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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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.
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.