Sante Fe Springs Scene – Mooneyes Open House!
The Mooneyes Open House, held at their Santa Fe Springs, California location brought together gear heads of all types with some incredible hot rods, bikes, and custom cars on display. It was sensory overload for the eyes, and for the ears as the “Hot Rod Trio” belted out their brand of “High Octane Rockabilly.” A small group of vendors were there offering art prints, collectibles, pin striping, and other automotive items adding even more depth to this fun annual gathering.
As the day went on, cars rotated in and out of the small parking lot out front. The Mooneyes store was packed; giving everyone a chance to purchase any of the cool products they offer.
For those who love history, the work shop was open to the public. Anyone could wander around and take in some of the tools of the trade used since Dean Moon opened this location in 1962.
Machine tools hold the same reverence as vintage cars to many. It was a highlight of the day for those who create their own parts by hand. That’s how Dean Moon got his start. He and brother Buzz were building cars in a small shop behind a café. He started developing his own speed parts which became popular with the hot rodders prowling the boulevards and racing on the dry lake beds.
The distinctive Moon barefoot gas pedal could be found on countless cars, trucks, VW’s and even boats for decades. The spun aluminum wheel covers he designed and built became known as Moon Discs, the smaller caps where dubbed “Baby Moons” and were a staple on many customs. Some companies might have copied the design, but the Moon name was what people used to describe them; regardless of manufacturer.
The company’s spun aluminum gas tanks were standard issue on drag cars and lakesters then continued to be popular during the VW and Minitruck crazes. The lightweight design, and beautiful appearance of the spun aluminum parts are still popular today. The product line also included several performance parts when Moon acquired Potvin Cams in 1962.
The distinctive Moon logo, designed for Dean Moon by a Disney commercial artist, became a world-wide sensation; adorning everything from hats and shirts to bikinis. The company flourished for decades until Dean’s passing in 1987. The company started to wane without Dean, but in 1992 the company was purchased by Moon dealer and family friend, Shige Suganuma.
Shige changed the name to Mooneyes USA and put Chico Kodama in charge of USA operations. Kodama is a racer, mechanic, and land speed racer active in the Eliminators SCTA Club. Together, they have expanded the brand to a whole new generation of hot rodders.
The Mooneyes Open House had fans of the brand from several generations, and it looks like the distinctive Moon logo with eyeballs will be a fixture in the automotive world for decades to come.
The intimate setting at the shop did not allow for many cars, but those on display were stunning. But the Mooneyes Open House isn’t really a car show anyway. Its purpose is to invite gearheads to see the inner workings of one of America’s signature speed shops and celebrate the culture of speed and style.
The annual MOONEYES X-MAS PARTY SHOW & DRAG on Dec. 8th at Irwindale Speed Way is another story. They’re expecting nearly a thousand cars and we will be there to cover it for you!