Have Car Shows Really Lost Their Appeal?
This weekend a classic car show was organised in my hometown. I was sceptical at first of how successful/enjoyable this event would be because my hometown is only small and there isn't a huge car culture here. On top of this, I'm not a huge classic car fan, not because I detest them, it's just I'm just not that clued up on them compared to modern cars. However, after finally persuading a friend who's kind of interested in cars to join me, we attended what turned out to be a great afternoon.
The car event was at my local rugby club and all the classic cars were parked on the rugby pitch and took up about 3/4 of the rugby pitch and they were around 50 cars that were all built pre-2000 with the odd exception. There were a plethora of different car groups all such as Rolls Royces from the 1930s to the modern day with a Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge, to a collection of classic Mini's and stags. This was mine and my friend's car event for a long time, personally, I think the last time I attended a car show was circa 2008. But why has it taken me this long to attend another car event?
One particular feature this car show/meet highlighted to me was not the cars, nor the prizes. Instead, what I most took from this event was the social aspect. As I and my mate circled the car lot admiring the classic cars, every owner was willing to speak to us. They all explained the car like it was their baby (which it probably was), the history of the car, why they own it etc. There's no shame in denying that I and my mate were probably some of the youngest spectators observing the car, but still, the owners and other admirers appreciated our interest even though their car was 50 years older than us. Plus, what was also great was that if we didn't understand or know what that they meant, by simply asking they would explain clearly to us 'young lads'.
Likewise, I and my mate hadn't seen each other in a while, roughly 6-8 months and I suggested we go to this event for something to do on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Although this event was £3 each for entry, it's still considerably cheaper than 1 pint (even in the North of England it's hard to find a pint less than £3 these days). As we pondered over the classics, it was a great way to socialise with a mate who I hadn't seen in a while and have a chat while pointing out different cars and interests to people. For example, there was a mark 1 Ford Escort RS2000 which I couldn't stop looking at while he was the same for a 1960's Corvette Stingray. One by one we looked at the cars discussing different stories, amazed by how good condition they were in and just overall having a good time even if this was a small event.
To answer the question I wrote in the title- no I don't think car shows have lost their appeal. This small makeshift event where the most expensive car was a 2008 Audi R8, proved that to enjoy a car show/meet doesn't have to be some huge event with a high price tag like Goodwood Festival of Speed. I argue that you can have just as much fun at your own local car event, as unlike the big mainstream events you can talk to most of the owners and there is a social aspect instead of a PR event. Because of this event, I now aim to organise another car event, hopefully, more than just classic cars. Although I don't know where to start it should be a fun challenge.
Plus the event made me start writing again on DriveTribe.