Entering Classic Car Shows

By Samantha Lemna  | 
Mar 09, 2016

One of the joys about rebuilding and maintaining a classic car is getting out into the community with others who love these vehicles as much as you do. Cruises and car shows are a great place to show off your classic car, meet other enthusiasts, and appreciate many historic and beautiful vehicles. Here are a few tips to help get you off to your first classic car show.

Find A Show

Want to find classic car shows in your area? You can check out our calendar which has shows from around Western Canada. You can also contact your local classic car clubs, as many host and attend cruises and car shows. Another option is to go online, using google and social media to find events or even comprehensive lists.


Once you've found a show you'd like to attend, contact the show organizers. While more and more car shows have their own website and allow you to sign up on online, many do not keep their website up to date or require you to call to register. In any case, calling or emailing is a good way to get any information you need and confirm your attendance.

Some shows allow you to register at the gate while others require you to pre-register. Make sure you know what your car show expects ahead of time - the last thing you want to do is show up and get turned away. Shows will also fill up as some do not have unlimited space, so it's best to register in advance or show up early if you can. Don't forget there is often a registration fee that will need to be paid beforehand or once you're at the gate.

You'll likely be asked to provide some information about your car, including the model, year, and possibly some other information such as restoration details and history of your vehicle. It's nice to have this information available when you're at the show, too, even if it's just a printed piece of paper in the window. Regulars often splurge on getting a cardboard poster made.


Once you're registered, you'll receive confirmation from the car show organizer. They'll likely include information on when and where to bring your car. Pay attention to the entrance and time slots as they may be different than what is listed on their flyer or website.

Show Day Preparations

First, your car needs to be shining and squeaky clean. Pay attention to the tires and trim and consider using a good quality wax after washing your car thoroughly. This will add a noticeable shine as well as help keep debris off the surface of the car. It also makes it easier to just wipe it down after arriving at the show.

You'll also want to get the motor clean. Use a degreaser to wash off any residue or debris and consider applying a silicone-free engine dressing to make it shine.

Make sure the interior is spotless as well. While having something hanging from the mirror or gearbox is fine, you don't want your car too cluttered with things, as it distracts from the car itself - or, in the case of an actual messy car, hides it from view.

For more detail on how to prep your car for a show, check out these articles from SuperChevy and Hagerty.

Join a Local Club

If you loved your first classic car show experience, you should consider joining a local classic car club. They help organize show attendance and it's a great place to meet and talk to other classic car owners - swapping tips on restoration and where to find hard to source parts. There are clubs that welcome all classic car owners as well as those dedicated to a particular make or model or era of vehicle. These clubs can be a great community and a wonderful way to help you enjoy your classic car.

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