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RetroFest Classic Car Show

One of my favorite automotive activities is local car shows and “cars and coffee” events.  It’s neat to see what people do to their cars and find the current trends.  While I tend to keep my car show visits near my home town, there is one I will travel to attend:  RetroFest!

RetroFest is a multi-day car show held in historic Chatham, Ontario (Canada)–considered the Classic Car Capital of Canada.  It takes place during the last weekend of May and draws a large crowd to see about 600 classic vehicles line up throughout the streets of downtown Chatham.  

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RetroFest 2022

Between the pandemic and my personal schedule, I haven’t been to RetroFest since 2017.  It was great to be able to cross the border from Detroit into Canada and travel about 50 miles to Chatham for the show.  Since we have some good friends in Chatham, it makes for a fun visit.  

The streets of downtown Chatham are closed for the show, so there is lots of room to roam to see the cars and talk with the owners.  What I like most about this show is that you won’t see many “trailer queens” (cars that are rarely driven, and mainly trailered to shows).  These are cars that are used and appreciated by their owners.

It has been five years since my last attendance, and some new cars have been added to the show.  Luckily, a couple of my favorites were there as well.  One of those cars, the 1960 Studebaker Lark convertible below, is my wife’s favorite as well.  She saw it at the show five years ago and liked its simple style, clean appearance and color.  I think she also liked the Lark name, so we have that going for us.

I had a chance to talk with the couple who own it (you can see them seated to the far right of the picture).  This looks like a nice car to cruise on a summer evening.  The husband pointed out the manual steering, manual brakes and 1960s suspension made the driving anything but nice.  His wife thought it was a fun car to take on a ride.  I left the topic alone, and just admired their car.

pale yellow convertible

Other Favorites From The Show

Regular readers of this website know that I like the more oddball/unique cars.  While I’ve owned a couple of Corvettes, I prefer stuff that differen, and causes people to go “huh?” when they see it.

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With that being said, here is a collection of unique cars I saw at the show.  Enjoy the pics and let me know if you have any favorites.

gray Chevette
pale blue station wagon
white truck
white camaro
white houndstooth interior
yellow and white convertible
yellow van
yellow custom wagon
black car
yellow SUV
black z28
beige sedan
blue pickup truck
white and blue car
beige sedan
hood open on jaguar

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rob

    Great Article! This was my first year attending the RetroFest, I was blown away! Definitely can’t wait to do it again next year. The best part I think was getting to hear and share stories with all kinds of people from different walks.

    1. Bill

      Agreed, Rob! It is the best collection of classic cars that actually get driven!

  2. Josh Taylor

    The chevette is my favourite… but I am biased. Seriously though, I didn’t see a single car there that I didn’t appreciate.

    1. Bill

      I agree, Josh. All of the cars were fun to see. And a Chevette with a V8? Yes, please!

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