Autos, Consumer Electronics, Motorsports, Travel, Entertainment & More!

By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
Home Up Photography News & Views Most Recent Column Other Publications COLUMN ARCHIVES Contact Jan


Cars at the 2006 San Diego County Fair

This year I saw a bumper crop of cars and car stuff at the San Diego County Fair. My day began with what has become an annual event for me, as Miatas from the San Diego Miata Club converged on the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Miatas on the Del Mar Fairgrounds

At 8:30 in the morning, well before the admission gates opened for the day, we formed a little convoy of Miatas and paraded past the sprawling public parking lots and onto the fairgrounds, working our way slowly towards the buildings used for wagering on the ponies.

’69 “General Lee” Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard


Inside, a variety of interesting vehicles were on display on what is normally the wagering floor.

“Great Wheels” car show

Outside, where we drove, is where the “Great Wheels” car show was. Fairgoers could look our cars over and vote for the ones that they liked best. Over the run of the fair, various car clubs display several vehicles each. The day I went there were Miatas and absolutely beautiful woodies. Despite my best efforts to create a fancy, autocross-themed display for my Miata, it was not at all a surprise when a woodie won the people’s choice award.


From there I spent my day wandering around the fairgrounds, camera at the ready. In the infield, there were several auto-themed rides for little kids. It looked like they were having a blast, as they enjoyed their picture-perfect Southern California day.


Also in the infield there were some commercial and public service exhibits. A company named Resource Wizards ( sells just about any kind of promotional giveaway you can imagine. A little foam AVIS car and an orange, autocross-type mini pylon caught my attention. The California Highway Patrol brought along a black & white Camaro.


Later, as I walked through an exhibit hall, I discovered a race track. Nomad Slot Racing sells model racing cars, track and accessories ( While there I raced against some very fast little kids – and was soundly beaten in the process.

Mid-afternoon we had to return to the car show area to see who won and then move our cars. We could either leave the grounds or re-park nearby. I stayed at the fair but took the opportunity to rest and enjoy lunch in air conditioned comfort back at the indoor car show.


I couldn’t pass by the various livestock exhibits without stopping to see where sheepskin seat covers come from. In one building sheep were waiting to have their coats sheared. Rather than shoot a boring photo of them from my vantage point up above, I crouched down to their eye level and got close. I thought I was being clever. I wonder what the sheep was thinking when, without warning, it sneezed on me and my camera!

General Motors had its usual display of vehicles on the grounds. This year, instead of a bandana, we could earn a handy backpack just for completing a short questionnaire. I asked if there was also a course where we could test drive cars. I guess we were too hard on them last year because they did not return.



As the day turned into night I eventually worked my way onto the midway’s “FUN ZONE,” where some of the rides looked much more exciting than what I usually experience at the wheel of my car in autocrosses.





Along with the food and games, there was a car-themed giant slide, racing clown cars, plush car prizes, upside down cars and even a haunted car from the Halloween Scream Zone. The ghoulish occupant of the passenger seat did not seem to be moving.

By the time I returned to my car, the parking lot was almost deserted. I was tired but happy. Once again there was plenty of car stuff to see and enjoy at the San Diego County Fair.

As always, please share your stories and send your comments to Enjoy the archives and more at  Drive safely and do join me again next time.

Copyright © 2006 Jan R. Wagner – #197 AutoMatters


Send email with your comments and suggestions about AutoMatters+ and this Web site.
Copyright © 2014 Jan R. Wagner – AutoMatters+