This year, I kind of wondered if it was going to happen. The Longbranch shares the parking lot with what was a vacant Chili's, so they had lots of unused space to spread out. During the off-season, that building was re-inhabited by an IHOP. The scuttlebutt among cruise participants was that it would put an end to the weekly festivities.
Cool cars were parked curb-to-curb in that parking lot, the music was playing through the P.A. system, and everybody seemed to be having a great time.
There were a few changes. The Longbranch Saloon has become the Longbranch Ale House.
That means you'd get the occasional filthy Camry slithering its way through, parking between the hot rods so the car-averse occupants could go get a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity. I don't really mind that they're there, but sometimes I worry about kids walking out in front of them. People that don't attend car shows don't always understand the sort of mindless, carefree atmosphere.
There was a red and white '59 Impala parked to the side that was pretty interesting. Tack on Continental Kits were never my favorite, but I believe this one was a genuine Chevrolet accessory that didn't look out of place here.
One of them was a '31 Packard sedan with pretty chrome wire wheels and side mounts. I didn't see under the hood, but judging by the interior, it was going to have some sort of modern drive train. There was also a '47 Cadillac Sedanette there that was motivated by none other than a late-model Cadillac Northstar power plant.
There were lots of familiar cars from last year, and several new ones at the Longbranch Friday night. But the bottom line is that rumors of this event's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Take a look at the pictures below.