THE 2014 AUDI SQ5 MADE THE TRIP TO CARLISLE A BREEZE
THE CAR CORRAL WAS A BUSY PLACE ON FRIDAY
Friday crowds roam the swap meet section at Carlisle
It is the first weekend of summer and a quick hustle up the turnpike to Carlisle in this week's Drivetime Road Test vehicle, the Audi S Q5 SUV, where the Carlisle Fairgrounds is bustling with a full schedule (see below) of events for the car enthusiast or folks that just like to hear the roar of engines!
This weekend it is the All General Motors Nationals running through Sunday afternoon.
Cool cars, parts, manufacturers displays, seminars, burnout contests and the car corral where you can find your next classic car were all real busy as I strolled through the grounds on Friday.
Walking through the Showfield I must have seen dozens of cars that I would love to have sitting in my garage. Vintage 'vettes, Full size Impalas and Rocket 88's, Novas, Bonnevilles and even a Vega were on display. All of these cars are in competition for awards that are handed out by a panel of celebrity judges.
One of the bigger crowds and certainly the most photographed spot on the fairgrounds had to be the Smokey and the Bandit Trans-Am and Police cruiser on display as well as a line of about 20 clones of the Bandit's Firebird from the popular 70's movie series starring Burt Reynolds, a stunning Sally Field and Jackie Gleason. Next to the Bullitt Mustang which was actually reproduced in modern form by the factory, the Bandit might be the most popular movie clone out there. (Before you say it...The General Lee is a TV show clone)
The real car people come here looking for that one piece they need to finish that project that has been sitting in the garage and Carlisle does not disappoint. Walking through the aisles there are several vendors selling New Old Stock, reproduction and used parts for just about every GM car and truck you can think of including those which are no longer with us. Plenty of Pontiac consoles, valve covers and reverb switches as well as Oldsmobile valve covers, 4-4-2 emblems, and original Cutlass/Le Mans transaxles could be found, brought by car guys who's wives have asked them to get that stuff out of the garage.
If you are looking for ready to drive off the lot collectors cars the Car Corral was chock full of Z-28's, Corvettes, Impalas sprinkled with a few Corvairs, a Buick GS400, a banana yellow '59 Cadillac convertible and even a first year Geo(no kidding)!
If you are not looking for something there was still plenty to look at especially if you are into The Pontiac GTO, this years featured vehicle. Several fine examples of America's first muscle car were on display from the sort of bare bones 1964 premier edition to the imported from Australia Holden GTO's of the early 21st century. Also on display...maybe the most popular GTO...the Monkeemobile from the TV series the Monkees. Designed and built by custom hot rod maker Dean Jefferies, the radical redesign is one of the most iconic TV series cars ever built.
That's what's great about Carlisle...there is something for every car enthusiast throughout the course of the season. This year Carlisle has announced that their collector car auctions will return. These auctions feature the cream of the crop of vintage vehicles and are must attends if you are buying or selling a collector car.
As Carlisle celebrates it's 40th year of automotive events at the crossroads of Central Pennsylvania their full schedule of events (www.carlisleevents.com) make it a great day trip from Pittsburgh, New York, Philly, DC or combined with a day at the Hershey Automobile Museum and HersheyPark just a few miles away, a pretty cool family weekend.