Good weather seasons in Michigan are short, so car enthusiasts jump at the first chance to meet. Once Pothole Season has passed, all it takes is for the roads to be dry and the temperatures consistently above 40 degrees for us to declare “car show season begins!”
Last weekend, a cars and coffee event in my area took place. These are gatherings of car crazy people who meet in a parking lot early on a Saturday morning. Cars and coffee shows are nice as they last less than two hours and then you have the rest of your Saturday free for other fun things.
From what I can tell, this is the first formal car show of the season. Since I didn’t want to let the occasion go to waste, I grabbed my buddy from high school, Gill, and headed to the event in nearby Northville, MI.
I was really encouraged to find a younger crowd at this show. The typical event around here includes the older Baby Boomers with their their 1960s and 1970s muscle cars. What we found here was just the opposite–mostly newer European tuners from Audi, BMW and VW.
There was even a second generation (1989-1999) Toyota MR2 at the event. It was in really nice shape for its age, and a rare sighting in Michigan. Fun!
Most of you know that my motivation for Vehicle Nanny is to encourage younger car enthusiasts to embrace the car hobby. I’ve witnessed too many old guys discourage these younger fans because they show up with more modern cars. Those old dudes forget what it was like when they showed up at shows in their early years.
What I saw on Saturday was a nice gathering of younger guys and gals talking about their cars, showing pride in the care and personalization put into their machines.
That, my friends, is what the car hobby is all about.
Looking Toward Summer and Fall
As we move into the summer months, weekends will fill up with other cars and coffee events, weekend cruises and the big show of the year–the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Woodward Dream Cruise
The Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. It started in 1995 as a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan and grew into this huge event that has spilled into the week preceding the actual cruise weekend. It can be great fun to see so many classic cars driving in one place, but it is also a nightmare to navigate the area.
More information about the Woodward Dream Cruise can be found HERE.
Dream Cruise Alternative
While I was at the cars and coffee event, I struck up a conversation with Chris from M1 Concourse, an 87-acre automotive events and motorsports property in Pontiac, MI. He shared they they are hosting the Woodward Dream Show at the same time as the Dream Cruise.
The Dream Show will have hundreds of significant cars on display, live entertainment, automotive personalities, food, beverage…you name it. It will take in the excitement of the Deram Cruise, but in a more relaxed setting.
This looks like a great event, so I plan to check it out.
Other Car Shows
On any given summer weekend, dozens of smaller shows take place in towns across metro Detroit. We are the Motor City, after all!
Once fall comes, the hobby car shows tend to dwindle. Fear not, as I found a great car show on the campus of Northwood University in Midland, MI. This is a 100% student-run show that features new vehicles spread across the campus. They also host a cars and coffee event at their show, so car shoppers and enthusiasts can have it all in one event.
Related article: 2021 Northwood University Auto Show
The best way to learn about all of these shows is through Facebook Events. From there, search for “car shows” or “cars and coffee” to find an event near you.
Let me know if you have a favorite show in your area in the comments below–especially if you have a hidden gem in Michigan you think I should check out!