There was a confluence of motorcycle and hot rod cultures last weekend at the 17th annual Ventura Nationals. The parallels between the two scenes are numerous. Both boomed after World War II when GI’s coming home from the war were choppin’ and hoppin’ up cars and motorcycles. Southern California was a hot bed for both as gearheads with a need for speed headed to the dry lake beds outside LA to prove who was the fastest. Off-road legends like Malcolm Smith and Steve McQueen brought notoriety to the epic desert races and campouts held on the outskirts of the city. Often emulated but never duplicated, SoCal literally gave birth to the hot rod scene, bestowing us with visionaries like Von Dutch and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.

There was enough shiny gold flake to put an eye out on a sunny Saturday as gilded classics joined patinaed relics to fill Ventura Fairgrounds over Labor Day weekend. Hot rods, roadsters, led sleds, low riders and sweet surf wagons ruled the day, a smattering of motorcycles sprinkled in between for good measure. Throwback bands like The Moontones and Tom Kinney and the High-Seas set the stage by crooning and tuning. Between the music, motorcycles, cars and people, the Ventura Nationals had an anachronistic air as shows like this are timeless affairs.

This sweet 1973 Ironhead chopper by Gasoline & Coffee Speed Shop was one of the finest builds at the 17th annual Ventura Nationals. 

Gasoline & Coffee Speed Shop had a strong presence thanks to a trio of tight builds in front of its booth. Seems they have a penchant for ‘60s Triumphs because GCM constructed killer hardtail Springers out of both a 1966 Triumph Bonneville and a 1961 Triumph T100. As fine as both those bikes were, the craftsmanship on their 1973 Ironhead chopper shone even brighter, from the seamlessly molded tank to the oversized tubing of the frame to the engraving on its engine.

Part minion, part VW bug, the Mooneyed electric scooters were pure fun. 

Not to be outdone, 805 Beer brought the Bonneville-tested, 805-branded Thompson Cycles’ Triumph drag bike to the show in a flatbed. The Shiner Gold Pomade crew drew a crowd to its mobile barber shop thanks to a cherry hand-shifting Harley sitting out front. A pair of Panheads battled it out for best bike in show, but the twin #kaferoller scoots might have been the show stealer. First, they were so yellow, you couldn’t miss them. Second, it’s not every day you see a mash-up between a minion, VW bug fender, and an electric scooter. Throw some big Mooneyes into the mix and you’ve got the recipe for unadulterated fun by @thecadillacpat.