While we can always ogle over photos of our favorite cars, nothing compares to the experience of a new model close and in person. At world-class car events, car enthusiasts, press and industry insiders, get a glimpse of the revolutionary models that top designers have created. But these shows aren’t just for dealers and the industry; for people in the market for a new car, auto shows offer an excellent opportunity to explore, compare and shop.
But, before you head out to shop, there are a few things to know. While not all classic car owners are snobs, there are still a few rules in place to ensure that you don’t get kicked out of the show.
Dress more for comfort, not so much for looks. Although a few judges and presenters may be dressed up, you don’t have to be. The day can be long, and the show field may have all sorts of textures, from pavement to grass to gravel, so comfortable shoes are essential. Leave the high heels for another time. Also, remember sunscreen!
Make sure to view the show’s policies ahead of time. Look at the show’s website to see if there are any restrictive policies. Other than obvious restrictions for any public event, there may be policies that restrict strollers, pets, walkers, large bags, food, and drink, etc.
Most shows do not rope off the cars on display, but it does not mean you are free to touch the vehicles. Cars are carefully prepared for the show and, in many cases, are worth millions. Be careful of cameras or admission badges swinging into a car when looking inside. If you are bringing children to the show, watch them carefully and remind them what they can’t touch.
Plan out your day ahead of time and have an action plan. Many shows do not provide parking at the show location but require off-site parking and shuttle to the show. Have cash in case there is a fee for parking.
These shows present great photo opportunities everywhere you look. See your childhood fantasy car? Get someone to take your picture beside it. Make sure the event allows photos before bringing in your camera, though.
Proceeds from these shows typically benefit a particular charity. If you enjoyed the show, consider making a donation, posting about the charity online, or advocating for the cause during the event.
Overall, just follow what others do and have fun! Auto shows are a great way to see what’s out there, purchase your dream car, and mingle with other car enthusiasts.