6th Annual Schnuerer Toys for Tots charity car show – Click above for huge high-res image gallery

This past weekend was a busy one for us, and it was for some of our local Marines as well. Our efforts were for a worthy cause, however, as we were busy collecting toys for needy children so they might have something to unwrap during the holidays. We also happened to be surrounded by some of the nicest people and coolest cars ever made at The 6th Annual Schnuerer Toys for Tots drive in Huntington Beach.

The event was highlighted by the surprise appearance of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Even parked amidst two classic gullwing SLs and beside a new SL65 Black Series, the neo-gullwing drew the lion's share of the attention from the crowd. The car sounded fantastic and we had to admit we'd be hard pressed to choose between it, the Black Series, the nearby CLK DTM cabrio, the SLR or SLR Roadster as our favorite modern Mercedes. The Audi R8 V10 that was parked around back would probably be in the mix as well for most fun to drive. Follow the jump to read how the day played out – and don't forget to check out the huge gallery by clicking any image below.

Photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.

Gerhard and Rosemarie Schnuerer once again hosted this annual toy drive and car show co-sponsored by Mercedes-Benz USA. The Schnuerer collection of classic and new Mercedes, sidecar motorcycles and WWII military craft is quite spectacular. The couple regularly participates in local concours events and they've won more than a few trophies with these rides. All of their vehicles are restored and in good running order. Some say the Mercedes Classic Center was built in Irvine so they would be close to Gerhard, their best customer.

As cool as the Schnuerer collection is to see in person, our favorite part of this event is the fact that they fire up several of the vehicles and take people for rides in them. Everything from the 1886 Benz Patent Motor-Wagen replica to the 1943 VW Kübelwagen. It's a terrific event with about 550 guests enjoying holiday cheer along with some great German food served up WWII-Style in a Gulaschkanone Military Field Kitchen. This year's event also featured live music, silent and live auctions and a series of raffles.

The live auction was emceed by TV automotive reporter, Dave Kunz, to raise money for Toys for Tots among other charities. Several prizes were auctioned ranging from pedal cars to a weekend rental of an AMG Mercedes-Benz SL63. Le Mans winner Justin Bell was even on hand to donate a special experience at the Jay Leno Show, where he serves as driving coach to the stars in the Green Car Challenge. Several thousand dollars were raised and approximately 1500 toys collected this year, easily surpassing last year's total. While we're glad there will be hundreds more kids getting gifts this year, we got ours just by being there.

Photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.

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