Attending your first car show is always a memorable moment, but whether the memory is good or bad is up to you. Just like any other public sport-related event, car shows have some spoken and unspoken rules.
Remember these 10 points so you get the full experience of your first car show and avoid any faux pas.
A simple car wash isn’t enough preparation for a car show. You need to detail the exterior and interior so it looks in pristine condition. Give the body a fresh waxing, deep-clean the tyres and replace any damaged or rusty parts.
There are many ways to make quick and easy interior improvements right before the show, such as a steering wheel cover or custom seat belts.
Experienced car show attendants know that you need to show up early to get close to the action. Early doesn’t mean 20 minutes before — it often means two or three hours before the show’s official start time. You might have to wake up at an absurd hour in the morning to reach the show early, but it’s worth the effort if you find a good parking spot.
An early arrival is especially important if you’re hauling a car on a trailer. Gooseneck trailers made for carrying vehicles have payload capacities of 14,000 to 25,000 pounds and reach up to 40 feet long. If you’re going to take up that much space, do yourself a favour and dodge the traffic so you don’t hit anything.
Hopefully you won’t need them, but you should bring plenty of detailing supplies to your first car show. Window sprays, microfiber towels, applicator pads and similar products will come in handy if someone makes a smudge mark on your car.
You’ll also be anxious during your first show, so you need something to keep your hands busy and prevent your mind from wandering.
Car shows are all-day affairs that take a lot of energy out of you. You could wait in a long line at the concession stand and leave your car unattended, but packing your own lunch is much simpler. Stock up on nutritious snacks and beverages that will give you a quick energy boost. You can avoid the lines and have more time to explore the rest of the show.
Respecting other people’s vehicles is perhaps the most important rule of any car show. You can admire them as much as you want, but don’t touch them unless the owner gives you permission.
Leaving a smudge mark on a recently detailed classic car is a mortal sin that will draw great disapproval from other attendants.
Another key part of car show etiquette is always keeping a positive attitude about other people’s cars. You won’t like some designs, but that’s no reason to start badmouthing the cars in front of other attendants.
Even if a car looks unappealing, you should remain courteous and try to say something redeemable about it. People will show you the same courtesy with your own vehicle.
At a certain point in the car show, people will start showing off their engines. That’s when things start to get loud and exciting. However, impromptu revving contests are frowned upon.
Don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself by trying to have the loudest car in the show. In fact, you shouldn’t do any stunts that might annoy or injure attendants. Play it safe at all times.
Every car enthusiast has a favourite brand or style, but car shows are about broadening your horizons and learning more about automobiles as a whole.
To get the full experience, you need to branch out and explore different vehicles that you previously ignored. Who knows? You might just find a hidden gem or develop a newfound appreciation for other styles.
Exploring other vehicles is a great opportunity to make connections with other car enthusiasts from your area. Even if you don’t have the same tastes, your shared love and knowledge of vehicles could lead to some immediate friendships.
Car shows are mainly about showing off amazing cars, but they’re also about forging new bonds in the car enthusiast community.
When the show is over and it’s time to go home, pack up all of your things — all of them — and leave your spot the same way you found it.
Throw away your trash and double-check your spot before pulling away. The leave-no-trace policy is an important unspoken rule among car enthusiasts. Being a litterbug is one of the quickest ways to get ostracised.
Your first car meet will be one of your most vivid memories as a car enthusiast, for better or worse. Following these points will help you avoid any problems, put your vehicle in the spotlight and make some friends in the process.
Have fun at your first car meet and try to make it the first of many more to come.
Written by: Steve
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