Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It is all about the details ...

Recently I attended a show and saw some scary wiring in a car:

Where is this mystery wire going to?  I don't care if the car is custom or stock, you will lose some points!

Here is another point looser:

Some car owners just don't understand that as a judge it is our job to pick their cars apart, and this stands out like a pink car at a show.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Volo Auto Museum Spring Car Corral 2012

I was in the Volo area for a wedding so I thought I would stop over Saturday morning to see what a car show is like at Volo. I wasn't expecting much since it was raining in the early morning.

I rolled in at about 10:45 and the rain had stopped and the sun was peaking through. You had to pay the normal 12 bucks to get into their back lots. The "show cars" were parked mainly on a grassy hill side. They actually have it very well planned out for car shows with 2 lines of trees that owners back up to and there is a permanent stage for music, and an outdoor place with food and large canopy for shade.

There were only 35 cars (due to the rain), but they could easily fit another 100.

This has to be the perfect day for business. People bring cars, they pay 10 bucks to park and if you are a spectator you pay 12 bucks (and they gave me a coupon for 1000 off a 30k purchase for this weekend only)...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Automotion 2012

This was my 7th year attending Automotion. Every year I leave my house at 7:30-7:40 and roll into Automotion at about 9AM with not much of a line … not so much this year …

I made it to about 3 blocks before the turn down the final road at about 8:35AM … I could see cops at the intersection and I could see normal cars (Honda’s … Toyota’s ….)turning down the same road to automotion (WHY?!?) … after about 10 minutes I moved about 100 feet and my car died … gulp … I turned the key and nothing … I was in drive so I put it in neutral and try again … nothing … not a peep from the starter … on go the hazards …

15 seconds later there are 3 guys jumping out of their classic cars to help push me (gotta love car guys!) … 3 minutes later the line has moved 30 feet … I try to start it again … and it fires right up … I wave to the folks in the left lane to watch out because I’m coming over! I drove a block up and parked at a gift shop … I decided I was going to walk into automotion and check things out and let the line die down a bit. As I walk up to the intersection I can see cars lined up for a half mile in either direction! This is going to be an awesome show!

By 9AM I walked to the far back lot (plenty of antifreeze on the ground around a lot of the cars) … there was about 100 spots left and about 100 spots left in the upper lot as you drive in … so by 9AM there were +800 cars parked … at that point I knew there was no way I was going to make it into the show with my car … So I thought I would walk back to my car and grab my camera and enjoy the show … I get back to my car and see the shop is opening and there is a sign that says “30 minute parking” … Super … so at that point I had no interest of parking my car in the spectator lot … so I jumped in my car … fired it up and drove to the show at Stark in Stoughton (with my AC on) …

Year after year Automotion has issues getting cars parked … and year after year they make no changes. Why?

Each year we offer ideas to help speed things up and they make no changes … Here are some of the ideas from the past and some new ones:

1. Circletrack brought this up last year … why not make the street that turns into automotion 1 way from 6AM to 10AM so cars can be side by side in the same direction.

2. Why do they let normal family cars turn down the street into automotion? The cops should wave them by and tell them show cars only.

3. Why do they park cars one … at … a … time? There was a 1 mile long line to park one … at … a …time. They should park cars in 3-4 locations at the same time.

4. Why make every car make a Y-turn and back into a spot? Everyone, pulls forward (I know that this is not normal car show etiquette), if you have ever attended a brewer game that is how they get cars in and parked fast!

5. There are 3 entrances into Noah’s Ark, but they only use one of them.

6. Allow owners to park their cars overnight from 4-8PM Friday for a fee (say 50 bucks) and then hire a couple of rent-a-cops to watch the cars. This is what they do at other large shows around the nation.

7. What happens when you pre-register? Do they mail you a hot pink card that says, “you’re in!” that you pass off as you drive in? Or do they have to look up your name?

So will I go back next year? Probably only as a spectator, if they don’t indicate that they are going to make some changes … It is exciting that the first couple of shows of 2012 have had record attendance …

I’m interested in what others experiences were today …

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Post Card Car Show Ad:

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to advertise your car show think about creating a post card with the when and where of your show and a link to to your website for more details on the show like class at the show.

Staples has a deal going until June 30, 2012 for 500 postcards for 20 bucks plus shipping (shipping is about 11.50). Check it out!

Link to Staples

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vintage Torque Fest 2012

This was the 3rd year for Torque Fest in Maquoketa, IA. I pulled in at 9:30 to find about 250 spectators cars in the spectators lot. It was a bit chilly and cloudy, but nothing a light coat couldn't fix.

By noon the sun was peaking through and the temp jump up to the upper 70's ... time to take the coat off ...

There were about 350-400 bikes (including the Von Dutch bike with a VW engine owned by Mike Wolfe from the TV show American Pickers) and cars. There were easily over 3000 spectators that came in as the +1000 car spectators area was full and all the side streets around the show were packed for 4 blocks.

They had more cars this year, and a heck of a lot more spectators.

Right before noon I grabbed a hot dog covered in grandama's chili for a $1.50 and right after that, the 3 locations that were selling food were 50-80 people deep in line waiting for burgers, dogs and steak sandwiches.

They had lots of great vendors selling old car parts, automotive art, vintage clothes and vintage house hold stuff (one vendor came in from Cali). No made in china tools and parts at this show. I had my eye on a pin-stripped bowling pin that I checked out twice and was going to buy on my way out, but it was gone at my final visit with the vendor.

The cars on the dirt track were pretty tame this year, with one spin out that lead to the car taking out some tires.

No judging at this show. Each car club (18 clubs from around the country showed up) makes their own award and they pick their favorite.

The reason why this show is so successful is that they have different things to get the car owners involved and other events than just staring at cars for 7 hours straight that really brings in the spectators. The staff that puts on this event, gets it. They have the perfect formula for having a perfect show.

Below is a 4 minute video with some of my photos and short videos, and below that is a sample of the photos that are also in the video.

You think you've seen a Honda Civic with a big exhaust tip ... check out this guy:


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is your car worth?

Hagerty recently rolled out a new tool to give you an idea of what your car is worth based on a 1-4 condition of the entire car and it also graphs the ave prices over the past 6 years.

You can check out 3 cars and then you have to create an account ...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dash Plaques:

The majority of shows hand out dash plaques and
typically advertise the total number they will have
available. The costs for the plaques range from 75
cents on up. If you are looking to save a couple bucks
this maybe the area to do it.  Car shows have been
handing out dash plaques since the 1960’s. There has
been a new trend to have a magnet dash plaque,
now the owners can stick to their tool box or