More than 3,200 cars overflowed the massive Countrywide Insurance parking lot in Westlake Village, CA for the 4th annual Motor4Toys charity toy drive this past Sunday, including nearly 200 Ferraris. That number was well short of the hoped-for 386+ Prancing Horses that would have triggered a Guinness world record parade attempt, but it was still an incredible sight.
Besides coming out to donate toys, the Southern California car clubs made this a typically great event by sharing their rides with the assembled crowd and even dipped into their pockets to bid more than $8,000 for a number of donated gifts in a combined online and live auction. Items included radar detectors, skid plates, cupholders, and even sporting event tickets and private catered dinners by television's Chef LaLa. And did we mention the toys?
Last year's record of 11,000 toys was easily surpassed although the final total won't be in until donated money and profits from the sale of commemorative T-shirts are tallied and used to purchase even more gifts in a couple of weeks. All told, about $25,000 was raised from donations and those sales and auction bids. Kudos to organizer Dustin Troyan, manager of the nearby Village Coffee Roaster, for another selfless effort and for making it another huge success. Typical of Dusty, he's quick to thank others rather than accepting any credit himself: "Please make sure you thank everyone who attends and supports it. They are the event!"
Follow the jump for more photos and the rest of the story.
Our day started 70 miles southwest of the show in Orange County, where several participants met at the crack of dawn to caravan up together. A few Ferraris, a pair of nice VeeDubs, a Mustang Cobra and an SL55 were in our entourage as we led the pack in a 997 Turbo.
When we finally reached our exit, we passed a line of Ferraris that was about to make a really grand entrance by arriving en masse.
A quick stop at the check-in counter to drop off our toys and pick up our raffle tickets for some of the donated goodies that would be doled out later in the day.
And then we were off for a long walk, taking in as many of the 2,500 cars as we could. Rows were marked with some of the larger car groups' makes, but those often proved to be too small to contain all of the attendees. The result were a few rows of miscellaneous offerings that brought some surprises.
But there was still a number of impressively long rows of Corvettes...
...and others that were rather breathtaking.
As the day wore on, we grabbed a Pink's hot dog and checked out the specialty car corral out front, where a number of special collector, race, and super cars were parked, including one of the first SLR Roadsters we've seen on the road.
While we were up there we heard them announce that the raffle had started, but by the time we managed to squeeze through the crowd, it was just wrapping up. After the raffle, the auction started and drew a huge number of generous donors. Items going under the gavel included Lakers tickets, invites to tapings of Desperate Housewives, celebrity chef prepared meals in your home, details, skid plates, radar detectors, apparel, and by the time the last item was hammered "sold," another $8,250 had been raised.
In the end it was really all about the toys, though, and the long line of overfilled boxes looked to be a new record for the 4-year-old event that is unique in that it is all donated manpower and supplies with zero administrative costs.
It is also the only event that caters exclusively to the car community, making it very near and dear to our hearts. If you'd like to donate to the cause, you can still do so through the organization's website by clicking here. And be sure to make it out next year to experience it for yourself.