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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.