Tips and Tricks for Attending Car Shows

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Are you an avid vehicle enthusiast looking for a way to show off your ride? Car shows are the perfect place to do just that. With a bit of planning, attending a car show or meetup can be an unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and tricks on how to prepare for your next car show experience. 

Car Shows Vs. Meetups

Car shows and car meets are both popular events for car enthusiasts, but there are some key differences between the two. Car shows are larger events that usually require registration fees from participants. Car meets, on the other hand, are typically smaller and more informal gatherings for like-minded enthusiasts. 

Car shows tend to focus on car displays. Participants will bring their vehicles to show off and compare with others in a competitive atmosphere. There may also be awards for best-in-class or other categories. Meanwhile, car meets often include activities such as racing or drag racing as part of the event.

In addition to the difference in scale and focus, car shows tend to have more rules and regulations than car meets do. These can range from dress codes to restrictions on modifications or accessories allowed on display vehicles. It is important to review these rules before attending any show or meet.

Popular Car Shows

Each year, thousands of car owners travel long distances to attend some of the most well-known events in the United States. Here are three of the top car shows for Mopar® enthusiasts:

Carlisle Chrysler Nationals: An annual event that takes place in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest car shows dedicated to Chrysler vehicles and features drag racing, dyno runs, burnouts, vendors and more. 

Mopar Nationals: An annual event held in Hebron, Ohio, celebrating Mopar vehicles and their enthusiasts. Spanning a weekend, it features a massive car show, drag racing competitions, a swap meet and a car corral. The event also includes a Manufacturer’s Midway, special guest appearances and family-friendly activities, making it a must-attend experience for Mopar lovers.

The SEMA Show: An annual trade event held in Las Vegas, Nevada, showcasing the latest products, trends and innovations in the automotive industry. It brings together manufacturers, buyers and industry professionals from around the world to network and explore cutting-edge concepts and vehicle builds. Recently, this event opened to the public for one day during the week-long event.

Woodward Dream Cruise: An annual classic car event held in Metro Detroit, Michigan, attracting numerous spectators along with classic and unique vehicles. Participants cruise down Woodward Avenue while enthusiasts line up along the route to admire the vehicles. 

Prepping Your Ride

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Prepping your ride for a car show or meetup is essential. First, thoroughly clean both the exterior and interior of the car. Check out our Tips on Detailing Your Car blog for a more detailed guide.    

Next, make sure all fluids are at proper levels and topped off—oil, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, washer fluid and gas. Check for any necessary repairs or maintenance items such as worn-out tires or brakes that may need replacing. 

Finally, when you’re ready to hit the road, make sure you have all the necessary documents like registration papers or proof of insurance on hand. 

Best Practices on Show Day

Take Time to Enjoy the Show. Car shows are a great way for car enthusiasts to gather and show off their classic cars. But they can also be an opportunity for car lovers to learn about new products, talk with other enthusiasts and take in the sights. Make sure you take some time to explore all the show has to offer.  

Explore Vendor Booths and Ask Questions. Vendors at car shows often have a wealth of knowledge about classic cars, as well as many different products that could be useful for anyone looking to spruce up their ride. Take time to explore vendor booths and ask questions. 

Follow Safety Guidelines. Safety should always come first when attending a car show or meetup. Each show may have its own safety rules; however, no matter what car show or meet you attend, the following safety tips are good to follow:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Watch out for wet spots or oil slicks that can cause slippery surfaces.
  • Wear appropriate footwear such as closed toe shoes.
  • Follow all posted signs or warnings. 
  • Plan for all types of weather for yourself and your vehicle.

Following this advice will help you to have a safe and enjoyable experience at your next car show or meetup and beyond.