SoCal Car Culture Alive and Well at Lincoln & Lattes

Anyone who thinks The Southern California car culture is on the wane should have attended the incredible Lincoln and Lattes event at the Lincoln Design Center in Irvine this past Saturday.

While the 50 or so Lincolns formed the centerpiece of the event, there was every manner of wheeled vehicle on display in this 300-car field—from supercars to stately classics, hot rods and customs and a few surprises. As befits its upscale name, Lincoln and Lattes was much more than just another Cars and Coffee on a Saturday morning.

The show’s three hours were hardly enough time to take it all in. It was impossible not to linger with the owners to find out more about these beautiful and unique cars. Then suddenly, as quickly as it all began, the clock struck 11 a.m. and poof! the parking lot morphed into a ghost town. But for a short moment in history the field throbbed with life.

The exclusive Salon area featured an eclectic mix of new, historical and celebrity owned cars that drew admiring crowds.

Among the vehicles displayed there was a trio of Mark IIs that included a striking ’56 light blue custom roadster once owned by Martha Firestone Ford, a ‘56 nicknamed Lizzy that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor dressed in its dark metallic blue, parked cheek to cheek next to ex husband Mike Todd’s silver 1957. The two vehicles were reunited for this show nearly 66 years after Todd lost his life in a plane crash following his marriage to Taylor just 13 months prior.

Her Continental’s custom paint reflected her violet eyes and was gifted to her by Warner Bros. for her role in the film Giant. As with every Continental Mark II, this car was handmade to create the most luxurious, well-produced car in America. In 1980 Taylor’s Mark II won the Ford trophy at an LCOC national meet.

Max Neary’s 1926 Model L and Randy Ema’s 1927 Judkins Coupe were the Salon’s most senior Lincolns and a pair of Rolls-Royces from the same era were there.

Kip Cyprus’ 1961 Lincoln convertible was displayed top-down along with the 1964 Lincoln convertible formerly owned by President Lyndon Johnson. A number of Shelby Mustangs were there and a beautiful 1952 Citroen.

Several Ford GTs provided stark contrast to the century-old cars in the Salon. A striking Radford, modern take on the 1969 Lotus Type 62 Race Car, is an all carbon monocoque, that has been described as, “the epitome of modern coachbuilding.”

Our friends from Just Having Fun, a custom car group, and the Old Cranks combined to display about 2 dozen pre-war hot rods, roadsters and mid-century collector cars and trucks.

Some of the area’s best Thunderbirds made it to Irvine.

And, what Ford-sponsored show would be complete without some Cobras?

There were classic British, German and Italian cars and even a Bugatti.

For a car buff there was no better way to spend a Saturday morning. Our thanks to John Clinard and his Ford team for making it all possible.

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