Photos of cool aviation event at Gillespie Field!

Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 aircraft on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.
Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 airplane on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.

Yesterday I enjoyed a very cool event at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Air Group One, the San Diego wing of the Commemorative Air Force, put on a unique Warbird Expo and Aviation & Military Memorabilia Swap Meet out on the airfield’s tarmac!

All sorts of restored World War II aircraft were on display, as well as jeeps, vintage automobiles and other unique vehicles–even old tractors! I noticed that a few of the historical airplanes belong to Air Group One; others are stationed at Gillespie Field or flew in for the occasion.

The swap meet portion of the event featured all sort of artwork and aviation collectibles. Occasionally a World War II airplane would take off, land or roar by. Visitors could purchase a short ride around Gillespie Field! While Air Group One often participates in airshows, I was told this was their first ever event of this type. Hopefully it becomes an annual tradition!

Read the photo captions to learn more!

Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
A banner explains that Air Group One's restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
A banner explains that Air Group One’s restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
Someone leaves the cockpit of "Sassy" after a ride around "The Patch" of Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
Someone leaves the cockpit of “Sassy” after a ride “around the patch” at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor Lucky Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor “Lucky” Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the airplanes!
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the aircraft!
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
Visitors to Air Group One's first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
Visitors to Air Group One’s first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen's reform school number!
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen’s reform school number!
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen's old Stearman PT-17.
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen’s old Stearman PT-17.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Aviation souvenirs and stuff for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Aviation souvenirs and collectibles for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and a unique patrol car and taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and an eye-catching San Diego Police Museum patrol car/taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Keep 'em Flying.
Keep ’em Flying.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.

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World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! This unusual car drove from San Diego to New York . . . and back . . . without stopping!
This 1947 Cadillac was transformed into an amazing cross-country contraption! The unusual car drove from San Diego to New York and back–without stopping!

Have you heard of the amazing car that features a toilet, washing machine, ironing board, shower, and even a kitchen sink?

Did you know this amazing car also has an electric stove, refrigerator, medicine cabinet, and drinking fountain?

And that this particular car holds the cross-country driving endurance record? In 1952, three men drove the car 6,320 miles nonstop–literally without stopping–from San Diego to New York and back, accompanied by a police escort the entire way! They refueled from a moving gas truck!

What else can this amazing car do?

The car automatically changes oil and refills the radiator. Movable platforms and hydraulic jacks allow any tire to be changed without stopping the car. And repairs to the engine can be made while driving. The hood, when open, has transparent panels that allow the driver to see the road!

A shower and drinking fountain! Why not? The shower is on the right running board and the drinking fountain can be accessed at a rear taillight! The back seat conveniently contains several household necessities, including a refrigerator, stove, small washing machine, chemical toilet, and, of course . . . that kitchen sink!

Never heard of this crazy car? It once was quite famous, widely appearing on television, in magazines and newspapers. But that was decades ago.

Today you can see Louie Mattar’s extensively modified 1947 Cadillac for yourself. ¬†It’s on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!

Here’s to the dreamers. And here’s to the actual¬†doers. It took Louie Mattar five years to transform his amazing dream into reality!

Louie Mattar's car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and repairs are done on the run.
Louie Mattar’s car was driven 6320 miles without ever stopping. Refueling, tire changes and even engine repairs are done on the run!
You can see Louie Mattar's fabulous car at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.
You can see the most amazing car in the world at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area!
The car tows a trailer, which stores gasoline, water and oil. At the rear is an outdoor dining area complete with dial telephone!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform and take a shower outside!
When the car was in motion, a passenger in swim trunks could stand on a narrow platform outside and take a shower!
A look at the complicated dashboard. I'm reminded of an airplane's cockpit.
A look at the complicated dashboard. I’m reminded of an airplane’s cockpit.
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
Diagram shows the many gauges and switches available to the driver. A bar and hookah are within easy reach of the front seat passenger!
A look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
Another look inside the amazing car through the front passenger side door.
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like dish of spaghetti!
A crazy tangle under the hood. It looks like a dish of spaghetti!
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac's original stock engine.
Diagram shows numerous modifications and additions to the 1947 Cadillac’s original stock engine.
A passenger on the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while turning!
A passenger in the moving car could stand on this projecting platform to change a tire! The axles are drilled, so tires can be inflated while they are turning!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
A video in the San Diego Automotive Museum shows the amazing car in action!
Not many cars feature an electric stove and ironing board!
How many cars in the world are equipped with an electric stove and ironing board?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Merry sights at the La Jolla Christmas Parade!

