After several false starts, the U.S. is finally getting a major classic car exhibition of its own…
A little over a year ago, I lamented in this space [“5-year Paradigm, VR, June 2015] about the U.S.’s lack of a major classic car show, such as France’s Retromobile or the UK’s NEC Classic Car Show. In that column, I touched upon my personal belief that a combination of geography and classic car enthusiast’s reticence to support any event that has not been in existence for at least five years, as perhaps the biggest hurdles for one of these events to get off the ground in America. And, that it would it take a major commitment, by a serious player, before we Americans could enjoy one of these large-scale events. Well, I’m pleased to say it appears that a major commitment has finally been made.
Clarion Events, the large exhibition company responsible for the UK’s massive Classic Car Show at the NEC in Birmingham, has committed to developing a similar show in Los Angeles, California. Dubbed “The Classic Auto Show, powered by Velocity,” this new event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27-29, 2017. Organized by Clarion’s American subsidiary, Urban Expositions, the three-day event will feature car club displays, a “Grand Boulevard” of automotive history, classic car dealers, vendors, a swap meet, plus a celebrity theatre with live appearances by personalities such as Mike Brewer (Wheeler Dealer), Wayne Carini (Chasing Classic Cars), Chip Foose (Overhaulin), Chris Jacobs (Overhaulin, Barrett-Jackson Auctions) and Dave Kindig (Designer, Custom car builder). Added to this, it was also recently announced that renowned collector and consummate “Car Guy” Bruce Meyer has agreed to be the event’s inaugural Grand Marshall. According to Meyer, “Bringing The Classic Auto Show to Los Angeles, the real car capital of the world, is a natural, and it brings us all together to celebrate. I’m so honored to be selected Grand Marshall, and I look forward to meeting fellow car lovers and sharing our enthusiasm.”
Of all the places in the United States to hold this unique type of automotive event, Los Angeles has to be one of the top choices. There’s a huge local population of classic cars and enthusiasts to draw upon, many manufacturers have corporate or design centers here, the weather this time of year is better than almost anywhere else in the country and there’s a host of other local attractions to draw upon. Added to all this, the event comes right on the heels of the annual Scottsdale auctions the week before, so now you have a fantastic excuse to extend your New Year, West Coast holiday by a few more days!
With all this, plus Velocity television getting behind the project, the heavens finally appear to have aligned themselves for America to get a major classic car exhibition, worthy of an international following.
Of course, since I was the one who was puling and complaining about us not having this kind of show in the U.S., we here at the magazine will also be pitching in to help. As a media partner to the show, we’re not only helping to spread the word about the show, but we’ve also been asked to help curate some of the special cars on display in the show’s “Grand Boulevard” exhibit. As such, if you have an interesting or significant car (road or race) that you’d like to be considered for this special three-day display, please email me directly at email@example.com
Whether you’re able to display a car or not, I hope you’ll join us in Los Angeles, this January, for what is shaping up to be a very unique—and uniquely American—classic car experience.