Luxurious Lug Nuts 

Detroit iron meets heavy metal in Pleasanton


ven if you don't know a chopped and channeled Deuce from a bucket T dragster, you can have many cylinders of fun at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals just checking out the chromed universal joints and luxurious lug nuts of the more than 3,500 pre-1955 hot rods, customized cars, and stock classics on display at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton for three days beginning Friday. The Goodguys are promoting a certain three-window '36 Ford coupe owned by Kirk Hammett of Metallica (might be interesting after viewing Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) and created by Salinas Boys Customs, but there's no need to dwell on it -- not when the other contestants for "America's Most Beautiful Street Rod" are scattered around the fairgrounds like so many four-wheeled jewels. Seminars, car modeling, a Hawaiian shirt contest, dozens of manufacturer booths -- too much fun for the automotively minded. General admission is $15, parking extra, kids under six free. For more info: -- Kelly Vance

Sun 8/29

Walk this way
Fit and Fitter

The intrepid trippers of the Berkeley Hiking Club know that not everyone has the time or the stamina to make an all-day trek through the underbrush in the Sierra foothills -- so they offer numerous urban and semi-urban walkabouts for weekend wanderers. This Sunday there's a choice. Take a 10 a.m. mini-hike around Oakland's Lake Merritt followed by lunch on the grass (meet at 20th St. and Broadway). Or venture into Strawberry Canyon in Berkeley for a seven-to-eight-mile hike with some steep climbing up to the ridge -- 8:30 a.m. meeting at Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way. For more info, visit -- Kelly Vance

Sat 8/28

Rapid Deterioration

The road-challenged San Jose Earthquakes may be in last place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, but they're only a few points behind the first-place Los Angeles Galaxy. Three wins in a row could change everything. If the Quakes are going to make their usual late-season move, Saturday's match at home against the Colorado Rapids -- led by forwards Jean-Philippe Peguero and Chris Henderson -- is a good place to start. Keep your eye on Quakes midfielder Brian Mullan, playmaker extraordinaire. The teams hit the pitch at 7 p.m. Saturday at Spartan Stadium, 1257 S. 10th St., San Jose. Tickets and information: -- Kelly Vance


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