Every year we look forward to the return of Arizona residents Denny and Bonnie Cissell, and the cars they ride in with.
The Cissels are here again to attend the Goodguys 26th West Coast Nationals Street Rod Show at the Alameda County (Calif.) Fairgrounds during the Aug. 24-26 weekend. This is their 24th year at the show, staying at The Rose Hotel the last 10 years.
This is no ordinary visit. The Cissells and their friends occupy the entire hotel for the weekend.
Denny, Bonnie and their band of friends love classic muscle cars, the kind that turns heads whether parked roadside or roaring down the street with a stampede of horsepower. That’s what brings them to our hotel every year and to the local fairgrounds where the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association stage one of America’s great car shows.
And this power couple doesn’t attend the show just to watch the chrome glint under the California sun. They come to participate.
Denny Cissell is a retired underground utilities (sewer, water, electrical) contractor from Southern California and now lives in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., where he keeps his 16 hot-rod cars (all of them classics) in a 6,800-square-foot garage. Bonnie Cissell is a realtor at Selman and Associates, and she used to own and operate a staffing agency with three Southern California offices, one in San Diego, the other two in the Inland Empire area
In addition to all the mint condition hot-rods, the three-day extravaganza also features exhibition booths representing hundreds of automotive manufacturers, awards, live musical entertainment, and a Saturday night fireworks display.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Goodguys Rod & Custom Association produces more than 20 national events in more than a dozen states, and has 70,000 worldwide members. Its events attract more than 50,000 vintage automobiles and 1 million visitors annually.
Perhaps none of those visitors are more enthusiastic participants than the Cissells.
That said, the Cissells are far from a one-dimensional couple. In addition to cars, their many interests include boating on Lake Havasu and golfing, which they will enjoy this week at The Course at Wente Vineyards.
Perhaps you’ll see them on the fairway, or at the fairgrounds, or even in The Rose Hotel lobby. If you do see them, don’t blink. The Cissells are one fast-moving couple.
Written by Mike Consol