They don’t make ’em like they used to. Outside of a few gorgeous, glorious models like the classic 1960s muscle cars, we never seem to appreciate the great car designs we have while they’re popular, and only after 30
years pass and all the good cars go away do we realize what we had.
Fortunately, there are plenty of classic car enthusiasts out there who love to spend their spare time and money preserving, modifying, and restoring vehicles unappreciated in their time. They then go around showing off their vehicles at car shows around the nation, and if you want to see the best that American car lovers have to offer, here are the car shows you should visit.
The Texas Hoedown
The Texas Hoedown takes place in Hempstead just outside of Houston and specializes in customized hot rods and drag racers built out of cars and motorcycles from the pre-Oil Crisis period. You’ll find plenty of stock vehicles here, too, but the real draw is all the amazing and imaginative things a person can do with an old car, some paint, and top-quality mechanical parts.
Iola Old Car Show
Iola is a tiny Wisconsin village located far from any major city, but every year it hosts one of the biggest car shows in the Midwest. With over 2,000 show cars and 4,000 swap spots, the Iola Old Car Show features five times as many cars as the village has residents. Whether you’re browsing, buying, or swapping, you should make sure you spend an early July weekend in Iola to enjoy the sights.
The Elegance at Hershey
Hershey, Pennsylvania, isn’t just about the chocolate; it’s also about the oldest vintage vehicles you’ll find on the road and racecars from the very first eras of the sport. Hershey hosts the national headquarters of the Antique Automobile Club of America, and every year they host The Elegance. This show takes place over a long June weekend and features the Grand Ascent, a classic racecar hill climb that allows visitors to catch a glimpse of what it was like to see one of these vehicles in its prime.
The Charlotte AutoFair
Every year in both April and September, the Hornet’s Nest region of the AACA hosts the Charlotte AutoFair in North Carolina, a massive event held in the Charlotte Motor Speedway that attracts over 150,000 visitors during its four-day run. You can find just about any vehicle you want while you’re at the event so long as it’s over 25 years old and has a story to go with it, and you’ll also find brand name vendors, food, and Manheim, the world’s biggest auto auction.
If none of these shows is in your area, you can contact your local branch of the AACA, and they’ll know where to find antique autos near you. After all, wherever there are cars, there are people who love them, and no matter how old or out-of-date a car model becomes, there’s always someone out there who loves it.