R2-D2 serves as guest of honor at Fireball’s recent Wheels and Waves show…

Photo: Scott Martin @carshowaholic – Johnny Martinez hangs with R2.

I think it’s safe to say that Santa Claus has visited many car shows across the USA.

He was spotted around Christmas perusing the cool cars everywhere, handing out toys and giving good cheer. But I also think it’s safe to say that no one has ever seen Star Wars’ R2-D2 at a car show … until recently.

December’s Wheels and Waves show in Malibu was visited by none other than the tiny superstar protocol droid, as I recently was informed that he loves cars. Well, he loves spaceships, Princess Leia and cars.

But when I found out that he was cruising above the ’Bu in his personal X-Wing, I flagged him down to be my guest for Wheels and Waves at The Malibu Country Mart.

He spent nearly the whole show getting photos, selfies and admiring the muscle cars, hot rods and even chatting it up with Santa. We had a great time, and it reminded me that good cheer shouldn’t be reserved just for the holidays.

I mentioned to R2-D2 that I wanted him to pick the best of show, which he did. And after much deliberation, R2 whizzed up to Johnny Martinez’s 1929 Ford Model-A truck with its amazing Black Cherry paint. Martinez has been to Wheels and Waves many times, but never with droids.

So when R2 spun to see his creation, he twizzed and weetled around it like a child.

Johnny has been working on this truck for a long time and it was a real treat to get a shot with R2 at the show, as he’s a pretty big A-lister here in town (as well as the galaxy).

“Not too many Ford Model As on other planets,” he chirped.

“The only thing I wish is that 3PO were here to see these cool cars,” R2-D2 added. “But our movie just came out and he’s promoting on a different planet.”

Yeah, I can see how that would be tough.

We had a lot of celebrities at Wheels and Waves in 2017, including Tony Dow, Paul Moyer, Jonathan Banks and Dick Van Dyke. But I have to say that having R2-D2 and Santa together was quite a treat.

“I’m a big fan of that little guy,” expressed the great snowy one. “If only the Sith Lords could come to a car show like R2, they’d be less of a bummer all the time.

Cool cars just make you smile and if Darth had gotten behind the wheel of a ’69 Camaro, I’m sure you’d see his frown turn upside down!”

No better words have ever been spoken. Thanks, St. Nick.

It’s going to be hard to top having R2 at my shows in 2018, but the door is open to all you celebrities out there reading this right now. Wanna play in our sandbox of cool cars? Don’t take life so seriously and get your butt over here like R2-D2. I’ve got piping hot, free coffee and a Hot Wheels with your name on it.

The next Wheels and Waves show is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

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