While Southern California is famous for countless landmarks, the Del Mar Fairgrounds (and Race Track), located just north of San Diego, can certainly be counted among them. Although it's about a 90-minute drive from Hollywood, Del Mar's history has a distinctive Hollywood influence. The Del Mar Race Track was developed by Hollywood luminaries Bing Crosby and Pat O'Brian, and opened its gates in 1937. Its tagline quickly became "Where the Surf Meets the Turf," which later became the lyrics of a song recorded by Crosby. In the early '40s, some of the stars frequenting this fun spot included Dorothy Lamour, W.C. Fields, Ava Gardner, and Red Skelton. In the later '40s, a fresh crop of Hollywood faces such as Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Mickey Rooney, and Jimmy Durante became regulars.
To this day, Del Mar remains just as popular as ever, and hosts one of Southern California's most successful stops on the thoroughbred racing calendar. It's doubtful that many hot rodders outside the neighborhood are aware of the history here, but the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has certainly found a great place to stage a car show. This year marked the Association's fourth visit to this scenic spot where "The Surf Meets the Turf," and by all accounts, everybody had a great time. Three different buildings featured vendor exhibits (along with many outside), and the indoor halls even contained some of the slickest hot rods in Southern California. Another famous attraction at Del Mar is the Mecum Collector Car Auction, where lots of classy iron went up for bid. In all, the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals had all the elements for success-cool cars, sunshine, a relaxed SoCal attitude, and comfortable temps in the low 70s. We cruised!