Over the past few years I have noticed a trend, at least locally. It seems more and more car enthusiasts are looking for alternatives to the typical car shows. We have had numerous discussions with others about this topic. It seems at first competing to win a trophy is very exciting. However, let’s be honest. Many of the cars that win trophies don’t deserve them and some that don’t win should. It is also true that many classic car owners like to drive and use their cars. Keeping a car in show condition and driving it regularly can be a real challenge.
Two of the fastest growing car activities are the Cars and Coffee events and the similar Cruise-ins. These are display type of activities that do not involve judging, entry fees or trophies. Another growing popular event are tours. Think Hot Rod Power Tour but for only one day and not a week. Not only are these events much shorter they involve interesting destinations and usually make a big loop ending back where, or at least close to where the day started.
I believe these changes are very healthy for the collector car community. Being judged against your friends’ cars can be a bit irritating to everyone but the winner. We all think our car is the best. Our cars need to be driven. The more they sit the more they deteriorate. I believe that most younger folks have no idea what it is like to drive an old car. They can see them at shows but once they have seen a bunch of 69 Camaros, 32 Fords, Hemi Chargers or what ever, it can be boring. However, let them drive one of these cars and they will remember it for a life time. Maybe, just maybe they will get hooked on the hobby and want a collector car of their own.
My wife and I belong to several clubs that participate in these kinds of activities. One such group is the Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion that we host every year. It is a collection of enthusiasts who own or want to own one of the 1969 Ford or Mercury Nascar Aero Cars. These are the street versions of the wild cars raced at the super speedways back in the day. These include the 1969 Ford Talladega and 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and Spoiler II models in both Cale Yarborough and Dan Gurney versions.
The following is just a brief recap of our most recent event. You will be able to see more at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com over the next few weeks.
Here are our 2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion attendees. A very happy and knowledgeable group.The 2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion is over. If you missed it you missed a great weekend. We had a fantastic turn out of Talladega Spoiler Family Members and some great cars. We had more new attendees this year than ever. I will be going over more details of the event in the next few days and weeks but trust me, as soon as I announce the 2018 event you need to get your reservations in. This year our long distance recognition goes to Chris, Rebecca and Lachian McQuade from Sydney Australia. They are wonderful people and we hope to see them back in 2019 for the very special Talladega Super Speedway event held in conjunction with the Mopar Aero Car Clubs.
The event officially started at 9 am on Friday but we had a yard full of trailers and guys swapping parts at 1 pm on Thursday. They couldn’t wait to get things going!
Katrina and I feel very humbled and honored at the response from this year’s attendees. From first thing Friday morning over coffee and donuts until well into the evening there were Ford/Mercury Aero Car guys and gals hanging out talking about anything related to the cars. There were some great new friendships created and many old strong ones reinforced.
I was especially taken by how well and how fast the veterans of these events welcomed the first timers. Several of the newbies said they were a little afraid their cars were not good enough to bring and others were afraid to ask “dumb” questions. Within minutes they found out every car is not only welcome but appreciated for what it is. We all started with rough cars and some of us still have them. There are no dumb questions, no one pretends to know everything in our group and everyone is anxious to hear more stories and learn more trivia.
Here are some photos to wet your appetite for the stories that are coming.
Our second day of the Reunion was a 169 mile road tour with several very interesting stops.
If you want to know more about this event follow it at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com. Much more to come on the Reunion in upcoming articles on that site.
If this event sounds like fun to you think about how your club and your friends can think “outside the box” and plan some new kinds of events other than shows. We need to freshen up the way we enjoy our collector cars to continue to bring new participants into the hobby.