Classic car cruisers join Blue Angels in saluting coronavirus combatants

Cruising gets collector cars out of the garage and onto the streets

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A highlight of the EyesOn Design concours is white-glove hands-on judging by those who are sight impaired | Steve Purdy photo

The Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and other military aircraft flyovers aren’t the only ones thanking those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Classic car cruisers are getting in on the action as well.

For example, a classic car parade in Sudbury, Ontario, circled the facilities of Health Sciences North to show support for healthcare staff inside. The cruise included several other medical facilities and food banks.

“So today Cruisin for Organs and Sudbury Classic Cars, we decided to get together today and doing Cruisin for Heroes, which is all essential workers across our city,” Bob Johnston told CTV News. “From nurses, doctors, truck drivers, janitors right across the whole board, just to show our appreciation.”

Screen capture image from CTV news report by Alana Everson

“We are a car club that celebrates the heritage of classic cars and I am not sure we are going to have much of a gathering this year for cars shows and stuff like that,” added Jason Gifford, who drove his 1939 Buick coupe. “We are a charitable organization and we give money to the food bank and the Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer and this year our charity of choice is the Infant Food bank.”

Similar events took place in Santa Rosa, California; Rochester, New York; Punta Gorda, Florida; as well as in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, where the drive honored high school seniors who were missing out on event such as their graduation ceremony.

Such events and cruises that keep car owners in their vehicles may be the way the collector car hobby celebrates in 2020 as car shows and concours continue to be canceled.

EyesOn event was postponed, now it’s canceled

EyesOn Design, the Detroit car designers’ concours d’elegance annually held on the Father’s Day weekend, already had been postponed until September 13 but has been postponed further — until Father’s Day, June 20, 2021.

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The event benefits the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology and differs from the typical concours by celebrating not rarity, restoration or celebrity ownership but vehicle design.

“In light of the continuing health pandemic,” the executive committee said, “EyesOn Design has decided that the most prudent course of action is to remove the car show from the 2020 calendar.”

Not only will the more than 250 vehicles invited for 2020 be invited back in 2021, so will car designer Peter Brock, who was to receive the EyesOn lifetime achievement award. 

Meanwhile, event chair Kathy Lightbody noted that the postponement will allow “time to imagine and implement great new things for the 2021 event.”

48th Iola show delayed until 20201

Just a portion of the post-war show field, one of several groupings at the annual Iola show | Larry Edsall photo

The 48th annual Iola Car Show and Swap Meet, which annually attracts thousands of people and cars to the Wisconsin community, won’t take place in 2020, executive director Joe Opperman has announced.

However, Opperman added, while the show won’t take place until 2021, plans are being made for the inaugural Rally for Iola, a cruise event on July 11, in conjunction with National Car Collector Appreciation Day.

By driving through the town and the show grounds, “This event will allow everyone the opportunity to safely celebrate and enjoy key elements of the historic show, while providing essential support to help preserve the organization through these difficult times,” Opperman wrote.

And, he added, while the car show is canceled, the swam meet and flat market may be rescheduled for a date later in this year.

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Indy pace car homecoming gets new dates

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has set new dates for the Corvette Pace Car Homecoming event, which will take place August 13-16, in conjunction with “Fast Friday” and qualifying weekend and a week before the rescheduled Indy 500-mile race. 

The homecoming is a car show open to official pace cars and 500 Festival Corvette event cars. Corvettes have served as pace cars for the 500 16 times.

Hot Wheels tour goes virtual

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour and Honda Super Tuner Legends Series will stage their first virtual event May 16 at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) in conjunction with Hoonigan’s YouTube Channel (the event also will be available on Hot Wheels’ Facebook page).

Euro aftermarket expo delays until 2021

Automechanika Frankfurt, a major European automotive aftermarket exposition, has been canceled for 2020 and has set its next show dates for September 14-18, 2021. The show takes place every other year and now will switch from even to odd-numbered years.

“Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of everyone – exhibitors and visitors alike – taking part in the event,” said Detlef Braun, executive board member of Messe Frankfurt, the facility where the show takes place. “With waves of the pandemic moving around the globe and many countries not expecting it to peak until the summer, I am certain that the decision to postpone Automechanika until September 2021 is the right one.”

Fall car-show calendar

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the fall car-show and concours calendar continues to evolve. Here’s the updated schedule, based on official announcements, as of April 14, 2020: 

August 9-16 — Concours at Pasadera, Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals, Woodward Dream Cruise (Detroit), Street Rod Nationals Southeast (Kentucky), Goodguys Great American Nationals (Pennsylvania), Indy 500 Corvette pace car homecoming

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August 19-20 — London Concours

August 21-23 — Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance (Colorado), Geneva (Illinois) Concours d’Elegance, Street Rod Route 66 Nationals (New Mexico), Goodguys West Coast Nationals (California), AACA Southeastern Fall Natioanls (Indiana) (plus the Indianapolis 500)

August 27-30 — Corvettes at Carlisle, Fountain Valley (California), Artmobilia Weekend (Carmel, Indiana) (plus the rescheduled New York International Auto Show)

September 4-7 (Labor Day weekend) — Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance, Lime Rock Historic Festival, Groesbeck Grand Prix Festival of Motoring (Texas), Crescent Beach Concours d’Elegance, Sonoma Speed Festival, Foothills Motoring Festival (Pinehurst, North Carolina), Royal Concours of Elegance (England)

September 11-13 — Goodwood Revival, Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance, AAA Glidden Tour (Sarasota Springs, New York), Vail Classic, Goodguys Colorado Nationals, Wisconsin Dells Automotion

September 18-20 — New York City Concours, Dayton Concours d’Elegance, Oregon Festival of Cars, LaJolla Concours d’Elegance, Street Rod Nationals Northeast (Vermont), Arizona FuelFest (plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans)

September 25-27 — Salon Prive (England), Telluride Festival, Ironstone Concours d’Elegance (California), St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance (Maryland), Goodguys Lone Star Nationals (Texas)

October 2-4 — Fall Carlisle, Street Rod Nationals South (Knoxville, Tennessee), Goodguys Del Mar Nationals (California)

October 9-11 — AACA Eastern Fall Meet, Chico Concours d’Elegance (California)

October 16-18 — Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, Keels & Wheels, Lake Mirror Concours d’Elegance (Florida)

October 23-25 — Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance (plus the Mille Miglia race/rally)

October 30-November 1 — Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance, Copperstate 1000 vintage rally car show, Western Street Rod Nationals (Bakersfield, California), Luftgekuhlt 7 (Durham, North Carolina)

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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