Pete Paulsen Hot Rod Party!
Pete Paulsen has been in the wheel business since 1961 when he opened the original House of Wheels in San Leandro, California. The kids would say he’s O.G. Pete is a former circle track driver, the past promoter of Delta Speedway (Stockton, California), and a hot rodder to the core. Each fall, he organizes and hosts the Pete Paulsen Hot Rod Party – an event that raises thousands of dollars annually for charities. He is a member of the prestigious Grand National Roadster Show, and the San Francisco Rod and Custom Hall of Fame.
This year Pete and hundreds of his hot rod friends celebrated the 28th consecutive Pete Paulsen Hot Rod Party at his ranch on the banks of the San Joaquin River in the community of French Camp. Over the past twenty-eight years the Hot Rod Party has donated close to $100,000 to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cancer Center and the Hawaii Children’s Cancer Center, as well as helping other people in need.
This year’s show saw hundreds of Rods, Customs, and Muscle Cars all fill the spacious ranch grounds – mostly Northern California iron although a few came in from Southern California and points elsewhere. Everything from hi-tech Pro Touring cars to bone stock Model T’s were represented. The car that drew everyone’s attention was Matt Taylor’s “Fool’s Goldster” Model “A” traditional custom. The car has been winning awards at shows all over Northern California and went home with the coveted Pete Paulsen Pick!
A tradition at the Hot Rod Party is the fantastic barbecue they serve up each year. You get to sit in Pete’s cool hot rod garage while you eat and check out the hundreds of framed photographs with well-known automotive celebrities that line all three walls. Speaking of celebrities, Candy Clark, best known for her portrayal as “Debbie” in the 1973 film American Graffiti, was on hand answering questions, signing autographs, and having a good time. There were vendors, race cars on display, a raffle, the Port City Roller Derby girls, and our good friend Herb Martinez laying down some pinstripes!
The date for next year’s show has already been set for October 14th, 2018. If you’re looking for a chill day at an old-school California delta ranch, Paulsen’s party is the place.