By John Baeke

Contributing Writer

For the sixth time, the highly talented Santa Ynez Valley High School Pirate Garage staged a grand car show March 16 on their historic campus.

pirate car show

A parking lot filled with eye-candy includes Dan Hoagland’s (Santa Ynez) 1958 Ford Skyliner, David Montoya’s (Solvang) stunning1936 hot rod Ford coupe, Mike Waggoner’s (Santa Ynez) ’65 Ford Mustang, and Chuck Head’s (Solvang) ’71 Ford Maverick.

The annual event continues to grow in popularity, aided by an eager co-ed team of students, parents and 50 loyal sponsors. Special thanks goes to Kathy Rick, Terry Westfall, Maria Garcia, Mindi Christian and many others.

This year witnessed an estimated 140 collector vehicles of all flavors. Cars were brought in from up and down the Central Coast. On display was everything from muscle to Minis; hot rods to rat rods; low-riders to hi boys; trucks to a tractor.

Examples of every decade dating back to the 1920s were present. The parking lot became a classroom in automotive history.

Hundreds came to enjoy all the shiny chrome and fins in the valley sun. There were moms pushing tykes in strollers and old guys spinning tales of their youth. There were happy teenagers gawking with friends and wide-eyed Asian tourists shaking their heads in disbelief. All left with smiles.

The Pirates were equally quick to share their booty, handing out freebies, holding a benefit raffle and awarding handmade plaques to a lucky few.

The Pirate Garage is one of the crown jewels of Santa Ynez Valley High School. This Career Technical Education (CTE) program is lead by “Professor” Rob Hill, who has for years introduced many of our youth to the exciting hobby and career of auto mechanics. The program has even partnered with SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) on several projects.

Hill has always welcomed girls and boys of all skill levels, from those unaccustomed to holding a wrench to those wearing grease beneath their fingernails. Nowhere can the Pirate Garage co-ed fraternity be better marveled than on the racetrack. You read that right. Many weekends this group can be cheered on at local dirt tracks, including Santa Maria and Ventura, where they duke it out with the big boys (and girls). Rock on, Pirate Garage!