In 2002, then Pasadena Police Department Lt. Jay D’Angelo combined his passion for classic cars with a desire to help two vital organizations.
The result was the inaugural Pasadena Police Annual Father’s Day Car Show, which raised funds for the Pasadena Police Activities League (PAL) and a local domestic violence shelter.
D’Angelo organized the car show for two years before retiring and moved to Las Vegas in 2003.
The car show continues to thrive, evidenced by the thousands of people who filtered through the Pasadena Police 18th Annual Father’s Day Car Show at Paseo Colorado on Sunday.
Close to 130 vintage and modern classics were on display on both sides of Green Street.
D’Angelo, still an avid car enthusiast, makes the trip from Vegas to Pasadena every year to display one of his classics at the show.
“I come back every year to make sure they are putting my car show on.” he said jokingly.
D’Angelo, who now organizes an annual car show in Las Vegas which benefits injured police officers, drove his 1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville – with 26,000 original miles on the odometer – to display at the Pasadena show.
“This a popular show for the public,” D’Angelo said. “There are more cars this year than last year.”
Cristian Allen, who organized the car show in 2013 and 2014, returned to organize Sunday’s event, which now benefits PAL and the Pasadena Police Explorers.
“Part of my passion is for the youth groups that this benefits,” Allen said.
His goal was to raise $10,000 this year to split between the two youth organizations,
“Today has been a great day,” Allen said. The weather has been great. It’s a great Father’s Day. We’re excited to see a lot of the folks who’ve come out to support us.”
One vehicle in the show with a direct connection to Pasadena PD was a 1968 restored Dodge Coronet police car owned by Ted Saraf, a retired Pasadena Police officer.
“They’ll stand and look at it (and ask), ‘What kind of vehicle is this? I’ve never seen one like this before,’” Saraf said.
Pasadena Police Det. Paul McKinney also displayed his light blue 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.
A restored vintage police “Paddy Wagon” owned by Pasadena resident Wilbert Smith also drew plenty of attention from attendees, many posing for photos inside the jail on wheels.
Smith, who volunteers part time at Pasadena High School, teaching students how to restore vintage Ford Model Ts, said he found the vehicle in an old barn decades ago.
“I knew it was a Paddy Wagon,” he said
The car show was held in conjunction with the Pasadena Chalk Festival, also an annual event, featuring hundreds of chalk artists creating masterful murals on the cement on both sides of the car show.
“It’s been an annual celebration,” Pasadena Police Chief John Perez said. “This has been a great place for us to connect with the community. Not only that, it’s brings out our own personnel with their kids. It’s become a big celebration.”