Car shows can be as small as a few guys with mullets drinking Coors Lite and talking about their sweet 1980s Cougars, on up to billionaires sipping wine while discussing their Rolls-Royce Phaetons. There is a lot of variety in vehicles, attendance, and locales. If you want to see the biggest and best shows of the year, here’s where to start.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Concours shows celebrate rare, expensive, and historically important cars, and the Pebble Beach, California show is arguably the best in the world. Don’t expect to see much American iron unless it’s a pre-WWII Duesenberg or Cadillac, but the show will live up to its reputation. Among the Ferrari racecars, steam cars, and antiques, there is a recently opened class for Tatra, the Czech luxury car company known for aerodynamic styling decades before it mattered. The show is August 17th, and tickets start at $275. No, that is not a typo.
Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals
Pretty much the opposite of Pebble Beach, the Nats will feature over 500 muscle cars, Corvettes and super cars. The show is Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th. Tickets are only $25. It is a family friendly event, as kids 12 and under get free admission, and there is a car model contest and scavenger hunt they can enter. Located in Rosemont, IL, the 2014 show features the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler Hemi.
Greenwood Car Show
Advertised as “a mile and a half of classic rides,” the Greenwood, Washington show is one of the largest in the northwest. Attracting everything from classic Ferraris to modern wagons, the show in the small Seattle neighborhood is free to attend and offers a lot for families. The non-profit show is a part of Puget Sound’s weeklong Seafair summer festival, and takes place Saturday June 28th.
Daytona Turkey Run
The 41st annual Turkey Run takes place each Thanksgiving weekend in the only state with great weather in November. The Daytona, Florida event is more than just a massive car show; the weekend offers a huge swap meet, a chance to drive on the Daytona International Speedway, live entertainment and local car-related artwork. This year the event runs November 27th through the 30th, and costs just $10 to attend.
No nation-wide list of car shows is complete without including the annual Las Vegas tradeshow from the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association. SEMA is an industry-only gathering of what is new in the aftermarket and hotrod world, so what happens in Sin City definitely doesn’t stay there. While you may have difficulty getting in unless you work for an automotive related company, everything is available for viewing online without the crowds and expense. The giant display of “car porn” runs Tuesday, November 4th through Friday, November 7th in the Las Vegas Convention Center.