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SEMA considering ways to make annual show attendees feel safe

Our weekly roundup of car show news and notes includes cancelation of Woodward Dream Cruise, 2021 Geneva Motor Show


Although it technically is a trade show closed to the public, the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is perhaps the nation’s largest annual car show, featuring thousands of exhibitors and around 120,000 people who have come to see and to buy and sell the latest in automotive aftermarket equipment and a couple thousand vehicles showcasing such products and the expertise of various customizers.

The 2020 show is scheduled for November 3-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Specialty Equipment Market Association recently issued an update on likely modifications sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“With health and safety precautions in place, the upcoming event will feature four days of innovation, inspiration and education, at a time when analysts anticipate the marketplace will begin its path to recovery,” SEMA said.

“We are steadfast in our belief that our members and our industry will recover more quickly from the current climate by safely coming together to share ideas and look ahead to strategize for 2021 and beyond,” added Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “In some respects, it will be one of the hardest events we have produced in the Show’s 54-year history, but it will also be among the most gratifying.”

Among changes being considered are a “health query protocol” as visitors arrive at the convention center as well as social distancing measures and directional traffic flow and the use of face masks for those visitors.

The goal, SEMA adds, is for showgoers to feel safe to congregate. To that end, Gattuso added, “We are proactively calling on all our partners to pool our collective resources to establish best practices and deliver the highest levels of safety and security along with the business value SEMA is known for. Even with the Show still months away, we are well into planning what it will look like when we all gather in Las Vegas.”

SEMA show, SEMA considering ways to make annual show attendees feel safe, ClassicCars.com Journal
SEMA Show overlooks Las Vegas Convention Center into parking lots and area hotel space

Woodward Dream Cruise officially canceled

After various Detroit suburbs voted to ban the usual public events that accompany the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, the cruise committee voted June 30 to cancel the August 15 event that draws thousands of vehicles and more than 1 million people to the historic boulevard.

Despite the official decision, the Detroit News noted that Woodward Avenue is a public state highway and quoted one cruiser as responding to the news of the cancelation with, “I know hundreds of people who are planning to go. Cruising is outdoors, and people are safe in their cars.”

The cruise and auxiliary events may be officially canceled, but it’s likely that hundreds of classic cars will be driving up and down the avenue come August 15, which also is the final day of a new event.

The newspaper reported that the newly founded Pontiac Motorsports Exposition still plans to stage its Woodward Dream Show on August 13-15 at the M1 Concours, a private car club facility in Pontiac, Michigan.

Goodguys updates show-host rights

Goodguy Enterprises Inc., which operates as the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association staging car shows across the country, has issued a new set of “terms & conditions” for both registered participants and for ticket-buying spectators. 

When we received the announcement, we thought the update might deal with the new normal of the coronavirus pandemic era, covering such things as whether face masks might be required or agreeing not to sue if you catch the virus at the car show. 

Instead, they deal with such things as distribution of photography, use of images, and — for those showing vehicles — the Goodguys stake claim to create and sell replicas, including miniatures and toy models, of vehicles displayed at Goodguys events.

The next Goodguys show is the 29th Heartland Nationals this weekend, July 3-5, at Des Moines, Iowa. The association also has announced that the Racedeck Salt Lake Nationals will be held July 17-19 at Utah State Fairpark, though with social distancing encouraged and face covering required.

You can read the new terms for registered participants and for ticket-buying spectators.

Carlisle collects for food bank, United Way

After finally launching its 2020 schedule — despite the virus and a suit by the state of Pennsylvania — Carlisle Events not only staged its Spring Carlisle show, but this past weekend, at its Chevrolet Nationals, it began a season-long effort to collect food for Project SHARE and donations for the United Way.

Carlisle Events is asking those attending its shows in 2020 to donate a bag of non-perishable food items, as well as toiletries, and has posted collection bins at the main points of entry to the fairgrounds venue.

Also sought are contributions to the United Way’s Carlisle Area Emergency Response Fund through secure drop box locations at the fairgrounds.

Vail preview for Fourth of July weekend

Although the 11th annual Vail Automotive Classic isn’t scheduled until September 11-13, classic American cars will be displayed from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. July 4 at Vail and Lionshead villages in Colorado as part of the Vail America Days celebration. 

Sno-White Drive-In hosts Thursday shows

SEMA show, SEMA considering ways to make annual show attendees feel safe, ClassicCars.com Journal
The scene at the Sno-White Drive-In | Riverbank News photos

Nice coverage in the Riverbank News of the return of the weekly Thursday evening car shows in the parking lot of the Sno-White Drive-In in the Northern California community. 

SEMA show, SEMA considering ways to make annual show attendees feel safe, ClassicCars.com Journal
Linda Jo Carlson shows her 1963 Ford Falcon

Geneva Motor Show for 2021 canceled

Not only have the committee and foundation that operate the Salon International de ‘lAutomobile (aka the Geneva Motor Show) decided to cancel the show for 2021, but it has offered to sell the show to Palexpo SA, the facility where the show is held late each winter in Switzerland.

The organizers also declined to accept a loan from the State of Geneva, which forced cancelation of the 2020 show, the largest annual public event in Switzerland, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers said they had polled exhibitors and the majority said they would not participate in 2021 but would return in 2022. 

“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” the organizers said in their announcement. “Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organization of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring.”

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 June 30, 2020: 

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

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 Nationals (Indiana), Arthritis Foundation car show (Dublin, Ohi0) (plus the Indianapolis 500)

August 27-30 — Corvettes at Carlisle, Fountain Valley (California), Artmobilia Weekend (Carmel, Indiana), Goodguys Nashville Nationals (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 — 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, LaJolla Concours d’Elegance, Street Rod Nationals Northeast (Vermont), Arizona FuelFest, Balfour Car Show (Denver) (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), Catskill Conquest Rally (New York)

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

October 9-11 — Chico Concours d’Elegance (California)

October 16-18 — Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, Keels & Wheels, Lake Mirror Concours d’Elegance (Florida), Mid-American Street Rod Nationals (Missouri)

October 23-25 — Charlotte Auto Fair, (plus the Mille Miglia race/rally)

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

To share news of your local car shows and cruises, email [email protected]

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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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