The Drag Lynx’ Run to Rio Vista

Text + Photos: Mike Blanchard

Spotlight | Small wonder that California has been a golden land for the automotive enthusiast. It is December and while most of the country is shivering under a layer of snow California is sunny and dry. 

The guys from the Drag Lynx put together a reliability run from the suburbs of Sacramento though Old Town and on into the Sacramento River Delta to Rio Vista for lunch at Foster’s Bighorn. Foster's is a throw back to the ‘40s located in the older part of Rio Vista. The place features a collection of mounted hunting trophies from all over the world, a massive collection. 


A few miles into the run we stopped at Terry and Allison Cox's place in Clarksburg.  They have an old farm house and a big barn that makes a hell of a backdrop for taking pictures of hot rods. Allison laid out a nice spread of treats and coffee for everybody. Terry is a racer and hot rodder from way back and he had his ’32 Westergard coupe on the run. The car was almost lost in a huge shop fire that destroyed a number of vintage cars. It still bears the burn marks on its pearl white paint.  

It was really beautiful drive on the run down river. The sun glinting off the river and lighting up a long line of rods speeding down the river road in and out of the shadows of huge oak trees. 

The Delta is a relatively unknown section of California that surrounds the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers as they flow into San Francisco bay. There are many large islands surrounded by tributaries. There are miles of picturesque roads that run along the river and out through the farm land. There are a number of old semi-decaying 19th Century towns and stately mansions located along the river south of Sacramento. Here and there are wonderful old bars and restaurants tucked in out of the way places.

We got a bit held up at the draw bridge at Isleton and everyone stopped and got out and shot photos.  We had to back track a few miles to Walnut Grove to cross the river but it was smooth driving all the way to old town Rio Vista. 

Most of the cars ran just fine on the trip (excepting Justin Cox’s coup which developed an electrical short early on and had to pull out) but Brent Rector’s roadster stopped charging and bubbled like a tea kettle at every stop. He took his battery and charger into the dining room and hooked them up to charge. 

These are the types of events that stick in the memory.

After lunch  we all drove around the corner to line up the cars and shoot a group photo.  Jim Luke and the boys had picked out a nice spot in front of a large painted warehouse wall and there was as nice a lineup of traditional ‘20s and ‘30s hot rods as you would ever like to see.  

There were too many cars to mention all of them but there were really no culls. Among my favorites were Scott Mugford's Model A coupe the Bluegrass Express and I loved Johnny’s chopped ’32 five window with the Cadillac V8 in it. The thing was gas welded in a really rough way but it had a lot of barn fresh charm. 

After the photo op the group split up with some of the guys heading back to the Bay Area. The rest drove back up the river to the Cox race shop to hang out and chew the fat. These are the types of events that stick in the memory. And it was a simple thing, good friends, some nice old cars and a sunny California winter’s day.