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CRUISE-IN 2023: NEW car award honours So-Cal legend

Son of well-known late car builder Pete Chapouris will join Langley’s Scott Booth in picking a winner
A new Cruise-In award honours the memory of the late Pete Chapouris, also known as PC3, and his best-known creation, the ‘California Kid’ hot rod. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

This is one in a series of special Langley Advance Times stories about what to expect at this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In, happen Saturday, Sept. 9 in Aldergrove. You can also check out this series in our special keepsake edition hitting the streets on Thursday and available in limited quantity at the car show.


Anyone who knows anything about custom cars knows who the late Pete Chapouris is.

He was a legendary California car builder, who resurrected the famous So-Cal speed shop, and creator of the “California Kid” hot rod, one of the most-copied hot rods ever.

Chapouris, the third boy in his family to be named Pete, was informally know as PC3.

PC4, his son, will be making his first-ever trip to the Langley Good Times Cruise-In.

A celebrated car builder in his own right, PC4 has taken over his dad’s speed shop and will be presenting a trophy – the PC3 Pete Chapouris III Memorial Award of Excellence – to the car builder who best reflects his father’s exacting standards.

“It is kind of indicative of what we think that he would have liked in a car,” Peter told the Langley Advance Times.

“And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a hot rod. We’ve picked all different kinds of cars [for similar awards at other car show].”

Pressed for details, Chapouris said his choice is based on a car’s overall look, and its “stance” – the way it sits on its wheels.

There is, by the way, a PC5 – who, at 15, is more into late-model cars, according to his dad.

Pete Chapouris, also known as PC4, will be picking a car that his late father would have liked for the new PC3 trophy at the Langley Good Times Cruise-In. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Pete Chapouris III is best known for a retro chopped 1934 Ford three-window coupe that was featured in a made-for-TV movie called The California Kid, starring a young Martin Sheen.

Plus, the well-known customizer created many memorable custom designs, including a pair of Harley-Davidson “HogZZillas” for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

In 1997, his company, The Pete Chapouris Group, PC3g, revived the legendary So-Cal hot rod shop that had opened in 1946 and closed in 1961.

So-Cal Speed Shop Canada, based in Surrey and operated by Wicked Customs Langley owner Scott Booth, a rodder/builder, is why PC4 is making the trip.

Booth and Chapouris have become friends, and the Canadian convinced PC3 to make his first-ever trip to Canada to present the award.

They will be walking through Cruise-In on the day of the event to choose a winner.

“The award isn’t for a car with the most points, or anything like that. It’s simply a pick for a car that PC3 would love to drive himself. He had a certain style and, and a certain quality level,” Booth explained.

Cruise-In president Riccardo Sestito thinks the laid-back nature of the show is a positive for big names like Chapouris, and Jimmy Shine, who has been handing out his namesake award at Cruise-In for years.

“Any of these builders who come from California, they like it because they have a totally different atmosphere,” Sestito believes.

“They get to be free and relaxed.”

Sestito hopes to make the PC3 trophy an annual award, much like the Shine award.

READ ALSO: Aldergrove car show flooded with requests for non-existent In-N-Out Burger tickets

READ ALSO: Cruise-In contest to win a Jeep for a year requires determination

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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