GUSTINE - A long-standing car show with a decidedly Portuguese twist will mark a milestone Sunday, when the Westside Auto Club hosts its 40th annual Linguica Run in Gustine.
Henry Miller Park will be packed with 300 or more vehicles for the popular show, some displayed by families who have been regulars at the show since its inception.
“We have multiple generations from families that have been coming to the Linguica Run since the start,” explained Don Gomes, president of the auto club.
Vehicles will begin arriving early, many rolling in from the Bay Area and cities from around the region as well as West Side communities. Gates open at 7:30 a.m., and the show will continue until well into the afternoon.
Gomes said the popularity of the Linguica Run is due in large part to the family friendly, old-school atmosphere in which car buffs gather to share a common interest in restored vehicles - and a love of the linguica lunch that is included in the registration fee.
The club, which was formed more than 70 years ago, included a substantial Portuguese membership, Gomes explained, so the linguica was a natural fit for the car show.
“We get people who like linguica, but don’t want to go to the store and buy it and cook it. They like having it cooked up,” Gomes said. “We cook 600 pounds of linguica at that event.”
The day also coincides with the Gustine Volunteer Fire Department breakfast, served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the GPS Hall across the way from the park. This year marks the 25th annual breakfast, and in celebration of the milestone the firefighters are serving up breakfast free of charge (donations are accepted).
Car show awards, entertainment and drawings for prizes are among the additional attractions offered by the Linguica Run.
Henry Miller Park is an ideal setting for the show, Gomes said, as the shade and grass create a comfortable setting.
“We have had up to 350 cars, but 325 is really a good number for the park,” Gomes told Mattos Newspapers. “There is no place else locally that would accommodate that many cars. It works out well for us.”
The Linguica Run is popular with community members as well as car buffs, Gomes pointed out, and residents enjoy viewing the vehicles and visiting with their owners.
And, he noted, the entire endeavor is for a good cause.
The Linguica Run is the club’s only fund-raiser, Gomes said, and with the proceeds the club supports food pantries and funds scholarships in Gustine, Newman, Patterson and Hilmar.
The club also tries to lend a hand when there is a need in the community, Gomes added.
“We are a non-profit,” he noted, “and we try to do whatever we can to help.”