Like the night before, the streets of downtown Reno were closed to public traffic Friday evening, allowing classic cars to be parked in front of the historic casinos while people were dressed in period clothing enjoyed music from the 1950s and ’60s being played by bands on nearly every corner. The weather was overcast, but it did not dim the spirits of those in attendance.
Photography by Matthew Fink
“I came to Hot August Nights and the Barrett-Jackson auction once, years and years ago,” said Greg from Arizona, “I love it. I love seeing so many muscle cars and hot rods instead of the normal stock and original cars like back home. I brought my girlfriend this year for her first time. She’s seen the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys perform, had many fine dining experiences in the VIP tent. I mean who does that for their girl, this guy.”
A woman wearing a poodle skirt, traveling from Washington state, said this is her 10th year at Hot August nights, “I never bring real clothes with me. This is always such a fun event to dress up at and I’m glad people still do it. Years ago everyone did and each year fewer and fewer do.”
Inside the Reno-Sparks event center, located at the end of the fenced off area, was a shopping mall of vendors. Enthusiasts were able to learn about everything from cooking demonstrations to car polishing demonstrations. Carburetors were available for purchase as well as complete motors, brake set ups, wheels, and office chairs made out of race seats.
As one vendor put it, “We love coming out to this each year. It’s great being inside the event center because we can only work till five and then have time to walk around and enjoy the cars as well. The outside vendors are open till eleven, but they get to see the cars drive by all day.”
This year, Barrett-Jackson’s Reno auction is being conducted during daytime hours, giving bidders and others more time to take part in Hot August Nights in the evening.
Among the cars and trucks we spotted Friday night were the “Big Foot” monster truck, vintage Reno-Sparks firetrucks and several show-stopping rat rods.