2012 NorCal Knockout Hot Rod Car Show – 2 on 1, Still Fight’n

Northern California Car Show – Hot Rods and Custom Cars

Story Contributed by MyRideisMe.com member: Nick Koljian “Hellcity316”

hot rod and custom car showIt’s that time of the year again and like a little kid on Christmas eve I’m all giddy with hot rod excitement. The night of July 6th I was very restless. Shuffling around all my camera gear, making sure all my batteries where good and charged and cleaning my lenses… I put a little stack of necessities right by the front door for the morning so I would not forget them. Phone, media pass, gum, MyRideisMe.com stickers and other little survival tidbits that I might need for the next day festivities.
You know when you get that feeling that you are forgetting something and you can’t put your finger on it?

Well, that was the feeling I was having. I looked around at everything and went through my list 4 times over. I made all my calls, got all my gear, the ride is fueled up, went to the bank for some juice. What am I forgetting? Then it dawned on me. I took a look at the clock in my kitchen and it was 12:35am. Sleep. That’s what I’m forgetting. I need to sleep. As I laid my head down on the cool side of my pillow with anticipation of custom delights running through my head. I knew it was now officially July 7th.

July 7th is finally here and it’s time for Round 3 of NorCal KnockOut at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, CA. I wanted to get to the show really early to check out the move in and also ride in with my compadre and fellow lens junkie John Lemonie of the Villains car club. I was also very curious about who was going to show up. I had no doubts it was going to be a packed house but there was some interesting schedule changes on the car show calendar this year. I pulled up to the show to be met by the host club Desperados Gunar Hansken and Rick Holcomb of the Swanx car club. We threw out some early morning cheer and I told them I would meet up with them later in the show. Parked the ride, tilted back the last of my Starbucks, grabbed my gear and checked the time. It was 8:00am and the move in was already a mile long. The show didn’t start till 10:00am. So this was a quick answer to my original thought. To look down the line and to see nothing but a sea of precious metals would give anyone the chills. After taking some shots I saw the Villains pull in so I jumped in Johnny’s 49 and began to premeditate our photographic attack. We both agreed today was going to be special. You could just feel it.

Skip the rest and check out the pictures: Hot Rod Gallery for Knockout Round 3

hot rod and custom car show, northern california car show

Once in the show I knew I had to act fast before the crowd started to file in. It was rather hard cause each time I would turn around, more rides would be filing in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It was great. I spoke with Korena Goldstein and Henrik Forss the co-creators of NorCal KnockOut after the show and they had a car count of close to 400 rides. That’s pretty amazing when you are 1 of 3 car shows going on in the same day.

By noon time it was a packed house. Like every year of the Knockout Korena, Hank and the Swankx make it a smooth ride. I have been to all 3 of the NCKO’s and every year it’s like a hot rod vacation. The variety of rides and clubs were again outstanding ranging from customs to classic style, hot rods and roadsters. NCKO, also like every year, had top fuel machines like the Vagabond dragster and some really cool gassers. The car club Relentless CC and Los Boulevardos CC brought in their style of supreme old school lowriders.

This year NCKO added a new touch to the show by bringing in some classic bikes. A 1938 Indian scout that was owned and raced by Stan DiShong in the 30s and 40s. Other bikes were Jim Trochet’s 1946 Harley that won Best Bike, rightfully so. This year at NCKO also sported some amazing custom paint and flake jobs that would make your head spin. The variety of steel was top shelf by far.

Car show trophy winners shown below…

custom car show, hot rods and customs, custom metal flake paint

Speaking of variety, NCKO did not stop there. By adding a perfect blend of vendors and placing them strategically so you wouldn’t have to file through them to get to the other side of the show. They were placed off in the canopy area where they had their own little world. Genius. You were not overwhelmed by one or the other. A nice pinch of automotive style with pinstriping guru Kyle Martin and fabricators and custom paint stylist with the likes of Chuckles Garage and Altissimo. Photo booths with Rabid mag and Relic photography. Groovy tiki creations by Lopes Kreation and Ruby Collins was signing her new EP Deacades. If you wanted to get some ink, 925 Tattoo was laying it in all day. It was a nice combo of vendors.

hot rod and custom car show,custom made tiki

As far as the entertainment value, NCKO brought in DJ Tanoa “Samoa Boy” Stewart who spinned rocking tunes all day. Band wise NCKO signed The OC Hurricanes from L.A and San Francisco’s own Rocketship Rocketship. Who both knocked it out.

hot rod and custom car show, car show with music

After the bands played it was award time. All the awards were custom made and were pretty impressive. This years NCKO awards had some new categories. These new categories were very original and gave kudos to people that sometimes get over looked like Best Young Builder award that went to Mario Messa and his 62′ T-Bird. Most Likely to Get Pulled Over Award that went to Tyler Glenn of the NorCal Knights CC. KnockOut Vendor went to El Gato Negro. How could we forget the NorCal KnockOut 1st Annual KnockOut Stash Contest hosted by yours truly with the winner being Larry McClure. Oh yes, we can’t forget the raffle. This year NCKO gave away a 1962 Ford Ranchero striped by Ralph “Moochie” Finaley. Uh… how cool is that! All total there was 15 awards passed out. If you want to know the whole list of award winners you can go to http://norcalknockout.com/trophyclasses2012.html and check it out.

hot rod and custom car show, custom hot rod trophies

Here’s all the show winners:

After the awards it was time to wind down the show with everyone starting their engines to signify that another fantastic NorCal KnockOut has come to an end. Well at least the car show did because there was a big After Party at Altissimo Paint and Restoration. Which to my understanding went way past my bed time… For more info on upcoming NorCal KnockOuts go to: http://norcalknockout.com/index.html.

hot rod and custom car show, Nick Koljian photography

Final Word

I have to admit the night before the show I had high expectations of this year’s show and I set the bar pretty high just for the simple fact that I wanted to see how Korena and Henrik would battle adversity with 2 other major shows going on the same day. I was not surprised to see them handle with true professionalism, class and a steady hand. They promoted this show with timeless dedication and hard work. I have the utmost respect and admire the way those two handled the day. The show itself was stellar. From the weather to the location. from the way everything was organized and placed to having the right amount of everything. NorCal KnockOut just proved again that they are one of the heavy hitters in the car show circuit.

I’ve been to quite a few shows in my time and I’ve seen them come and go. In my opinion, NorCal KnockOut has reached super show status not only in Northern California but in California period. My definition of super show is the likes of BilletProof, Grand Nationals, Autorama and so on. I truly believe that NorCal KnockOut has reached that status. Every year NorCal KnockOut gets bigger and better and if it wasn’t for the two other shows going on, this show would have been SRO. The funny part about that is Korena and Hank would have handled it like it was nothing!

I’m already looking forward to next year’s show and at this juncture, this was the best show of the year till I’m proven wrong. NorCal KnockOut is just what it’s called , a knockout. -N/K

See all of Nick’s picture from the show in the Hot Rod Gallery for Knockout Round 3

– N/K

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