A merry sight along the La Jolla Christmas Parade route!
A merry sight along the La Jolla Christmas Parade route!

Today I enjoyed watching the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade! After walking a bit around La Jolla, I settled onto the curb and watched Christmas-themed floats, vintage cars and marching bands celebrate the merry season.

It’s a wonderful parade that I hadn’t seen before. Very glad I did this year!

Here are my best photos. Read the captions to follow along.

The Community Christmas Tree is hung with lights and ornaments at the La Jolla Recreation Center park.
The Community Christmas Tree is hung with lights and ornaments at the La Jolla Recreation Center park. A festival would be held here at the Christmas Parade’s conclusion.
This Community Christmas Tree is dedicated to the people of La Jolla this day, October 27, 1984, by the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club.
This Community Christmas Tree is dedicated to the people of La Jolla this day, October 27, 1984, by the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club.
As I walked down Girard Avenue, I spied some colorful Christmas cookies in a shop window!
As I walked before the parade down Girard Avenue, I spied some colorful Christmas cookies in a shop window!
In the parade staging area, various floats and groups were assembling before the scheduled early afternoon start.
In the parade staging area, various floats and groups were assembling before the scheduled early afternoon start.
A kid checks out the bright red OMBAC Fire Department engine, which is seen in many San Diego area parades.
A kid checks out the bright red OMBAC Fire Department engine, which is seen in many San Diego area parades.
Everyone is getting into position for the big Christmas parade in La Jolla!
The participants are getting ready for the big Christmas parade in La Jolla!
I saw these folks driving a vintage car to the staging area while I walked back to the parade viewing area.
I saw these folks driving a vintage car to the staging area while I walked back to the parade viewing area.
In 2016, the theme of the La Jolla Christmas Parade was Christmas in the Future. A special newspaper was printed up for the event by the La Jolla Village News.
In 2016, the theme of the La Jolla Christmas Parade is Christmas in the Future. A special newspaper was printed up for the event by the La Jolla Village News.
While people gathered along the parade route, these four guys in Santa hats came strolling along. They were singers!
While people gathered along the parade route, these four guys in Santa hats came strolling along. They were singers!
A musical quartet belonging to the Pacific Coast Harmony of La Jolla serenades people along the parade route! Great voices!
A musical quartet belonging to the Pacific Coast Harmony of La Jolla serenades people along the parade route! Great voices!
Pre-parade entertainment included some lion dancers coming down Prospect Street.
Pre-parade entertainment included some lion dancers coming down Prospect Street.
Residents revel in a time-honored tradition. 2016 is the 59th year of the La Jolla Annual Christmas Parade!
Residents revel in a time-honored tradition. 2016 is the 59th year of the La Jolla Annual Christmas Parade!
Just before the parade started, several vintage airplanes flew overhead. They were billed as the Antique Aircraft Flyover.
Just before the parade started, restored old biplanes flew overhead. They were billed as the Antique Aircraft Flyover.
The La Jolla Christmas Parade gets started! It is sponsored by The Dr. Seuss Foundation. The popular children's author lived in La Jolla.
The La Jolla Christmas Parade gets started! It is sponsored by The Dr. Seuss Foundation. The popular children’s author lived in La Jolla.
Biplanes continue to pass overhead as enthusiastic parade groups march and dance on by.
Cool aircraft continue to pass overhead as enthusiastic parade groups march and dance on by.
Here come the costumed Sons of the American Revolution parading down Prospect Street!
Here come the costumed Sons of the American Revolution parading down Prospect Street!
The Stella Maris Academy won Best Overall award. Their float featured an astronaut, a Christmas nativity scene and music lyrics. We believe the children are our future...
The Stella Maris Academy won Best Overall award. Their float featured an astronaut, a Christmas nativity scene and music lyrics. We believe the children are our future…
The La Jolla Presbyterian Church had Joseph, Mary, shepherds, an angel, and two live camels!
The La Jolla Presbyterian Church had Joseph, Mary, shepherds, an angel, and two live camels!
A young elf hands out Christmas candies to people watching La Jolla's joyful holiday parade.
A young elf hands out Christmas candies to people watching La Jolla’s joyful holiday parade.
A horse and carriage and folks dressed in Victorian garb for Christmas.
A horse and carriage and folks dressed in Victorian garb for Christmas.
Every parade must have marching bands!
Every parade must have marching bands!
Here comes a Girl Scout Troop and a friendly dog.
Here comes a Girl Scout Troop and a friendly dog.
I guess robots will celebrate Christmas in the future!
I guess metallic robots will celebrate Christmas in the future! Or wait. It just occurred to me those might be gift-wrapped boxes.
Here come the Sweetwater High School Red Devils!
Here come the Sweetwater High School Red Devils!
The Red Devils band marches by playing Christmas tunes!
The Red Devils band marches by playing Christmas tunes!
Just a fun float featuring a surfboard and Dr. Seuss characters. Like many, it was created by a local business. I've photographed the guy in the crazy Darth Vader outfit at other cool San Diego events!
Just a fun float featuring a surfboard and Dr. Seuss characters. Like many, it was created by a local business. I’ve photographed the guy in the crazy Darth Vader outfit at other cool San Diego events!
The La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club was spraying Christmas snow onto the onlookers with their stocking covered fire truck!
The La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club was spraying snow onto the onlookers with their Christmas stocking-covered fire truck!
There goes The San Diego Golden Retriever Meetup Group with lots of canine pals!
There goes The San Diego Golden Retriever Meetup Group with lots of canine pals!
Another cool sight at the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade.
Another cool sight at the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade.
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

