Car Shows in the COVID Era

With the COVID pandemic, my car show activity has been greatly constrained. I went to one Cruise Night in early June that was sponsored by our local Godfather’s Pizza. A friend of mine is going to be getting some surgery on his hands soon, and wanted to do one show before his surgery. There was a show up in Heber City, Utah that was happening on Saturday, June 27, with some fairly strict health guidelines. After much thought I decided to go with Richard.

My post today will of course include some car photos, but this is really going to be more about the mental aspects – what it is like to show in the COVID world.

30s Ford V8 Coupe
1930s Ford V8 Coupe.  This car is quite similar to the V8 Ford that Bonnie and Clyde used in their reign of terror.

Six weeks ago I was dying to get back to the shows, see my old buddies and show off my car. Cars shows are really just a bunch of folks with a similar hobby, getting together and socializing. We love to look at each other’s rides, and “talk shop”. But the shows are more than cars; it’s catching up with each other’s lives – what’s been happening, families, work, health issues, etc. We were all excited to get back out there.

And then reality hit. If you are following the news, you know that COVID cases in the US are growing rapidly. Frankly the situation here is frightening. I only went because I knew the city put in some really strict health precautions. So, what is it like to show in the COVID era?

30s Packard
Here is a 1930s era Packard.  This was the height of luxury in those days.

Of course I am very happy to see some old friends, and it’s really great to see them healthy. But there are no handshakes, no high-fives. No, none of that. Just talking several feet apart. And, the whole time I am wondering if it is safe to be even talking to another person that’s not from my household.  Being outside is actually fairly safe according to the medical experts.  The airflow pretty much dillutes virus particles to the point of making them harmless unless someone literally hacks in your face, or is too close without a mask for too long.

We used to pull our chairs together in a semi circle behind our cars, or off the side in the shade. We would get each other pizza slices, or bring drinks, etc.

40s Ford Woody Wagon
This classic ’40s Ford Woody wagon still has many of its original surfing window stickers.  

Now, to stay safe we sit by ourselves behind our respective cars, maybe 8 to 12 feet apart, trying to talk through our masks. There is no sharing of food or drink. Being outside, we did take off our masks part of the time when we were just sitting behind our cars due to the distance between us.  But if someone walked up, the masks went right back on.

I used to really put some effort into prepping my car for a show. Everything had to be super clean and polished. Everything. I had made a nice display board featuring a lot of technical data and photos of the Hellcat’s engine and other details.

I would talk to everyone who was showing interest in my car quite enthusiastically. It was such a thrill to share that enthusiasm with an admirer. Occasionally, I would even let someone sit in my car for a photo.

50s Pontiac Chieftan
This mid ’50s Pontiac Chieftain shares many body lines with mid 50s Chevys, but the Pontiacs are considerably more rare.

But now, that has all changed. I am still prepping meticulously, but I have not yet constructed a display sign for the Porsche. It really needs one as the car is loaded with racing technology. So why no sign?

Cayman GTS wp
Here is my 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS.  The thing is so low that the body is just an inch or so above the grass.

Honestly, I am very reluctant to spend much time talking with strangers. It is that shared air we all hear about. Yes, the shows are outside. But as you probably know, many Americans are simply not wearing masks to cut that flow of the dreaded droplets. In fact, at this show I would guess maybe only 30% to 35% of the attendees were wearing masks. At the Godfather’s Pizza Cruise Night that ratio was maybe 20 percent.

60s Rambler Rogue
This pristine beauty is a car that I have never seen before.  It is an early ’60s Rambler Rogue that has been highly modified to be a hot rod.

So, I try to just waive and maybe answer a couple of quick questions if they ask me. I am certainly not volunteering to give the “guided tour” as before the pandemic. I am trying to have a normal life, but being careful too, very careful. I really don’t want to bring that nasty virus home.

Sitting behind the car talking with my friend from afar, hoping that no one will ask me any questions is the new show routine.

61 Corvette Hardtop
This gorgeous 1961 Corvette hardtop was simply stunning, but parked in the shade and sun.  This made for a difficult photo.

So, is it fun? Well, yes and no. Of course as I mentioned earlier, it is great to catch up with old friends. And I love cars, so seeing new show cars is always fun. But, a lot of what the shows were about is gone now. The socialization is stripped to a bare minimum. Those 30 minute conversations about whether torque or horsepower is more important are gone. As are the hands-on showing of dozens of “in process” photos from someone’s pet project.

Showing in the COVID era is possible and pleasurable to a point. But, it is definitely not like before.

I hope you will enjoy the rest of my photos, and I hope that my post will be entertaining and informative.

61 Metropolitan
This little guy is a rare site. It’s a 1961 Metropolitan.
63 Corvette
This is a beautiful 1963 Corvette Stingray convertible.
73 Camaro
Here is a friend’s 1973 Camaro Z28. This beauty is more impressive in person as the car is just flawless.
Custom Rod 2
Here is a stunning custom hot rod from a early ’30s Ford coupe.
Custon Rod Wagon
How do I describe this crazy, cool hot rod?  This is what makes the car shows so visually entertaining.
Early Dodge Truck
You all know I am a huge Dodge fan, so seeing this old Dodge Brothers truck just about had me drooling.
Richard Mustang Shelby GT
Here is Richard’s 2008 Mustang Shelby GT convertible.  His polish and prep was perfect.

I really do hope you all enjoyed my presentation of the 2020 Heber City car show, and I hope that you can appreciate my insights about the COVID issue.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and please drop me a note and let me know what you think or what questions you might have.

8 thoughts on “Car Shows in the COVID Era

    1. Thank you Lori. Yes, the weather was superb, but hot by the time we pulled out — about 93 degrees F. Heber City is high elevation, so it was brisk first thing in the morning. It felt great. Catching up was nice. Glad you enjoyed my post, and thank you very much for taking a peek. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, there were some really great cars, and several that I didn’t photograph. You know how car shows go; sometimes the light just makes it quite difficult to get a good picture, so there were a few I just didn’t do. One was a nice split window ’63 Vette. Whew! Thanks for coming by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! There definitely were some nice cars at the show. I have always liked the split window ‘Vettes too. That’s funny because of course I love the new body Stingrays, both the brand new mid-engine (I still haven’t seen one in real life) and the C7s. But for the older styles, I like all 3 first generations for different reasons.

        Those first C1 styles are just so perfectly classic, and then the C2 with the split window is so perfectly muscular. But the curvy C3s are still one of my favorite all time car designs. They are just timelessly sexy and quite “shark like”. Well, thanks for looking at my post, and I hope you are doing well in the crazy new world of COVID. Be glad you’re not in the US now; it’s a mess here.

        Like

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