It’s summer, and that means it’s time to take classic cars out of hibernation for car show season! From local cruise nights to track days, car shows are a staple of classic family entertainment. Across the country, there are hundreds that you can participate in or enjoy as an attendee. Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to this summer’s car shows.
How to Prepare Your Classic Car for a Show
Want to show off all the hard work you’ve put into your car this summer? Getting your classic featured in a car show isn’t too hard. You’ll have to meet the specific show’s standards — whether they’re by model or state of restoration — and usually pay entrance fees. Once you’re all registered, it’s time to get your car ready for the big day. Here are seven basic steps for classic car prep:
- Clean the engine and undercarriage. Use degreaser on a warm engine for the best results. Make sure to protect the fenders and the windshield from overspray.
- Wash the exterior, starting with the wheels first. Then, with a fresh bucket, work from the top down. Rinse first, wash, then rinse again.
- Dry the exterior with a chamois or microfiber towel.
- Polish imperfections with a clay bar or polishing compound. Use a polishing ball for curves and deep recesses.
- Wax your car, working in small sections. Work in the shade to prevent hazing.
- Vacuum the carpets and dust the dash. Use a solution of mild soap and water to clean plastic and vinyl, and leather conditioner for leather.
- Use auto-specific glass cleaner to clean the inside and outside of your windshield and windows.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your classic ride will be almost ready for show time. The final step is to make sure your classic is properly insured. Conventional auto insurance might not give you enough coverage for a classic car, so do your homework before hitting the road in a car that’s been in storage for a while. That way, whether you’re driving or trailering to the show, your car is covered against damage.
Where to Show Your Classic This Summer — Or Simply Spectate
The Porsche Parade in Osage Beach, Missouri, July 8 to 14 is a must-see if you love Porsche. This annual parade features models from across the automaker’s history, as well as a swap meet, workshops, rallies and racing. This is where Porsche is idolized. If you’re a fan, you’ll be in great company.
If you’re near Boston, Cars and Coffee is an event series not to miss. As part of the series, on July 14, Aug. 25 and Oct. 27, the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Mass., hosts meet-ups with car enthusiasts and shows models from its historic collection. Grab your favorite caffeinated brew and see some of Boston’s greatest automobiles.
Also in New England, the Vermont Antique and Classic Car Show in Waterbury is coming up on Aug. 10 to 12. This Green Mountain State show has been going strong for six decades! The three-day show includes classic cars, a fashion show, a flea market, a parade and street dancing — and of course music, food and drink for everyone.
For West Coast folks, Monterey Car Week in Monterey, Calif., is a must-see. It runs from Aug. 22 to 26 this year. To call this show “big” would be a severe understatement. Monterey Car Week features at least a half-dozen shows, another half-dozen auction houses, vintage racing and the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Back in the Northeast, the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival in Lakeville, Conn., runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. What could be a better addition to a classic car show than classic car racing? At Lime Rock Park, spectators enjoy a vintage race car and sports car parade, as well as friendly classic car racing. Camping, dining and music round out this Labor Day weekend event.
Finally, if you find yourself satisfying your sweet tooth in Hershey, Penn., this autumn, don’t forget to also get your automotive fix at Fall Hershey from Oct. 10 to 13. If you want to see the entire history of the American automobile in the space of a weekend, Fall Hershey has it all. The four-day event includes miles of swap meets, classic car auctions and the Antique Automobile Club of America Fall Meet.
No matter what part of the country you live in, there are a slew of opportunities to take your classic out of storage and into the light of day — or just enjoy a good time with auto enthusiasts from all walks of life.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on getting ready for a car show, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.