In Photos: The Wonderfully Eclectic Highway Earth Car Show

The Highway Earth car show, organized by automotive photographer Evan Klein, has become a Los Angeles-area staple. The show takes place in Franklin Canyon Park, surrounding the Upper Franklin Canyon reservoir. It’s not just a field of cars; instead, visitors stroll around the Franklin Canyon Reservoir to find groups of cars arranged at different turnouts—sort of an outdoor Guggenheim museum.

Highway Earth attracts an eclectic mix of cars that ranges from rusty survivors to pristine restorations. Here’s a sample of what we saw at the 2019 Highway Earth show.

We love us some big American iron. This 1964 Buick Electra, originally slated to be a parts donor and saved from the jaws of the crusher, oozes American excess.

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This 1975 Lancia Stratos is one of only 492 built—and yet these rare sightings are common at Highway Earth.

This 1933 Plymouth sedan is not so much a restoration as a time portal. The owners came dressed in period garb.

This Alfa Romeo GTA looks ready for the racetrack, although at the risk of scratching that flawless paint job.

The Ferraristi may scoff at the 328, but bright red examples like this were the stars of the posters that adorned the walls of car enthusiasts in the 1980s and 1990s.

It’s no surprise Porsche was extraordinarily well represented. By grouping the cars together, Highway Earth gave visitors the opportunity to see the evolution of the brand.

French auto maker Citroën got some much-needed love at Highway Earth. We saw pristine examples of the DS and CX, plus several 2CVs.

Another rare Lancia: this pristine 1970 Fulvia HF.

The Volkswagen SP2 was a Brazilian-market Volkswagen sports car with a rear-mounted air-cooled engine. They are a rare sight outside of Brazil, so we were very pleased to see one at Highway earth.

Alfa Romeo had its own open-air paddock, with classics as well as a new Guilia.

More cool Alfas (and at least one with the hood up, which seems appropriate).

The Nissan Figaro was a product of the retro-style fad that gripped Japan in the early ’90s. 20,000 were built for the home market, and this clean example had just been imported to the States.

While we often see Shelby Cobras done up in their “street attire,” we rarely see them in their racing form.

This 1972 Volvo P1800E is owned by Tom Carlisle. It features a very rare original paint color and was definitely a stand out at the show.

A Volvo 122 ready to rally. Mad Max would be proud.

This Morris Minor is the convertible Tourer version. For reasons no one could explain, it was shod with Chevrolet Vega wheels.

The 1967 Sunbeam Stiletto is a racy “coupe” version of the Hillman Imp. This particular example has been re-powered with the engine from a 2004 BMW motorcycle.

This trio of pristine MGs is just a small sampling of the British convertibles we saw at Highway Earth.

A classic Austin Healey bug-eye Sprite displays the same expression we had as we wondered the show.

This Chevy Corvair Greenbriar just oozes cool. Among the owner’s modifications: An accelerator made from a bass-drum pedal.

Rust was a huge problem for the Triumph TR-6, but Highway Earth reminded us that in California, metal lives forever. Red paint highlights this 6’s flawless metalwork.

This pair of pristine E-Types is resplendent in red and green.

Oldsmobile was represented by a pair of 442s from the first and second generations of the car.

This 1955 Chevy 210 was already a sought-after classic when its young owner, Bazil LaRoche, was born. He’s had it for seven years and has done extensive body and engine work.

The collection of badges on this Austin Healey stood out, as originals are very hard to find.

This wild-west-themed hot-rod is called the Texas Bullshit Scraper—complete with mechanized bullshit-scraping gear at the back. 

Highway Earth hosted some exceptionally rare metal, including this Singer Nine Sports, an example of which finished 13th at the 1933 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

Henry was represented in spirit by this pristine 1920 Tin Lizzie.

This 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 inspired the Muscle Car Era. This one comes complete with a space helmet. 

This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline shows off its smooth woody trim.

This custom 1954 Jaguar race car is a one-off special rebuilt on a modern chassis.

A modern-ish Toyota at a car show? Why, yes, when it’s a rare Celica All-Trac Turbo.

This clean little Alfa Romeo belongs to event coordinator Evan Klein.

The Nash Metropolitan was the original American captive-import economy car. This little guy is still going strong.

The 1969 Dodge Polara police car was reportedly the fastest cruiser ever used by the California Highway Patrol, with a 440-cubic-inch V-8 that could propel it to 140 mph or better—if you were brave enough to drive it that fast.

Mopar fan Steve Foster showed up with half a dozen friends in his 1972 Plymouth Fury III. The big wagon has a 360-cubic-inch V-8 and a modernized suspension.


This Plymouth Road Runner has been beautifully restored and sports the iconic Looney Tunes character running down the side. Meep meep!

This Chevrolet Luv had a stepside bed—and a big Chevy V-8 stuffed under the hood.

Automobile Magazine showed up with our Four Seasons Hyundai Veloster N and a 1,400-mile 1999 Honda Prelude that has never been registered.

This was the line of entrants waiting to get into the Highway Earth car show; it also gives you even more of an idea of the variety of cars on display.

More scenes from the Highway Earth entrance line: Volvos, Dodges, and Alfas, oh my.

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