Arts & Life, Events

Rainbow car show celebrates LGBTQ+ members

A red 1978 Pontiac Firebird 400, a yellow 1957 Chrysler Imperial, and cars of all colors filled a section of the Marina Pacifica Shopping Center parking lot for the Great Auto Car Club Rainbow Car Show, Sunday, Sept. 19.

To celebrate car owners and the LGBTQ+ community, the Great Auto Car Show displayed 62 cars of all makes and genres arranged in order of the colors of the rainbow.

“It was a different take on how we can display the field and share the cars and make it fun,” Great Auto car club President, Steven Aaron said.

Great Auto was started in 1983 as an LGBTQ club that gave members a safe space to be out and share their love for cars. The club now has 1000 members of all orientations who throw monthly events all over the state.

While the Great Auto serves as a safe space for LGBTQ car lovers, anyone can be a club member, regardless if they have a car or live in the state. You just have to love cars.

This year, the event highlighted a 1971 Ford Pinto named “Disco Pinto,” that imitated a disco ball, displaying thousands of mirrored tiles that covered the car from top to bottom.

Guests were treated to the one and only "Disco Pinto", a 1971 Ford Pinto that is covered from top to bottom in mirrored tiles that glittered in the sun.
Guests were treated to the one and only "Disco Pinto", a 1971 Ford Pinto that is covered from top to bottom in mirrored tiles. Photo credit: Nikki Nelsen

The event also treated guests to live music and had Sam Graham Trio, a jazz band, perform. Attendees were also encouraged to vote for their favorite cars in the categories for best-colored vehicle and the people’s choice award.

Nine awards were handed out, each with a rainbow adorning it and a different colored gemstone to signify the winner of each colored category. A special trophy was presented to the winner of the people’s choice award, including a $50 Starbucks gift card.

Many attendees felt the best thing was interacting with members of the club and with the Long Beach community, following a hiatus put on by the pandemic.

“It’s nice to finally get out and get together with other people,” club member Ian Robinson said “It’s outside and it’s distanced, so most everybody’s pretty respectful about that.”

While the event had many vintage and collector cars, some showed new cars, including Aaron, who owns a 2021 Audi S5 Sportback. The mix of old and new added diversity from the typical car show line-up.

Great Auto Club President, Steven Aaron poses while the votes for the various prize categories were tallied.
Great Auto Club President, Steven Aaron poses while the votes for the various prize categories were tallied. Photo credit: Nikki Nelsen

The car show also helped fill the void for those saddened by the Belmont Shores Car show that did not happen this year, including club Director and event planner, Dave Weisbart.

“It’s a big gaping hole in the car culture of Long Beach, not to have Belmont,” Weisbart said. “[This show] is not the scale of that, but the diversity of the cars and getting people out on a beautiful sunny day that isn’t too hot. You couldn’t ask for much more.”

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