While we didn’t get the chance to travel to car shows for most of 2020, things are starting to go back to normal. If your quarantine project was restoring a classic car — or you’ve got one in your collection that you’ve been itching to show off — events are starting to show up on the calendar again. If you’re in the SoCal area, here are a few places where you can showcase your classic cars without traveling too far afield.
1. Rendezvous Back to Route 66 – Oct 2, 2021
For decades, a four-day event called the Route 66 Rendezvous brought half a million people into the San Bernardino area. After the event lost the support of the city, the local Chamber of Commerce put together a two-day car show that allows classic car owners to showcase their rides by driving through the streets of San Bernardino. For $40, you can register your car and join the fun. This show accepts custom cars and motorcycles from every year, so register soon before the deadline passes.
2. National Grand Roadster Show – Jan 28-30, 2022
This show used to be called the Oakland Roadster Show and while it may have dropped Oakland from its name, it’s still one of the oldest running indoor car shows in the world. Show vehicles can compete for awards and even if you’re not in the running for the title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster, you may want to consider registering for the weekend event that goes along with the National Grand Roadster Show, the Annual Grand Daddy Drive-In. The event’s been cancelled for 2021 due to it’s January date but it’s currently on the calendar for the beginning of 2022 so you’ve got plenty of time to prepare.
3. The Classic at Pismo Beach – Sept 10-12, 2021
Is there anything better than spending a weekend on a California beach? Why not add 24 square blocks packed to the eaves with classic cars? This three-day car show has happened every year since 1986 and over the last three decades has raised money for countless charities. Registration will set you back $115 but spaces are limited so if you want to showcase your classic car at this iconic event, make sure you register soon.
4. The Valley Nationals – October 13-14, 2021
October is a popular month for SoCal car shows. Every year, the Valley Nationals happens, hosted by the Hot Rod Coalition, showcasing more than 500 classic cars and bringing together car enthusiasts, owners and vendors in one of the biggest events of the year. The Valley Nationals aren’t limited to classic cars, welcoming all sorts of cars from classics and customs to hot rods and dragsters and everything in between. Pre-event registration is $35 for each vehicle, with the price going up to $40 if you choose to register at the event.
5. Main Street Classic Car Show – Fridays, Continual
If the rest of the shows on this don’t fit your schedule, why not opt for a show that happens every single week, rain or shine? There are roughly 50 parking spaces on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove, so finding a place to park is often challenging. It also means that you’ll be part of a rotating cast of characters that will change every week as people drop out and new car enthusiasts take their place. Both admission and vehicle registration is free for this weekly event, but you might want to check in with the event organizers to ensure that you’ve got a place to park.
6. Gassers 7 – August 28th, 2021
Head over to the Automobile Driving Museum at the end of August for the Gassers 7 Rev Fest, the 7th annual show that focuses on a love of classic cars, from originals to dragsters and anything that screams both speed and style. Parking is first-come-first-served and vehicle registration starts at $20 before the event and climbs to $25 when it’s time to find a parking space.
+ 1 — Join a Car Club
There are so many car shows going on in SoCal every week that we could write a book on it — and then have to keep updating it. If none of these cars shows tick the boxes for you, consider joining a local car club. In addition to getting you in touch with car enthusiasts in your area, these clubs often host their own shows or have a network of shows that they attend. It may not extend beyond your local area but it can be a great way to network and make the most of your weekends instead of scrambling to find a show. Use the resources you have available.
Get Out There and Show Off Your Favorite Classic Car
Whether you’re planning a trip to one of the biggest shows in the state or just sticking to local drive-throughs, the world is returning to normal and it’s time to get out there and start showing off your favorite classic cars.
Cover shot from: Nordic Overdrive