♦ I found myself reading an article the other day about the best car shows in the country. Now, this article dealt with more than rod runs the way you and I might think of a car show. It was about car shows in general, such as indoor, outdoor, restoration, modified, and new car shows.
For starters, I was pleasantly surprised to find this readers’ poll had a Top 10 dedicated to the Best
Car Shows in the country. The judging panel was derived from USA Today readers’ choices. Since I wasn’t one of the readers who voted I’m not sure where, when, or how these readers were accumulated and how or why they voted. But the fact remains the world of hot rodding did very well.
Of the Top 10 list of winners in the category (you can see the list below as taken from the digital version of USA Today), I must say there is little that I would “argue” with as to the ranking. Granted, I am partial to major rodding events such as the NSRA Nationals in Louisville and the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association Nationals in Columbus, of which neither made the list and that does surprise me. Looking at those events that did make the list I find it somewhat baffling these events didn’t but, hey, to each his own.
The top 10 winners in
the category Best Car Show are as follows:
1. Cruisin' The Coast, Mississippi Gulf Coast 2. Back to the 50's, St. Paul, Minnesota
3. Van Nationals, Rensselaer, Indiana
4. Iola Car Show, Iola, Wisconsin
5. EyesOn Design, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan 6. Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, Fernandina Beach, Florida
7. Grand National Roadster Show, Pomona, California 8. Radwood at HooptieCon, Sonoma, California 9. Capitola Classic Car Show, Capitola, California 10. L.A. Auto Show, Los Angeles, California
I must admit a few of the shows I had to look up as I wasn’t familiar with and one, the Van Nationals, in its 46th year, brought back a great deal of nostalgia to the whole van happening in the ’70s. Looks like burnout sessions have replaced wet T-shirt contests but there still appears to be copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Still lots of early vans with octagon portal windows!
If you want a 180-degree turn then take a look at EyesOn Design in
Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. This invitation-only event is based on imagination and quality and the overall numbers descend from the thousands to 200-300. Here you will see both foreign and domestic concept and production vehicles where imagination is paramount.
When one gets back into the realm of our world it truly is exciting to see that number seven on the list is the Grand National Roadster Show (arguably the longest running and oldest car show around) and one of our Painless Performance Products
Top 100 events. For those rodders who haven’t made the trip west during the cold climes of late-January you are missing out. This is truly one of the “bucket list” events every hot rodder should make the effort to attend.
Moving up the list to number two is the Back to the 50’s event (one of the Painless Performance Products Top 100 gatherings) that has it all, especially for those rodders who like variety. Back to the 50’s also has the advantage of being held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, which is ideally suited for cars and trucks. Lots of tree-lined roads that meander about the grounds, giving rodders plenty of time to cruise and take a look at what’s over yonder. This rodding get-together typically draws in the neighborhood of 10,000 hot rods, making it one of, if not, the largest in the country (which probably means the world!).
Topping the list and the Best Car Show of 2018 was awarded to the Cruisin’ the Coast event that is held along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and links multiple cities over nine days that covers approximately 45 miles along Highway 90. It literally is a traveling car show of hot rods. It too is one of the Painless Performance Products
Top 100 events and while it happens at the end of each year it is actually the kickoff event for us, making it the first of the Top 100 events for the upcoming year.
Well, having three major street rod events, and all of them Top 100 events, is an honor of achievement for our hobby. Maybe next year we can get several more of our crown jewel of rodding events onto the list.