27 April 2008
 
Southern California Car Enthusiasts Come Together to Honor SWAT Officers
 

As the sun rose above Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, the sounds of engines of all kinds could be heard converging on the community college campus.  The first cars began arriving at six-thirty in the morning, starting with a few random classics and muscle cars.  The high strung sound of Italian engineering soon filled the air as a few exotic cars started trickling in.  By seven a.m. the flow of cars was steady and the sound was a mixture of American, Japanese, British, German, Italian, and others, as cars of all shapes and sizes filled the parking lot of the community college.  But what could bring this many car enthusiasts from such varied backgrounds together?
The answer to that question is the undeniable draw that is exerted by Dustin Troyan and his Motor4Toys Charitable Foundation.  Starting back in 2004, Dustin started a charity car show outside of the Village Coffee Roaster shop in Calabasas, California with the goal of collecting toys for needy children during the holiday season.  What Dustin didn't expect was how much the Southern California car community was willing to support a worthy cause.  The first toy drive set the ground work for the formation of the Motor4Toys Charitable Foundation, which has become the largest collector of toys for children in one day.  In just four short years, Motor4toys has collected over 30,000 toys for needy children while maintaining a 100% charity status.  Deciding he wanted to branch out and take advantage of the unique group of car enthusiasts that exists here, Dustin began looking for other worthy causes to support.
Unfortunately the cause for this event rose out of a tragic incident that took place in Winnetka (a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley) back in February when a barricaded suspect shot and killed Officer Randal Simmons and critically injured Officer James Veenstra.  Dustin said that the idea for this show was not his own.  In fact it was the car community that inspired him to get this show going in just over a month.  “The day of the Simmons funeral, my phone began to ring from people in the car community…they all said the same thing:  ‘did you see what this guy (SWAT Officer Randy Simmons) did for the children? We have got to do something.’    I take my hat off to anyone who helps children.  This guy [Simmons] was a superman as far as helping children went…we really lost an amazing person.  It was he who inspired us [Motor4Toys] and we had to answer the call from the car community.”
The event kicked off with a six mile memorial cruise escorted by an LAPD motorcade.  We were joined at the start of the cruise by a group of cars that met up at the Village Coffee Roaster in Calabasas (the site of the Supercar Sunday meet), which was led by a large group of Shelby Cobras and was brought over by its own police escort.  All totaled, there were roughly 700 cars that went on just the memorial cruise alone.  As we were driving through one of the surrounding neighborhoods, families were out in front of their houses staring in awe at the seemingly endless parade of cars.  At one point I even heard a little girl ask her parents, “Where did all these cars come from?”
After we returned to the parking lot, and everyone figured out where they wanted to park, the event officially kicked off.  Police vehicles from Federal, State, County, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies were on display for the public, including the LAPD SWAT Team’s “Rescue 2,” a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response and Rescue vehicle, as well as the FBI’s Mobile Command Center, an LAPD cruiser from 1961, as well as the LAPD’s newest helicopter.  Galpin Ford also was in attendance showcasing a beautiful assortment of Aston Martins, including the brand new DBS.  But the most amazing aspect of this show was the sheer diversity of the cars in attendance.  From restored and original classics to exotic cars, hotrods to luxury cars, racecars to low-riders, muscle cars to import cars, every facet of the automotive culture was represented at this show.
The day’s activities culminated with a live auction in which all the items, ranging from a $1500 Patron Tequila package to certificates for free oil changes, were donated so that all proceeds could go directly to the charity.  Even City Councilman Dennis Zine came out to support this worthy cause and got in on the auction action as well.  The preliminary totals so far show that the charity raised roughly $46,000 in four hours.  When I asked Dustin what his plans were for the next show, he told me that his “focus is now on the 5th Annual Motor4toys Charity Car Show.  We have doubled the attendees every year and more than doubled the toy count too.  For this year's event, I want to have 10,000 cars and to collect 30,000 toys.  We are changing the location and the program this year.  We will have vendors, displays, and an amazing location.”  Dustin says that if it wasn’t for the remarkable car community we have here in Southern California, none of this would be possible.  “They make all of the Motor4Toys events happen.  In my mind, each and every one of them are heroes.”

 
 
 


Pictures:


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1961 LAPD Squad Car.

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LAPD Crown Victoria and new Charger Squad Cars with Rescue2 in the background.

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Retired Chevrolet Caprice Police Cruiser turned into a Racecar

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Even the LA Sheriff’s Department Campus Security was out having fun.

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FBI Mobile Command Center and a GT 350 Mustang.

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1935 Auburn 851 “Boat-Tail” Speedster.

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1964 Pontiac GTO with Tripower Carburetors.  Hear the Tiger roar!

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1973 Buick Riviera Low-rider.  Did he park this thing or dock it?  That would be a “Boat-tail” joke.

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A “Rust-ored” Ford Model T.  Does anyone else need a Tetanus shot?

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Dodge Viper and a Mercedes McLaren SLR parked together.

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Ford Model A Rat-Rod.

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Wide-body Acura NSX inspired by the Takata DOME NSX that raced in the Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship.

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DeTomaso Guara.  One of only 40 ever made.

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A little Bosozoku style straight out of Japan.

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And you thought the fins on a 1950's Cadillac were big.

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How about a street legal, Hayabusa powered, open-wheeled car?

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A beautiful 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible.

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Believe it or not, this Aston Martin DBS got through the day without a scratch.  Quite a feat considering that car’s most recent history.

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LIve Auction Goodies.

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1BigTV.com providing the kids with a place for a little heads-up racing.

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Event organizer Dustin Troyan kicking off the start of the live auction.

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City Councilman Dennis Zine getting in on the auction.


 
     

 

© 2008 Jon Barrett, Lateral G Photography