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A Car Enthusiast’s Guide to Oxnard, California

April 30, 2019

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Hey, auto aficionados: if you didn’t already know, Oxnard is quickly gaining traction as one of California’s top destinations for gearheads. Enthusiastic about all things automotive? Oxnard is chock full of auto museums, car shows, cruise nights and meetups that rival those in the nation’s bigger cities. Warning: an exhaustive list of car puns to come…

A Brief History of Oxnard’s Car Culture

The Port of Hueneme – An Economic Driver

Perhaps one of the best explanations for why we’ve got gasoline running through our veins, the Port of Hueneme to the immediate south of Oxnard is the west coast’s gateway for the import and export of automobiles and other rolling stock, handling more than 5% of all U.S. car volume and 13.4% of all West Coast roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) tonnage.

The Oxnard Harbor District has contracts with BMW of North America, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and Glovis, Inc. for the handling of vehicles transiting the Port. Car makes transiting The Port include: BMW, Mini Cooper, Rolls Royce, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Maserati, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Aston Martin, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Honda, Acura, Toyota, Nissan, Tesla, and Subaru.

Car Clubs & Local Events

With cultural ties dating back to the ‘70s, Oxnard car clubs are known for their passion for lowriders and classic cars, but also for their strong ties to family, community and local fundraising.

Take, for instance, Stylistics Car Club Oxnard, which was founded in the early ‘70s. Although no longer active, many of the current 25+ lowrider clubs in Ventura County can trace their existence back to Stylistics, which was the first organized car club in Ventura County and held meetings, fundraisers, dances and events benefitting the community. Another club, still in existence, is City Life Oxnard, which was co-founded in 1977 by Ramon Lopez and uses its public platform to raise awareness about domestic violence.

With ages of membership ranging from 25 to 75, Pachuco Car Club Ventura County boasts the motto: “Peace, Unity and Respect.” Their club believes it’s not about the car, it’s about the person behind the wheel.

Additional Oxnard clubs include Viejitos Car Club Oxnard (est. 1990), Latin Bombas Oxnard (est. 2007), La Gente Car Club Chiques Oxnard (est. 2016), Ventura Classics Car Club (est. 2017), and more.

Car Museums

Oxnard is home to not one, but TWO stunning automotive museums. The Mullin Automotive Museum houses one of the finest collections of French cars in the world and is a tribute to French automotive styling and the decorative arts that influenced the genre.

The Murphy Auto Museum houses a collection of more than 90 beautiful vintage automobiles and Americana spanning from 1903 to present day in addition to one of the largest H/O scale model train layouts between San Diego and San Francisco.

2019 Car Shows & Events

Looking for things to do? Stop spinning your wheels, and put the pedal to the metal with these Oxnard events sure to get your engine going…

Muscles & Mojo Morning Car Shows – 1st Sundays every month

Bring your vintage or classic car to The Murphy Auto Museum on the first Sunday of the month. Free coffee, free Hot Wheels and free admission to the museum during the Muscles & Mojo Morning Car Show events (7am to 9am).

Car Meetup at The Mullin Automotive Museum – May 11

Celebrate Mother’s Day surrounded by beautiful cars in a friendly environment of car enthusiasts. Bring your car to the meetup, and receive a free ticket for a future visit. Museum admission: Adults $16, Seniors 65+ $14, Mullin 1000 Members FREE. Reservations Required.

Art Gallery Opening – Fireball Gallery at The Murphy Auto Museum – May 11

Named for Fireball Tim Lawrence (his legal name), the official Fireball Gallery Launch Party is scheduled for May 11, 2019, at The Murphy Auto Museum, where famed pin stripers, photographers, and painter/illustrators will have their works on display in this new nostalgic automotive art gallery, with featured work focused on the world’s best in automotive pop culture and design.

Downtown Oxnard Cruise Nights – 2nd Fridays (May 10th, June 14th, July 12th) *Summer only

Classic and specialty car fans cruise into Downtown Oxnard in the summertime for Oxnard Cruise Night, held every 2nd Friday from May through July. Merchants stay open late with special hours on Historic B & 5th Streets around Plaza Park, with locals and visitors alike coming together to share in their mutual admiration of the flashy autos on display.

From Tree to the Sea: Father’s Day Wooden Boat Show & Classic Car Show – June 16

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum hosts its 4th Annual Father’s Day event, featuring classic wooden boats from yesteryear on a dockside display, with a selection of classic cars in the lot adjacent.

Catchin’ A Memory Father’s Day Car Show & Fundraiser – June 16

In its inaugural year, catch a memory with pops at this Father’s Day Car Show & Fundraiser, featuring more than 150 cars of all makes and models, including motorcycles at Channel Islands Harbor’s Harbor View Park. Proceeds benefit two non-profits: Reel Guppy Outdoors and Mission FISH.

Under the Hood Introductory Presentation by Larry Crane – June 18

Don’t miss the Under the Hood introductory presentation on French engine design by Larry Crane at 10:15am, followed by Docent guided tours at The Mullin Automotive Museum. Larry Crane has worked with numerous automotive magazines over the years, including Road and Track, Vintage Racer, Automobile Magazine, and Auto Aficionado. He is currently teaching Car Design History at ArtCenter College of Design and is a contributor to ClassicCars.com.

7th Annual Vintage Trailer Show – June 29

Step back in time at the 7th Annual Vintage Trailer Show at The Murphy Auto Museum. Tour 50+ vintage trailers and campers from private collectors, decorated with period correct old-school camping memorabilia to boot. Additionally on display are 90+ vintage cars, the newly opened Fireball Gallery, Americana, period clothing and one of the largest H/O scale train layouts around. Food and music too! This is The Murphy’s biggest event of the year. Admission: $10; Kids 12 years & younger and active military are free.

Central Coast British Car Club Show – July 14

More than 140 of the United Kingdom’s best imports from the 1930s on will be on display during the 29th Annual Central Coast British Car Club Show. The event includes an auto parts swap meet, food booths and entertainment. The event and parking are free.

Vintage VW Car Show – July 27

The Channel Islands Harbor will host the Vintage Volkswagen Cruise and Car Show at Harbor View Park. Keep. Date TBA; stay tuned (up).

3rd Annual Oxnard Police Department Downtown Car Show – August 25

Supported by The Murphy Auto Museum, the 3rd Annual Oxnard Police Department Car Show will host vendors, raffles, trophies and music on August 25 from 10am to 4pm. Proceeds benefit the DRAGG program, an afterschool program in the City of Oxnard where Police Officers and people from the automotive industry mentor local high school students in skillsets that range from basic automotive repair to creative car customization.

4th Annual Electric Car Show – September 22

As part of National Drive Electric Week, Plug in America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association in partnership with the Sustainability Council of Ventura County present this electric vehicle car show at Channel Islands Harbor. Find a variety of makes and models on display, all of which contribute to low cost commuting and lower levels of air pollution.

Ponies by the Sea – October 13

Watch Tri-County Mustang Club flex their muscle at the Ponies by the Sea car show in Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor; free for attendees, proceeds from registration fees will benefit Guide Dogs of America. An awards ceremony will give prizes to winners of People’s Choice, Best of Show, Best Paint, Best Engine, Doggie’s Choice, and a special “Most Likely to get a Ticket,” awarded by the California Highway Patrol.

Cars and Coffee Oxnard – Monthly Community Event

Check @carsandcoffeeoxnard on Instagram for the next Cars and Coffee Oxnard meetup at Seabridge Marketplace in Oxnard. Bring your car, grab a cup of jamoke from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and mingle from 7am to 10am; dates announced monthly.

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