A Love Letter to Car Shows

What is it about car shows that make them so incredibly alluring? So much so that we jump out of bed at 6 in the morning on a weekend, even though we stumble and roll out when it’s time to go to work on Monday. Why? Why do we enjoy staring at a collection of metal, glass, rubber, and plastic?

What is it about these machines, gathered in one place that brings so many people together? Is it the years of history? The blood, sweat, tears, and lubricant poured into (and out) of these works of art? Hell, some of these things belong in a museum, but they’re proudly displayed on public streets and parking lots. They’re not garage queens, hidden away in the dark; they’re driven. It seems appropriate to drive what drives us. But why?

Everyone has their own answer to this question, which is awesome in its own right. For me, it’s all of the awesome people you get to meet at the shows. As I tend to do on the first Saturday of the month during the summer, I went to the Supercar Saturday event hosted in the Chicagoland area. The amount of petrolheads taking pictures and talking next to open hoods brought a tear to my eye. Not literally but, you know, dramatic effect and all that. It’s awesome to get together with friends and do random shit like trying to pile in five people into a Miata. It’s about as practical (and fun) as it looks.

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But the biggest thing for me is that car shows are an excuse to escape life for a few hours, and reconnect with people you may not be able to see on a regular basis. I’ve walked miles and miles between cars, taking pictures, swearing I’d own that ’69 Camaro one day, then abruptly changing my mind when I see that first gen Viper or Murciélago.

You see cars there you’d never expect to see. For me, it was a Koenigsegg CCXR a few months ago. Just this past weekend I was able to see two of the most recent Mustang GT350’s along with a GT350R edition for the first time in person. And the cars are almost always privately owned, so you get to learn the story behind the car, the history, and the passion of the owner. These owners, like myself, are addicts. Cars are our drugs, and the shows help us get our fix.

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