Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

2013 Rods and Rails Festival

 Dale Franzen in front of his 1930 Ford Sedan says he enjoys his classic ride because of all the attention it draws from other motorists and pedstrians.
Dale Franzen in front of his 1930 Ford Sedan says he enjoys his classic ride because of all the attention it draws from other motorists and pedstrians.

Variety was truly the word of the day for the record-breaking crowd that attended the 2013 Rods and Rails Festival in the City of Perris.

Although plenty of classic cars and vintage trains were on display—as the venue implies—lots of other choices awaited the 6,000 people who ventured to the Orange Empire Railway Museum to take in the latest version of rods and rails.

There were lots of food vendors offering a smorgasbord of gastric delights. Children could watch demonstrations of brick-making and yarn-spinning or try their hands at painting a mural.

A local gunfighters’ group staged a mock wild-west shoot ‘em up. And there was the music of the group Tierra, a well-established salsa and rhythm-and-blues from Los Angeles. The group performed some of their well-established tunes and some new releases before a large and enthusiastic audience that included Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough and City Council members Rita Rogers and Julio Rodriguez..

Paul Kakis of Canyon Lake has high praise for the Rods and Rails Festival: “The City of Perris does a really excellent job with this event.”
Paul Kakis of Canyon Lake has high praise for the Rods and Rails Festival: “The City of Perris does a really excellent job with this event.”

Rogers, a longtime fan of Tierra, summed up her feelings about the band as it warmed up for Rods and Rails: “I am looking forward to going down memory lane with Tierra!”

“It’s great to see so many people come out and support this great event,” Rogers said. “There is so much to do and see here. It’s great to come out and see great classic cars. We’ve got great entertainment. There are plenty of vendors to shop at. There is a great deal of diverse activity—truly something for everyone!”

Mayor Busch said event organizers capped at 250 the number of spaces available for classic cars. They had such a great turnout they had to turn some away, he said. City officials said they will work to accommodate even more cars in 2014. “This event continues to grow and prosper,” Busch said during this week’s City Council meeting.

“It was a hugely successful event. Everyone I talked to was completely pleased with the venue—and the entertainment was spectacular.” Classic vehicle owners came from all over Southern California to display their coupes, convertibles, station wagons, roadsters, sedans and pickup trucks.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch chats with Assistant City Manager during the June 8 Rods and Rails Festival.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch chats with Assistant City Manager during the June 8 Rods and Rails Festival.

There was plenty of polished chrome to enjoy along with tail fins, running boards, rumble seats and hood ornaments. Dale Franzen, of Menifee, brought his 1930 Ford sedan to Rods and Rails. He likes displaying the car and invited some visitors to sit behind the wheel for a photo op. He also appreciated the vibe created by Rods and Rails. “The shade, the vendors, the food, it’s not just hot rods,” Franzen said. “This is nice.”

Franzen said his sedan originally included a four-speed, four-cylinder engine capable of generating 35 horsepower and a top speed of about 40 mph. It included rear seats. Like all Fords, it was black. Original selling price: $700.

Today, after his modifications, the car sports a 283-hoursepower, V-8 engine. Franzen said he enjoys driving his classic because of all the attention he receives. With a record turnout at Rods and Rails, he got a lot while visiting Perris. “Everybody knows about this car show,” he said. “It’s one of the better ones around.” Canyon Lake resident Paul Kakis attended Rods and Rails with his 1931 Ford Cabriolet.

Members of the band Tierra perform in concert at the Rods and Rails Festival.
Members of the band Tierra perform in concert at the Rods and Rails Festival.

Kakis said hot-rods came into vogue when guys returning from World War II service tricked-up cars to replace the adrenalin rush from hazardous military duty. They restored and souped-up cars from the 1930s—the same models modern-day hot-rodders favor. “It’s fun owning a part of Americana,” Kakis said. Kakis is a regular at Rods-and-Rails.

He plans on coming back again in 2014. “The City of Perris does a really excellent job with this event,” he said. “It’s a great venue, it’s well-organized and it’s fun for the whole family.” Those words resounded like a well-tuned engine to Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough, whose business includes refurbishing classic Volvos.

He brought two to the show himself. Yarbrough said the City partnered with the Orange Empire Railway Museum to increase the profile of Rods and Rails while bringing thousands of people to the museum, home of one of the largest collections of working trains, trolleys and streetcars in the U.S. “It’s a perfect match,” Yarbrough said. “This show is bigger and better than ever.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough looks over the engine of a classic car. Yarbrough says that “cruising around in your car with the top down is what Southern California is all about.”
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough looks over the engine of a classic car. Yarbrough says that “cruising around in your car with the top down is what Southern California is all about.”

It’s one of our signature events and one that offers something for everyone. Cruising around in your car with the top down is what Southern California is all about.” Councilman Rodriguez said events like Rods and Rails combine Americans’ love of classic cars with great entertainment all while creating “a very family friendly and really cool atmosphere.” “This is the kind of event that brings people together,” Rodriguez said.