A very unusual situation happened to me regarding a car show where I was disappointed at the event. This was the first car show of the year which was held fairly local to me at only half hour drive away. I had been to a previous event at the same venue before and I was little disappointed back then. The event(s) were held at Stonham Barns in Suffolk. The first show that I attended was good for attendance with plenty of cars to look at with a couple of good stalls, but the winning trophies seemed to go to people who were known to the judges, I dare to say. I don’t expect trophies at the events I attend, the whole point of me attending is that I like to share my Mustang passion with other car enthusiasts, it certainly wasn’t sour grapes for not winning anything as I didn’t enter ayway. In fact I agreed with one of the winners which really was a good looking car. Anyway, back to last weekend the show was billed as “Spring Break Custom Car Show.” To be held on the 8th & 9th April. Here is the sales pitch for that weekend:
“Join us over the weekend of Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th April 2017 for the Spring Break Custom Car Show.
The event is an early season, blow off the cobwebs, laid back, friendly, take us as you find us kind of weekend. A gathering for everyone with an interest in Rods, Bikes, Yanks, ’Mid Century’ and ’Kustom Kulture’.
ALTHOUGH THE WHOLE WEEKEND IS DEDICATED TO ALL ASPECTS OF VINTAGE, HOT ROD AND KUSTOM KULTURE ON SUNDAY THE FOCUS IS ON 50’S AND LATER. CARS AND BIKES AS LATE AS 1973 ARE PERMITTED IN THE MAIN ‘SPRING BREAK’ SHOW & SHINE, AND THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL SHOW & SHINE COMPETITION FOR LATER VEHICLES OF ‘SPECIAL INTEREST’. THIS WILL INCLUDE CLASSES FOR LATER AMERICAN CARS, ALL CUSTOM VEHICLES INCLUDING LATER BIKES. (MODERN HARLEY’S AND OTHER CRUISERS, CHOPPERS, BOBBERS ETC.) IN PREVIOUS YEARS THE RESPONSE TO THIS SHOW HAS BEEN VERY POSITIVE SO COME ALONG AND ENJOY.
There will also be many stalls and traders, auto jumblers, swapmeeters and vintage/record stalls for you to wander around. You are welcome to stay for the weekend we have tickets that include the price of camping. Please visit our website to find out more.”
Reads like it will be a great weekend, yes?
Me and friend of mine Craig who is also into his cars in a big way, decided we would attend on the Saturday 8th as we both had plans on the Sunday. The start times weren’t advertised from what we could see, but these things usually start around the ten o’Clock. We arranged to meet before hand and go in convoy. There was no signs on the way there which made us think had we got the right day even? We got there and was told that we were the first to arrive and was charged £8 each for the entry, we got an orange wrist band which allowed us to go back in and out as we wished, even half price for the animal enclosures entry. I was asked to follow one of the organisers to the show field where he opened the gate and I was first in and asked to start a row for the cars.
A few moments later a couple more cars arrived in the field to park next to me.
Eventually by the end of the day there was another eight cars on show and shine field with me. There was a couple of other cars driving into the field, parking up for a short while then leaving again. We walked around the few stalls that were there with others being set up throughout the day. I was told that Sunday was the main day of the show and people turn up during the Saturday evening if stopping over or on the Sunday morning itself. Around the outside of the main show field there was a number of caravans and a few other nice cars ready for the Sunday show.
For me advertising a car show for a Saturday and a Sunday event, but really it’s a Sunday show with a Saturday actually being a prep day was pretty misleading. I saw the whole thing in one hour and that was including the stalls that were open. I thought it was a real poor effort as did Craig. We stayed as long as we could although we were seriously bored. We treated ourselves to a full English breakfast nearer to lunch time so we could waste more time to see if any more cars turned up. The weather was fantastic and not as though it was raining to stop the cars from venturing out for the day. I mentioned earlier that we were charged the full price of £8 per car to get in and I think that was bit strong especially as the Sunday was slightly cheaper to get in, for what reason I don’t understand. Still, this time next year I’m sad to say that I wont bother. There is a very positive upside of the day though. I got to met some great people who were asking lots of questions about my car. I think I even convinced one guy that he should get a project of his own. I honestly hope that the show had the expected nine hundred or so cars on the Sunday they were hoping for, in which case it would be a good show of cars for people to look at. It would bea real shame if people stopped going to these events and they get cancelled due to lack of interest.
The drive there and back was fantastic for me in the sun, windows down and listening to the v8 I hadn’t heard properly for a few months over the winter. Surely if the event is advertised as a weekened two day show, then make it a weekend two day show with cars on both days. Or did I read and get the advert very wrong? To think I gave up a precious weekend I could of had down at the Mustang Maniac yard. Every car show I have been to in the past I have enjoyed, and I don’t doubt for one minute that will ever change in the future for me. However, it does have to be said that if there are no cars, then it can’t be a good show for anybody. One guy summed up the day for me when he said “At least you bothered to turn up.” I had nothing to respond back to him with.
I’m now looking forward to the next lot of show that’s for sure and will bring some pictures of those for you. I hope you have a great Easter, and don’t eat to much chocolate!