Los Angeles’ Convention Center hosted the second Classic Auto Show the first weekend in March. Just two years old, the show already claims status as “the largest indoor three-day classic car show in the U.S.” Hard to argue with their claim when you consider a thousand cars spread over two floors. But this year, cars were only the beginning.
Vendors, live restoration and detailing demos, celebrity panels, and an autograph booth, provided hours of informative entertainment for car guys and gals of all ages.
Exhibit areas for 2018 included: hot rods, low riders, Japanese classics, vintage off roaders, Porsche, builds by women, and motorcycles. The show’s producers work with car clubs and individual owners to ensure a huge variety of autos. Non-stop surprises abound, everything from an over-the-top custom 1958 Lincoln powered by a V-12 boat engine, to the legendary “Round Door” streamlined Rolls-Royce, to a row of gleaming, rarely spotted Citroens provided something for anyone who loves four-wheeled transportation and there was a motorcycle section to do the same for two-wheelers.
This year, the Classic Auto Show’s producers put the emphasis on family fun. Kids get to vote their favorite car for a “Kid’s Choice” award. A “Hot Rodders Junior Challenge offered kids a chance to get their hands greasy by dissembling and re-assembling a five horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. After a lesson from pros Mike Donner and Johnny Martinez, families were offered the chance to try their hands at pin striping.
A “Women on Wheels” pavilion included a panel with race car driver Lyn St. James along with Rachel DeBarros and Bogi Lateiner from All Girls Garage, Roadkill editor Elana Scherr, and Cecile Bukmeier, female Instructor at NAIT.
Though a scheduling conflict prevented announced celebrity guest Jay Leno from making an appearance, auto world celebrities Chip Foose, Wayne Carini, Dave Kindig, Mike Brewer, and Steve Moal shared their in depth knowledge and enthusiasm with Classic Car Show attendees.
It was exciting to see further developments that made this a much improved show over last year’s. Doubling the floor space, pumping up the celebrity panels, going even further in pursuit of their eclectic collection of cars added up to offer something to everyone who enjoys classics. The only complaint I heard concerned the hall’s lack of background music that might have added a little energy and fun. But, that’s a small complaint, the cars are the thing, and for anyone with an interest in cars, the Classic Auto Show is a must see.
Story and photos by Jim Cherry
Jim was also at the show last year - here's the story.