My wife and I attended the Summit Racing Equipment Hot Rod & Custom Car show on Friday evening -- the first day of the event. I picked her up from work around 4:25 pm and we headed straight to the show. Little did we know the Columbus Blue Jackets had a home hockey game with their divisional rival, Pittsburgh Penquins, that evening. Traffic in and around the Greater Columbus Convention Center was extremely congested with people coming in for the game. Next year, I will definitely check the Blue Jacket's schedule before heading for the show.
We decided to park in the garage on the north side of the convention center. The walk way from the garage to the convention center was closed because of construction. This forced us to head out towards High Street. Fortunately, it was an unusually mild February day. Needless to say, getting to the show turned out to be a bit of an adventure.
General Admission was $16 for adults, $6 for children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. Factor in $10 for parking, and the show turns out to be a rather expensive affair -- especially considering only 109 cars registered for the show. That's about the number you'd see at a medium-sized car show during the summer. I think a $10 general admission fee would be more inline for a show this size.
Vendor support was good but not great. There seemed to be a decided absence of vendors selling car specific products. I only saw one detailing vendor. There were the usual window and gutter replacement companies, and of course, companies selling car insurance. The back corners of the exhibit area were devoted to vendors selling model replica cars. As the primary sponsor, Summit Racing had a big presence in the middle of the hall.
There was not much in the way of food vendors inside the exhibit area. I saw someone selling large pretzels, and you could buy soda pop or water. But If you wanted something else to eat, you had to go outside the area. There were tables and chairs set up in the rear of hall to sit down and take a load off your feet.
The first three rows of the exhibit area was reserved for the cars that regularly travel the indoor circuit. These are the highly customized show cars and displays. Not only is the exterior of these cars perfect, but with the help of mirrors, the undercarriage proves to be equally perfect.
The cars displayed in the rest of the exhibit area were typical of what you'd see at a local show on a Sunday afternoon.
No show would be complete without a few "rat rods".
It was great to talk to a few acquaintances from the central Ohio show scene.
Jim McGruder, who runs Rube's Cruisin' News line and DJs many local shows, was there showing his 2013 "Night Rider" Corvette and Firebird restoration project.
Bill Gates, a regular participant at many local shows, entered his customized Chevy pickup.
And a nice couple from Reynoldsburg, that I met several years ago at the Arthritis show, brought their fourth generation Z28 Camaro. This car has one of the best looking paint finishes I've seen on any show car. The owner says he does all the finish work himself. Very impressive!
Despite the expense and difficulties getting to the show, it was a fun couple of hours. I really enjoyed seeing the "high-end" show cars and reconnecting with friends. I'll certainly be back next year. And if the weather next February is anything like it was this weekend, I'll seriously consider showing my car.
Here's video "walk around" of the first two rows. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments.