holle had about 200 cars registered late last week, with entrants coming in from around the West Coast. After the seven-day forecast showed that Saturday would be a warm day by the beach, the phone began ringing almost nonstop, Nance said.

Now, the organizers predict anywhere from 350 to 500 cars in the parking lot area by Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Boulevard. Ten of those cars will be supplied by Nance, who has run his shop at 18331 Enterprise Lane for 25 years and operates it with his wife and two sons.

D&P Classic Chevy takes shells of vintage cars and equips them with modern interiors. The oldest car in the shop dates back to 1937, while the majority are from the 1950s through 1970s. Often, Nance said, his customers are wealthy older people looking to buy the car they couldn't afford in their youth.

"We give you the car you always wanted," he said. "Maybe the rich kid in high school had a '69 Camaro."

If You Go

What: Surf City Beach Cruise

Where: Beach parking lot, Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Cost: Free admission, but $30 to display a car

Information: (714) 375-0889 or

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