It was a collision of cars, canines and community at Sequoia Pathway Academy’s parking lot Saturday night as a bi-monthly car meet two years in the making saw its most high-octane turnout to date.
The American Car Culture Association’s local chapter, 347 Car Meets, sold out its 200 premium parking spots — old schools, hot-rods, imports and many more. The key to record attendance? It was an “all dogs allowed” affair.
With the Bugattis and Beetles came Scotties and Beagles — dozens of four-legged familiars came in tow.
Robert Basil said the “dog and car meet” concept struck oil.
“The whole reason why we are here is because of the dogs,” he said.
Saturday’s show featured dog-related giveaways — harnesses, treats and other goodies — courtesy of more than 30 vendors who largely partnered with 347 Car Meets for the first time.
Zhabaiany Escobar, the local outfit’s owner and founder who’s dubbed himself the “king of car meets,” grew up in the auto racing industry.
“To me, the car community is like my family,” he said. “I do shows because I feel like it’s a calling.”
Escobar’s events are free to attend for people and pooches alike. It’s a positive environment where all are accepted, he said. (With a focus on dog lovers and car enthusiasts, of course.)
Eric Clark, who added to the horsepower this weekend, described Maricopa’s car community as “a bunch of friends getting together, having a good time, helping each other out and just spreading love and positivity.”
“It’s awesome that people can bring their dogs out here and be social,” he added. “I think it’s a great thing.”