Friday marks the second annual celebration of the SEMA-supported National Collector Car Appreciation Day, which was established to celebrate and raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. Events are being held throughout the country where enthusiasts can celebrate their love of cars. Here’s information on 10 such events. Additional car shows and events will be posted on Hotrod & Restoration’s Twitter throughout the week.
Hot San Jose Nights runs through Sunday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California. The event features cruises, a poker walk, a ’50s and ’60s themed prom, drive-in screenings of “American Graffiti” and “Grease,” a swap meet, an autorama, a show-and-shine, and a Destruction Derby. For more information, visit www.hotsanjosenights.com.
The 39th Annual Iola Old Car Show & Swap Meet takes place Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Iola, Wisconsin. The theme of the event is “Delightful Dodges & DeSotos,” with a display of over 200 of those vehicles planned. The event will also include a Blue Ribbon Concours, seminars presented in the “Teamed to Learn” tent, a car corral, special vehicle displays, concessions and entertainment. For more information, visit www.iolaoldcarshow.com.
The 14th Goodguys PPG Nationals takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event will feature over 7,000 hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, street machines and trucks through 1972 competing for awards including the PPG Dream Car, Builder’s Choice, 2011 Street Rod of the Year and 2011 Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist. The show will also feature Friday Night Drags, a swap meet, Cars 4 Sale Corral, Goodguys Autocross, a poker run, seminars and entertainment. For more information, visit www.goodguysnats.com.
The 2011 Chrysler Nationals takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The event is expected to attract nearly 2,500 Chrysler vehicles and thousands of enthusiasts. There will be special vehicle displays, appearances by celebrities including John Schneider of “Dukes of Hazzard” and Cindy Williams and Paul LeMat from “American Graffiti.” One registered attendee will be chosen as the Mopar Top Eliminator, which recognizes a Mopar owner who is a true ambassador for the brand. The honoree will be selected by Mopar factory representatives and will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the SEMA Show. For more information, visit www.carlisleevents.com.
The 9th Annual All Firebird Lawn Show takes place Friday and Saturday at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York. The event will feature an all-Firebird cruise and car show. Trophies will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place entrants in 10 classes, as well as Athlete choice, Coaches choice, Dealer Choice, Speedway Choice Best of Show and Best of the Best. All proceeds from the event will benefit Special Olympics New York Capital District Region. For more information, visit http://clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/firebirdnationofnorthamerica/show.html.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is marking National Collector Car Appreciation Day with a number of special activities in Friday. The museum will host a cruise-in, vendor booths, a digital scavenger hunt, seminars and a collector car caravan. The day will be capped with live concerts and a Bowling Green Hot Rods baseball game. For more information, visit www.corvettemuseum.com.
The Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo and Car Show takes place Saturday in Long Beach, California. The event will feature a car show expected to draw more than 200 pre-1975 classic and specialty cars, and will also celebrate the top fuel dragsters that made their mark at the Lions Drag Strip. For more information, visit www.bixbyknollscarshow.com.
The Change the Wind benefit car show takes place Saturday in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. The event is expected to draw over 300 cars, and will feature a DJ, an antique fire trucks display and food. Proceeds will benefit those affected by the recent tornadoes in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.changethewind.net.
The Heritage Annual Auto Event takes place Saturday at the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The event will feature antiques, classics, customs and hot rods of all body styles displayed on the museum’s Parade Field. The show will also include a kids’ activity station with car-themed craft projects and Lego car building. A rain date has been set for Sunday. For more information, visit www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org.
The Toyota Speedway and Event Center in Irwindale, California, will celebrate National Collector Car Night on Saturday. Anyone driving a collector car to the speedway will get free admission and premium parking in the Chalet Village area, located between the grandstands and the pit area. The evening will feature NASCAR short-track action. For more information, visit www.toyotaspeedwayatirwindale.com.