The first ever Hearts & Rods on February 10th in Oceanside was a smashing success. Classic car owners, family and friends came out in droves to view the impressive collection of Cadillacs, Corvettes, Fords, Mercury’s, Hot Rods, Rat Rods and more on South Coast Hwy 101. Organizer Dino Lacovino shares his thoughts on the event:

  1. When did you first become interested in classic cars?

When I was young boy in 1963, I used to walk around with a bucket and a sponge. There was a gentleman down the street from my house that had a 1963 split window Corvette. I would wash the rims and tires for a quarter each. I was six. That’s when I knew I was interested in cars. 

  1. What inspired you to start Hearts and Rods?

MainStreet Oceanside asked 101 Café Owner John Daily to run a cruise night during Valentine’s Week. John said I know just the guy who could do it so we worked on it together. I’ve wanted to organize a cruise night ever since I bought my 1955 Bel-Air Wagon in 2001.

  1. What is your vision for the event?

I want to run a cruise night once a month and have all of PCH filled up with hot rods and classic cars. I’d like to see people watch all of the cars, walk around and visit, hang out in lawn chairs and patronize every restaurant on PCH. I’d like to have street performers at key areas along PCH.

  1. Is there anything that you would like to add?

Oceanside is a great coastal town with many classic cars and hot rods. Everybody goes somewhere else to go show their car: Escondido, Poway and Encinitas. It’s time for Oceanside to start it’s own hot rod night.

I put on the South Oceanside Hotrod Rat Rod Custom Car & Bike Show at my son’s school. This is our 4th year of doing the show. We have raised $8,000 each of the last three years to help fund things such as computer labs, fifth grade camp, PE equipment and nonfiction reading material. Our show this year is Saturday, March 19th from 9am to 3pm. We will be on KUSI Channel 9 News Sunday, March 6 promoting the show. 

For more info on the next cruise night, please visit




Jolee Pink is an Oceanside-based writer, designer and artist. She runs the popular Eat Drink SD Facebook group and is also the organizer of North County’s premier, annual culinary arts event: Foodie Fest. Her Wabisabi Green lifestyle blog focuses on art, design, food and travel. For more information, please visit

Published: March 8, 2016

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