For automotive enthusiasts, summer not only brings sunshine and warm weather but also an abundance of car shows and the opportunity to “ooh” and “ahh” as well as bond over beautiful, well-cared-for automobiles from the past to the present.
In the beginning, car shows were no more than a wipe-your-car-down-and-put-it-on-display event. Little organization or even judging took place.
But that all changed in the 1980s and early ’90s. At the high end, cars were displayed for days at a time, drawing paid admission crowds and cumulating with cash awards or expensive trophies.
Other shows saw marquee cars like Corvettes, Mustangs and Chargers with their owners congregating in parking lots or diners to discuss stories and insights into their particular cars and ways to make them run better or stand out more.
Eventually, offering trophies and hosting fundraising for local charities became the norm for these events while involving all makes of classic cars.
Then a third, more popular car show event evolved in recent years with the cruise-ins or cars and coffee. Owners of muscle cars, hot rods, classics and vintage foreign sports cars and motorcycles had get-togethers to share ideas and show off their rides to one another. A fellow with a 1932 Ford could hang out with an owner of a 2006 Ford GT whether they were 19 or 90 years old.
It’s not just about the sheet metal, it’s the stories behind it ... the father and children relationships built around years of good times and fun experiences with their special car. The most important thing of all is the people in this hobby have a bond for one another and for history. They have a wealth of knowledge to pass down about their favorites and do so with much passion.
Thinking of joining in with your classic car? Getting involved with car shows is easy. Start by attending some local cruise-ins. Check the internet, local newspapers and community advertisements for different types of car shows. Talk to the local car guys about your ride, and I’m sure they’ll point you in the right direction of enthusiasts with similar vehicles to take pride in!
Until next time, happy cruising!