We poll our audience from time to time, and we know that without a doubt their favorite thing to do with their muscle car is to attend a car show. Here are a few of the types of car shows out there, and how you can have fun at each whether you’ve got a $5000 ride or a $50,000 one!
- The Meet & Greet Show
Meet and Greet shows are really just that. You’ll be getting together with a lot of people and their cars mainly for the purpose of meeting each other, making some friends, showing off your cars, and picking up a few tips. These are not typically events where your car is judged. It’s typically more common that there will be door prize items provided by local businesses (I once won 25% all shipping for a month at a local UPS store). This is likely going to me a smaller, local show that occurs on a Friday night for a couple of hours.
What’s the secret to having fun at this show? Well, the secret is the people themselves. Get to know them well – because they’re your car-guy neighbors. These are the people you can call when you need help pulling a transmission!
- The Saturday Competition Show
A competition car show is one where you’re going for a trophy. The last show I went to of this type had an awards ceremony for about 40 categories, where each category received a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place (the ceremony took forever……and no I’m not bitter because I didn’t win anything). This show will typically be at a larger venue and will be decently publicized. You might be able to meet everyone there, but it will be tough to do. It’s best to go in with a couple of buddies that you know – just so you have someone to pal around with all day. This is generally an “all day Saturday” type show, so bring a lawn chair and your car detail kit. A stocked cooler is optional.
What’s the secret to having fun at this show? Preparation. Knowing the categories that you’re competing in ahead of time is crucial so that you don’t become depressed by trying to compete for a trophy that either does not exist (like “Best Multi-Color Bondo Car”) or one that you really can’t compete for anyway (i.e. the areas that are usually dominated by the big money cars).
- The Gargantuan Show
The gargantuan show is the one where there will be more cars and people than you’ve ever seen in your life – and you’ll never be able to see it all (think along the lines of a “Good Guys” show or something like the “Car Craft Nationals”). You’ll see beaters, project cars, and bazillion dollar show cars all within 50 yards of each other. These things sometimes have a chassis dyno you can put your car on while a huge crowd watches and waits to see impressive numbers….or a blown up car (they like both). Autocross courses are getting popular at these events as well. These shows generally last a few days, so if it’s not a local one book a hotel or borrow a buddy’s camper. They also almost always have competition judging going at the same time.
What’s the secret to having fun at this show? Nothing! Just try to take it all in. If you’re competing, see the above section for some hints. If you’re not, just try to see as much as you can. (Note: Taking your 8 month pregnant wife to one of these events in July is going to seem like a good idea and a chance to spend some time together. Make sure you reaaaaaalllllyyyy think that one through first.)