1915 Road Race vintage car show in Balboa Park!

Kid checks engine of vintage car at Balboa Park show commemorating 1915 race.
Kid checks engine of vintage car at Balboa Park show commemorating 1915 race.

One hundred years ago a famous road race took place in San Diego. Many of the world’s greatest race drivers took part. The 1915 San Diego Exposition Road Race was a thrilling, dangerous 300 mile race around the streets of Point Loma. Those streets still exist today.

This morning, dozens of vintage cars took part in a rally along the old race route. The event was part of Balboa Park’s Centennial celebration, which is being held all year long to remember the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Before the rally, the participating cars gathered in Balboa Park in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum for a special car show. I walked up to the park this morning to check things out.

Wow! Double wow!

Please enjoy these photos. While I love looking at classic cars, I’m very far from being an expert. If you detect an error in the captions, or have something interesting to add, please leave a comment!

Guy drives his classic automobile through Balboa Park, heading to a special car show.
Guy drives his classic automobile through Balboa Park, heading to a special car show.
Old race car is pushed into position. San Diego Automotive Museum is in the background.
Old race car is pushed into position. San Diego Automotive Museum is in the background.
Vintage cars from era of Point Loma road race that began 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Vintage cars from era of Point Loma road race that began 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Someone checks out Fiat racing car at special Balboa Park Centennial event.
Someone checks out Fiat racing car at special Balboa Park Centennial event.
Wooden dashboard full of knobs looks almost prehistoric compared to modern cars!
Wooden dashboard full of knobs looks almost prehistoric compared to modern cars!
Engine of 1914 Tahis Special that competed in many races!
Engine of 1914 Tahis Special that competed in many races!
Collectibles from 1915 road race in Point Loma that kicked off Panama-California Exposition!
Collectibles from 1915 road race in Point Loma that kicked off Panama-California Exposition!
People can still ride in style in this elegant Pierce-Arrow.
People can still ride in style in this elegant Pierce-Arrow.
Pierce-Arrow luxury automobiles in early 1900s were owned by many movie stars and tycoons.
Pierce-Arrow luxury automobiles in early 1900s were owned by many movie stars and tycoons.
So many amazing cars were lined up in the parking lot it was hard to take it all in!
So many amazing cars were lined up in the parking lot it was hard to take it all in!
1910 REO Model D Touring car has a very classic look.
1910 REO Model D Touring car has a very classic look.
Check out this awesome vintage Cadillac!
Check out this awesome vintage Cadillac!
1909 Pope Hartford on display at Balboa Park Centennial special car show.
1909 Pope Hartford on display at Balboa Park Centennial special car show.
This isn't your father's Buick. But it might have been driven by the grandparents!
This isn’t your father’s Buick. But it might have been driven by your grandparents!
Walking around, I felt like I'd stepped back in time one hundred years!
Walking around, I felt like I’d stepped back in time one hundred years!
Here's the grill of a cool Ford. License plate is for a Horseless Carriage.
Here’s the grill of a cool Ford. License plate is for a Horseless Carriage.
Colorful Ford is painted orange and green. Awesome!
Colorful Ford is painted orange and green. Awesome!
Red and green signal light near spare tire on back.
Red and green signal light near spare tire on back.
1910 Velie Model D Touring cars were popular. Velie race cars were also successful.
1910 Velie Model D Touring cars were popular. Velie race cars were also successful.
Many of these beautiful old cars contain wood, brass and leather.
Many of these beautiful old cars contain lots of wood, brass and leather.
Dozens of classic cars were out on display!
Dozens of classic cars were out on public display!
Inspecting another Velie, made in Moline, Illinois.
Inspecting another Velie, made early last century in Moline, Illinois.
Very cool 1911 Ono, a vintage chain driven race car.
Very cool 1911 Ono, a vintage chain-driven race car.
Someone nearby joked: It's a motorcycle chain!
Someone nearby joked: It’s a motorcycle chain!
And here's a guy checking out the engine of an Italian Isotta Fraschini.
And here’s a guy checking out the engine of an Italian Isotta Fraschini.
