Attending a Car Show

This post is an edited excerpt from the book “Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting and Investing in Classic Cars” by Jason Paynter, who is also a certified appraiser of classic cars through G.D. Herring. Contact Jason today at jason@gdherring.com to learn more about he can help you with your classic car appraisal!


Spring is knocking on our doors and, naturally our thoughts turn to Car Shows! We are hoping to see a few more this year, hopefully starting within the next couple of weeks. In my area around Louisville, KY, every year brings countless opportunities to attend, from the casual coffee and cars meetup to the more formal events like the Louisville Auto Show. Never been to a show? Read on and find out why you should.

Why Attend a Car Show?

The first reason is to see cars of course. Aside from looking, there are a lot of other reasons to attend a car show. Let me break a few of them down for you.

The People

The first reason in my book is to meet people. Have you guessed by now I’m a people person? I love meeting and talking to others who share interests. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made – good, solid life-long friends – through cars. Car shows are like ground zero for meeting other car lovers. Where else can you go and find a couple sitting on a bench they made, the back part being from a vintage tailgate of an F-100 Ford pick-up truck? Such creativity. Then there’s the guy who always brings his Wagoneer to shows. He and I have become good friends, all because we both have titles to these iconic Jeeps. He and I are always trading stories about the problems, issues and fun we have had with these cars and it has become our opening discussion when we meet.

Buying and Selling Opportunities

Another reason to go to car shows is it will give you a chance to meet people who are selling cars and who are looking to buy cars. Many, if not most, of the new friends you make at these events will have their own collections. Some will be wanting to sell and some will be wanting to buy, or maybe even trade. Remember how you loved trading baseball cards? Ok, that dates me but the point is classic car collecting, in a lot of ways, is just the grown up version. There is a special thrill all collectors get in finding the trail of an elusive model, making your collection “complete.” You could very well find that special something at a car show through someone you meet here.

Classic Car Vendor Connections

My last top reason for attending car shows is you’ll also meet a lot of vendors who specialize in classic cars. You can meet dealers of course, but you can also meet insurance brokers, mechanics and body work people, as well as classic car detailers who, in my opinion, are worth their weight in gold when it’s time to sell. Someone who specializes in classic car detailing will know how to make your car stand out and it’s worth paying for when you sell.

I could go on about the fun and excitement of car shows, but really, if you’re interested in these classics, the best thing is to go out and experience one for yourself. Check out your car clubs to find a show near you and make a plan to have a fantastic day!


Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and enthusiast. In addition to being the author of the book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, he also hosts the Classic Car Corner podcast, on iTunes, Spotify and all your other favorite outlets. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) of driving age. Jason is also a certified appraiser and would be more than happy to assist in helping valuate your collection or answer any of your questions about cars. Email him at jason@gdherring.com.

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