William Sine (second from right) and friends
Every Thursday night at the La Costa Town Square shopping center, a scene from the 1950s and 60s boulevard car cruses repeats itself. Instead of slow street cruising, 200 car enthusiasts park, hang out, talk cars, and maybe tailgate with pizza and hip hop music.
On May 3, the crowd of 200 came for the La Costa Cars and Pizza Club in front of the Project Pie restaurant, at the corner of Rancho Santa Fe Road and La Costa Avenue.
The crowd roamed, checking out about 100 vehicles, from $100,000 production cars down to a ‘65 Chevy pick up truck and an old VW Bug. Most of the cars were smaller foreign — BMWs and Honda Civics.
The Carlsbad group were under 30, not a lot of F words flying, and respectful of the law.
“L.A. has no respect for authority,” said Brendon Recchio of Temecula, “They [street racers] shut down intersections, highways, and parking lots.” “They’re dangerous,” said one bystander.
Under the eye of a Carlsbad police unit cruising through the lot, “They’re out here to support us. We’re very strict with behavior,” said William Sine of Vista.
“We all have a common interest, promoting a passion for cars,” said Sine, as he showed off his 2008 BMW 325i with a swooped up 500 horsepower motor. Reccchio’s 2014 stock Mustang had only exhaust modifications. “But it sounds really good,” said a friend.
Sine pointed out the high schoolers usually start with a $500 fixer-upper. “As one becomes an adult, they have more money,” said Sine. Sine says he’s spent $21,000 on his Beemer.
The club has been around since 2015, but dwindled down to a few cars last year because of police crackdowns on burnouts in the parking lot and street racing out of the shopping center.
Sam Mayorga, of Carlsbad, took over organizing the club last August. He got permission from the center’s three restaurants to park in front of their stores, sponsorships with discounts on food for club attendees, and worked with the police.
“We want a positive image,” said club member Sine. They’ve banned shows-offs that want to rev up engines.
Organized races are held at SDCCU, hosted by racelegal.com.
Car lingo for the casual visitor;
Stance Cars — “It sits pretty, but that’s about it,” said Sine. Expensive, looks good, but can’t out-race most of the modified small foreign cars in the lot.
Drift Cars — They race on the SoCal tracks, or do autocross on a set course at SDCCU Stadium. And yes, they do drift around corners just like in the movies.
Street Cars — Totally street legal, drive-to-work cars that go fast in street racing drags.