Makes my own extremely modest car look downright futuristic!
Makes my own extremely modest car look downright futuristic!
Chests full of tools that car mechanics would use back in the old days.
Chests full of tools that car mechanics would use back in the old days.
Kid checks out a 1912 Packard race car in Balboa Park.
Kid checks out a 1912 Packard race car in Balboa Park.
Many refurbished motors were open for people to investigate.
Many refurbished motors were open for people to investigate.
A large crowd enjoys many super cool cars in front of San Diego Automotive Museum.
A large crowd enjoys many super cool cars in front of San Diego Automotive Museum.
News cameraman gets a shot of young girl in pink pretending to race a vintage car.
News cameraman gets a shot of young girl in pink pretending to race a vintage car.
Racing goggles lie ready on leather seat. The road rally will begin in a few minutes!
Racing goggles lie ready on leather seat. The road rally will begin in a few minutes!
I've never seen so many cameras taking so many photographs in one place!
I’ve never seen so many cameras taking so many photographs in one place!
Fun historical costumes were everywhere you turned.
Fun historical costumes were everywhere you turned.
This fellow is ready to go! It's a perfect Saturday morning for a road trip!
This fellow is ready to go! It’s a perfect Saturday morning for a road trip!
It might have a dent or two, but it still runs!
It might have a dent or two, but it still runs!
One guy checks out the steering wheel, another the unusual wheels on the asphalt!
One guy checks out the steering wheel, another the unusual wheels on the asphalt!
Getting the engine started with the old hand crank!
Getting the engine started with the old hand crank!
Gentlemen, take your seats! We're about to get started!
Gentlemen, take your seats! We’re about to get started!
Don't touch this fancy car unless you are nude! (And showered, presumably.)
Don’t touch this fancy car unless you are nude! (And showered, presumably.)
I love this shiny oval grill on a Pope-Hartford.
I love this shiny oval grill on a Pope-Hartford.
Not sure how this old horseless carriage would fare in a race.
Not sure how this old horseless carriage would fare in a race.
That's about as primitive a car you'll ever see.
That’s as primitive a motorcar as you’re likely to ever see.
Folks are talking and having a whole lot of fun!
Folks are shooting the breeze and having a whole lot of fun!
This guy is getting ready to climb aboard a gorgeous classic Hudson.
This guy is getting ready to climb aboard a gorgeous classic Hudson.
Car show disbands and crowds have scattered to make way.
Car show disbands and crowds have scattered to make way.
Here they come! That's the San Diego Air and Space Museum in the background.
Here they come! That’s the San Diego Air and Space Museum in the background.
Many drivers and onlookers wore clothing styles from early 20th century.
Many drivers and onlookers wore fashion styles from early 20th century.
A long line of beautiful vintage hundred-year-old autos rumbles past.
A long line of beautifully restored hundred-year-old autos rumbles past.
Heading out of Balboa Park for Point Loma, where historic 1915 race will be commemorated.
Heading out of Balboa Park for Point Loma, where historic 1915 race will be commemorated.

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Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase in Gaslamp.

cool cars in front of ghirardelli's

I enjoyed checking out lots of cool cars at the Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase on Sunday morning. The event filled several blocks of downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District.

High-performance and rare vintage automobiles were all over the place. I saw a row of Ferraris, some Porsches, a DeLorean, Vipers, Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Thunderbirds and even a group of mint condition Model A antique cars. Many of the exhibits were courtesy of the Mopar Club of San Diego.

cool cars and historic buildings in gaslamp

Here’s a wide shot that shows some cool buildings along Fifth Avenue.

antique car at san diego gaslamp showcase

bmw isetta 300 at fifth avenue auto showcase

This Isetta 300 is a tiny bubble-like Italian-designed car that was once was produced throughout Europe. The front of the car swings up, serving as the driver’s door!

cool cars displayed in downtown san diego

steve mcqueen's bullitt car in gaslamp

Here’s a Ford Mustang identical to the car used in Bullitt, that Steve McQueen movie with the classic chase scene.

vintage car at fifth avenue auto showcase

Auto enthusiasts were in heaven!