It’s the question on every American car enthusiast’s lips… there’s only one way to find the answer, so Classic American spoke to the organisers of some of the most important events of the year on the classic American calendar for their thoughts on this burning question. Here’s what they had to say….
Nigel Hole, Stars & Stripes organiser: “The general consensus of the events industry is that things will start around the beginning of June with, as Boris said, a fair wind. Our intention is to run Stars & Stripes as we would do normally however; we are already adept at running Covid-safe events as we have done in 2020. Government policy will dictate the provisions we will need to put in place but hopefully we will be as close to ‘normal’ as we can safely be and that’s key – the safety of our visitors, staff and exhibitors.”
Grahame Smith, Surrey Street Rodders: “The present situation with the pandemic continues to prohibit the Surrey Street Rodders and the landowner’s agent from making any plans regarding Wheelsday 2021. We cannot put the health and safety of anyone associated with our annual fundraising event at risk. Wheelsday will hopefully be celebrated in some form on Good Friday, but not as we had all hoped. Whether it is virtual or presented in some other form we are unable to disclose for the time being. It is extremely frustrating for all of us, especially as this is the second Wheelsday to be affected. Your continued support is appreciated and thanks to your generosity we were able to donate £500 to the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice from the sale of Wheelsday 2020 T-shirts and hoodies. Unfortunately there is little we can do, except think of all the new ‘lockdown’ builds out there waiting to be debuted! Let’s ride this out, stay safe and healthy so we can all come back and enjoy our lifestyle to the full as soon as possible.”
David Radcliffe-Watts, event organiser, Pre’50 AAC: “The Pre-’50 American Auto Club has two shows planned for 2021. The Bristol All American Car Show in Yate on June 6 and our flagship show the Rally of the Giants at Blenheim Palace on July 11, which incidentally is our 55th show. Both shows are ready to go with venues, caterers, etc. booked and committed. However with the current lockdown in place until early March and schools not looking like they are going to reopen until the same time then whether mass gatherings will be allowed three or four months later will depend, very much, on how phase one of the vaccine rollout has progressed.
“With the second jab a requirement for maximum
protection, we don’t know yet whether this will be further delayed in order to get as many as possible inoculated under phase one. If we are allowed to hold the shows then I believe it will be under strict social distancing guidelines and the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory. This is something the club will obviously comply with and our shows will be Covid-secure to ensure everyone is safe.
“We normally start advertising, taking entries and sending out tickets, etc. in February. However in 2020, lockdown and the unfortunate decision to cancel the shows in April cost the club £2600. So this year the club won’t start promoting the shows until we know we can hold them safely. This could mean late announcements and much hard work to get everything in place ready for the shows. All very last minute, but worth it if we can go ahead with the shows. I feel that any shows that take place this year will be well attended by both vehicle exhibitors and attending public, as people are so keen to get out again.”
Alex Strike, NSRA public relations officer: “Our southern swapmeet has been postponed, with the view of putting this on November 7 instead. The spring cruise also cannot go ahead and we may try to do an autumn cruise instead, Government permitting. The fun run is cancelled for this year. We are still planning on all of the Santa Pod events and definitely for the SuperNats to go ahead as planned, but we will reassess as and when we need to, conforming to government guidelines. Let’s hope for a smashing summer!”
Richard Miller, AACUK chairman: “As many event organisers know, shows don’t just happen; a considerable amount of time and planning goes on behind the scenes. Last year, everything for our four events was in place by the end of January, then one by one they were cancelled, which was very disappointing for everyone concerned. The 2021 show season is so uncertain too, but we still have to make plans in the hope that this terrible virus goes away or is controlled. The Spring Nationals booked for April 18 look likely to suffer postponement/cancellation right now, as does Drive it Day the following Saturday.
“We are very keen that our 40th birthday celebrations, alongside the American Auto Club UK Summer Nationals to be held on July 4, are allowed to go ahead, even if some restrictions are in place. Unfortunately this event clashes with the Stars & Stripes, but our venue dates had to be booked well in advance in June 2018 due to the popularity of the venue and attempts to change the date have failed due to the venue being fully booked – we are negotiating to remedy this for the 2022 show season. I believe if we act in a sensible manner and follow the regulations and guidelines laid down, we will beat this virus and we can all return to normal life and enjoy our American vehicles and everything that goes with them.”
■ So there you have it; a somewhat unclear picture, but a hopeful and optimistic one nevertheless. One thing you can be sure of is that Classic American will be the first to update you on what shows are happening when and where, so make sure you check the magazine, as well as Classic American’s website and Facebook pages.