Autorama legend status for Newcastle man

Alex Blanca honored for KAHI show and more
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Newcastle’s Alex Blanca will be stepping up Saturday to put on the special jacket awarded to Autorama legends.

The iconic Sacramento custom car and street rod show has been a landmark event annually for almost 70 years and Blanca first took part in 1966 with a custom car he still owns - a 1931 Ford Model A.

On Saturday, during Autorama’s weekend of shows at Cal Expo, Blanca will be one of three new legends to join a group that already includes customizing pioneers like George Barris and Joe Bailon.

George Hague, an Autorama Legends committee member, said that Blanca was chosen primarily for his role as co-host of KAHI radio’s “Cruisin’ Garage” show. The program ended a run of eight years with Blanca on Dec. 31.

Blanca is also being honored for his presence on the customizing scene as owner of Al’s Antique Auto Parts - a Newcastle business providing specialized parts.

Hague said the legend award - which also includes a plaque - recognizes people who have promoted the car culture in the Sacramento area.

Blanca said that he’s honored by the selection. Hague surprised him when he appeared in December on the radio program.

“I was totally shocked,” Blanca said.

The induction puts Blanca into two halls of fame in one year. In April, Blanca became a member of the Placer High  Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions to the schools sports program as coach and booster.