Since 1994, May has been a special month in Fullerton for car lovers. An exclusive event that is staged to attract both locals and visitors to a grand mansion and treat them to something special. This is the weekend of the highly anticipated Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival. This annual event draws thousands of auto enthusiasts from near and far to see and appreciate of the many forms of rolling art that have been chosen to participate. Each vehicle owner that made the judge’s roster hopes of taking home the trophy for the category for which they are competing.
… invitation-only event features hand-selected examples of automotive perfection
The Muckenthaller Motor Car Festival two day, invitation-only event features hand-selected examples of automotive perfection displayed and scrutinized by the expert panel of judges.
Saturday is set aside for classic American Hot Rods and Customs and Sunday for the Concours de Elegance, the judges run a proverbial fine-tooth comb over the field of contender vehicles to ensure that only the best are awarded.
Saturday’s judging of categories ranging from 1900-1931 hard top and convertible car classes, examples of the 1970s model years, and everything in between including vintage truck categories and a lowrider category. There is something special for fans of any decade in the Hot Rod and Custom class.
…hundreds of premium automobiles on display
Sunday elevates the style to new heights with the Concours de Elegance. Offerings in the hard top and convertible classes beginning with 1915 through the War Years, Post-War (both American and European classes) and offerings including German sports cars, Corvettes, Thunderbirds, Muscle Cars, British sports cars, Special Preservation (pre-, and post-War) and motorcycles for the two wheel fans. New to the Concours is a special vintage travel trailer category limited to models manufactured before 1969.
Without question, you will find either day – or both days – informative and entertaining. The Muckenthaler grounds are a cultural and civic landmark. The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival features live music both days, vendors, food, beer, wine and cocktails available, featured art on display inside the 18 room 1924 Muckenthaler Mansion in addition to the hundreds of premium automobiles on display.
Each day the festival takes place beneath the tall eucalyptus trees that shade the grassy 8.5 acres of the estate. Plenty of places to spread out a blanket under the trees, have a bite to eat and enjoy the live music as you relax after strolling around the Muckenthaler estate and among the pristine examples of automotive classics.
The events take place Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21, 2017 at the Muckenthaller Cultural Center located at 1201 W. Malvern in Fullerton. Saturday’s Hot Rods and Customs Festival begin at 8 am and end at 2 pm. Tickets for Saturday are only $5 for adults, and children 12 and under free with paid adult. Sunday’s Concours de Elegance begins at 10 am and ends at 4 pm. Concours tickets only $10, and children under 12 free with paid adult.
Each day the festival takes place beneath the tall eucalyptus trees that shade the grassy 8.5 acres of the estate
There are stroller and bicycle restrictions. See their website (themuck.org) for more information. Plenty of free off-site parking with complimentary shuttle service to make your visit easy. Vendor opportunities available. If you are interested in submitting your vehicle for consideration, please check out their website.
One of the best parts of the annual Muckenthaller Motor Car Festival is that (like the rest of the cultural events held regularly) the Muckenthaler Foundation is dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of children through arts and education programs. The proceeds from these events directly benefit the many programs available. At the heart of this spectacular once-a-year Festival is the generous gift of the arts for children that is made possible by this premier fund-raising event.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center 1201 W. Malvern Fullerton CA themuck.org
The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival is an invitation only event dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Southern California’s automotive history.
For consideration please complete the registration application online at themuck.org along with a brief description and current photo.
The judging staff of the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival seeks to recognize those vehicles that demonstrate the best originality and authenticity while valuing design, styling and elegance.
Roadsters, Convertibles, etc.
Coupes, Hardtops, etc.
Story and images provided by the Muckenthaler Cultural Center
The Muckenthaler Villa is a journey to another time and gentler culture in the middle of Southern California suburbs with sweeping grounds filled with festivals, children’s camps, picnics, and special events.
The Villa is truly a time capsule of Orange County’s past. It was built in 1924 by Walter and Adella Muckenthaler. For their only son, Harold, the rolling 8.5 acres and the 18-room house were a never-ending place for adventure. Set amongst orange groves, the Villa hosted countless family gatherings from birthdays to anniversaries, holiday dinners to summer picnics.
The Muckenthaler received designation by the National Register of Historic Places
In 1965, Harold donated his childhood home and the grounds to the city of Fullerton to be preserved and used as a cultural center for the arts. In 1999 the Muckenthaler received designation by the National Register of Historic Places. Now in its 52nd year, “The Muck” hosts over 100 performances, gallery exhibits and classes every year, serving over 45,000 patrons. Another 30,000 people visit our weddings and corporate event rentals, which help pay for cultural programs. Our site includes the historic mansion with art galleries, two arts studios, and a 250 seat amphitheater.
Today the Muckenthaler Cultural Center serves over 12,000 children, seniors and adults annually through our arts education programs in 13 sites located throughout six North Orange County cities (This is a dramatic increase from the 1000 students we served onsite in 2009). Partners include foster care, shelters, schools, afterschool programs, and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). We also provide scholarships, free school tours, free family festivals, and a free admission to our gallery.
Perched atop a hill in between manicured homes in the West Fullerton area sits a cultural icon. As Orange County grew up around it, The “Muck” has remained virtually the same as it was in 1924.
Proof that our little historic center is an important part of North Orange County’s cultural landscape can be found in what others say about us. Awards and accolades include the 2009 Fullerton Chamber of Commerce’s “Quality of Life” award for best non-profit organization in the city; the 2010 award for “Best Arts Program” in the county by Arts OC, the county-wide arts council; The Orange County Board of Education 2013 “Outstanding Contribution to Education” award; and several readers poll awards for best museum, best wedding venue, and best historic site.
We invite you to be a part of the Muckenthaler family in 2017, an important year for us as we celebrate the 93rd birthday of the estate.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.