The 2nd Annual South West Datsun Pickups Bar-B-Que was held on Sunday, August 16, at Martin Tudor Park in Fontana, California.
The weather was perfect for this second-annual old-school meet. There is a dedicated group of Datsun enthusiasts who keep the old school alive, and they continue to build and get together to celebrate the days of the "Fontana" Datsun. They help each other stay historically correct on forums such as ratsun.com, and they decided to bring back a club for such enthusiasts.
Keeping the old school alive, Guy Grey, Mark Lynn, and Mike Lepker created the SWDP (South West Datsun Pickups) club in memory of the original SCDP (So Cal Datsun Pickups) from 1973. This group comprises Datsun lovers from all the Southwestern states, and they meet up once a year to stay more connected than just through the forums they frequent. According to the club's history:
"The Fontana-based club formed in 1973 was SCDP (So Cal Datsun Pickups), which was sponsored by Fontana Datsun, now California Car & Truck. All of those guys ran a plaque made of redwood, which was routered by the Woodshop teacher at Fontana High School, and then the letters were painted yellow. All club members were presented with them upon approval. In 1975, an Escondido chapter was added. Thirty years later, a discussion between Guy Gray, Mark Lynn, and Mike Lepker occurred with the thought of how to be a historically correct group of Datsun truck fans without necessarily having the requirements of a club. They took out the 'So Cal' and replaced it with 'South West,' and a new group, South West Datsun Pickups, was born. The logo is essentially the same as it was more than 30 years ago but has been changed to include three more states, and it will forever leave the proper historic remnant of SCDP intact."
Because Fontana was SCDP's base years ago, the new group decided to keep their annual event there, and after the barbecue they do a "historic" cruise and photograph surviving Datsun trucks and vehicles in important locations. The photograph at California Car & Truck was graciously allowed, with 16 Datsun vehicles lined up at the original dealership building! Mike Lepker has a photograph of 20 SCDP 620 pickups lined up in the same location taken in 1974. The Wig Wam Motel is an important Route 66 location, and once again its owners were gracious in allowing SWDP to line up for photos. The owner indicates that SWDP is the first club to ever be allowed to do so, despite the rich American motoring heritage of the area.
SWDP also cruises other locations such as E Street in San Bernardino. Every Friday night during the '70s, SCDP would meet in the lube bay at Fontana Datsun and then caravan to San Bernardino and set up on the corner of 6th and E Street. SWDP recognizes the importance of this history and is actively locating original members, photographs, and items tracing back to the roots of minitruckin' history.
For more information on this historic group, check out Southwestdatsunpickups.com. Special thanks to all the guys of SWDP for letting us document their event and their club's history.
2nd Annual South West Datsun Pickup BBQ
Martin Tudor Park, Fontana, CA
• Keeping the old school alive, Guy Grey, Mark Lynn, and Mike Lepker created the SWDP (South West Datsun Pickups) club in memory of the original SCDP (So Cal Datsun Pickups) from 1973.
• This group comprises Datsun lovers from all the Southwestern states, and they meet up once a year to stay more connected than just through the forums they frequent.
Contact for Future Events:
Southwestdatsunpickups.com, or check out Ratsun.net