Contributed by Gary West
Now that you've bought, rebuilt, restored, inherited, recommissioned, rescued or otherwise saved that classic or vintage car, truck, tractor or motorcycle, it's time to take it out and play with it. Take that puppy to a car show or a Cars & Coffee or a track day or a Cruise-in or, do what we once did, and have a neighborhood car show. One of the killer bees in my bonnet is the person who announces that “I'm going to be a good steward of this (fill in the blank) for the next owner” then makes the vehicle a prisoner in a garage. Don't hide 'em. Take 'em out and play with 'em. But where? And what kind? And how do I know which one is what?
Well, right here is a great place to start. Thanks to Tara this web site is the informational key to the automotive enjoyment lock. If you can't find something automotive to do in this myriad collection listed at this web site, I sho' nuff don't have the answer. In addition, check out www.motorsportreg.com. This site allows you to create an account and pre-register for a myriad of automotive events.
Cruise-in: These are, in most cases, weekly or monthly events sponsored by a local business. Traditionally a non-trophy show, they give car/motorcycle owners a place to hang out & show off their particular source of pride. In addition it helps the bottom line of the business. On occasion vendors are on the property.
Cars and Coffee: Like the Cruise-in, these are “repeatable” events usually held early on a Saturday morning hence the coffee reference. Many are held at auto dealerships, in my area Ferrari of Tampa Bay and Reeves are long-time event promoters. C & C held at car-specific locations give you a chance to talk with others driving similar cars, talk with the dealership, visit their service facilities. Were I in the market to purchase a vehicle sold by the dealership, I'd use the C & C to evaluate the place, talk, view what's available.
Also very popular—meaning arrive early—is the monthly C & C at duPont Registry. DuPont's event is well worth the visit as all manner of old and new are on stage, their shop is open for viewing, and everything is Saturday morning clean. Everyone welcome and bring a camera. Coffee available and they hand out free duPont Registry magazines.
Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island Concours de'Elegance: This one's unique. If you've ever wanted your vehicle on the lawn at Amelia Island, this is your shot at fame. Sponsored by Heacock Insurance and held on the Saturday before the Concours, this allows us our opportunity to display our car to the world…..AND IT'S FREE. Here's how. Www.ameliaconcours.org Get on their email list. During September they begin to post information regarding the next years events including the Cars & Coffee registration information. That's your signal to strike like a demented Cobra as space is limited. If ya snooze, ya lose. If your car is accepted for the event you'll receive the proper credentials, etc. sometime after the first of the year. If attending the Concours is on your agenda, why not take the chance and show your whip. A hint: Belonging to a car club may increase your chances of being picked. Last year we were emailed a notification that the BMW club network had several slots open at the event even though the event was “full” and needed a few unusual cars to fill the positions. Heacock Insurance and Amelia can answer any questions you might have.
Charity Car Shows: Our favorite as most seem to be well run, lots of car classes, a goodly amount of trophies up for grabs, and the money goes to a good cause. In addition there are usually door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.
Neighborhood Car Show: This idea bloomed in the brain of our neighborhood civic association president and, amazingly, it worked. Our homeowners association holds a yearly “Hero's Luncheon” for our firefighters and police officers. Using our association dues we provide free food, a venue for garage bands, activities for the kiddies, and a microphone for the local politicians to bloviate. This past year we asked that, if you have an unusual car or motorcycle, to bring it. We got all manner of stuff including a couple of '32 roadsters, '65 Corvair convertible, a drag racer brought a Funny Car, couple of very nice ‘vettes, several custom motorcycles and pink, pimped and slammed Honda Civic with a 5” fart pipe and bald tires…no accounting for taste. Other than the Civic everyone thought the event was a great idea.
Track Days, Autocross or HPDE (High Performance Driving Events): Ordinarily we don't think of old, classic, vintage and restored vehicles as fodder for these types of events but never say never. Go visit a few of these functions and be prepared to be shocked by the number of old but very fast cars participating. Www.chinmotorsports.com is where we play. Spectators are allowed in for free and it's well worth the visit.
Concours d'LeMons: I've never been to one of their “car shows” but it's on my bucket list. The promoters, a sick bunch of California loonies, hatched this demented after having been force to eat too many snub-burgers at Monterrey & Pebble Beach concours. Hence, Concours d'LeMons….”Celebrating the oddball, mundane and truly awful of the automotive world”. These shows welcome the bastardized automotive roadkill that's been inflicted on the public…..even Pontiac Aztecs are allowed. Imagine a football field of cars, any one you could look at and wonder “What Were They Thinking?” Don't believe me, huh? OK, www.concoursdlemons.com
Good luck and enjoy