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June 5, 2007 > "The Cobblers" Annual Custom Car and Bike Show

"The Cobblers" Annual Custom Car and Bike Show

By Diana Marroquin

Take a trip into the past, Sunday, June 10 at The Cobblers Anniversary Celebration Custom Car and Bike Show. Over 100 custom cars, hotrods, bikes, muscle and vintage cars will be on display in downtown Hayward at 22443 Foothill Boulevard, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The annual event, sponsored by The Cobblers Shoe Repair and Store, brings custom cars and their owners from all around the Bay Area, and as far away as Discovery Bay and Sacramento.

Cars and bike owners are exhibiting their mechanical pride-and-joys for free, and the chance to show-off these treasures of motorized history to an American public still very much in love with these vehicles.

The vehicles, estimated to range from $40,000 to $100,000, are works of custom art, color, and skill. Their pure aesthetic beauty makes one forget the mechanical, and electrical, nuts and bolts that make up these beauties. But take a look under the hood, and you're liable to gasp at the immaculate V-8, 327, engines that drive these power cars. Or look at the carefully constructed lines of a vintage car, and you'll experience a glance of the pioneering heyday of early automobile design.

What originally began as a promotional idea in 1991 for The Cobblers shoe store has turned into an annual fixture and yearly production that features a storewide sale, free hotdogs, fries, sodas, and live music. This year, as for the past five years, the Bay Area Blues Society band is providing the music. The Rowell Ranch Rodeo Queen will also do her part in preserving a piece of Americana by appearing at the car and bike show to promote the annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo held in May.

While you're at the show, feel free to browse around the store and meet Rudy, Dino, and Rodney Grasseschi, owners of The Cobblers. Extremely personable and outgoing, Rudy, the elder of the three and head of the family, will fill you with tales of previous cars shows and Hayward history. The Grasseschi family shoe store business was started in 1932 by Rudy's dad, Alfred, a journeyman shoemaker.

Alfred, an Italian immigrant, arrived in the Hayward area, alone, at age 16. Traveling across the Atlantic Ocean by ship, and then crossing thousands of miles of raw, undeveloped American landscape by coal-driven train, Alfred arrived in the Hayward area just before the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

So swing by the show; visit a piece of Americana; do some shopping; and hear some tales of Americana from folks who'd be happy to share their stories with you.

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