If you think the beauty of an automobile lies solely in its ability to get you from Point A to Point B with ease, think again. Take, as Prince so famously sang about, a little red Corvette. Listen to the engine purr. Notice the lines of the body and the chrome accessories. Imagine how it handles hugging the curves of a winding road and accelerating down a straightaway.
There are many who would agree the automobile is a veritable work of art on wheels, and for them, Pennsylvania's car events are like the Louvre - a treasure of rare and one-of-a-kind works on display.
Carlisle Events is the presenter of the country's largest car, truck, and motorcycle events. With 10 events and eight specialty shows, Carlisle has become a mecca for auto enthusiasts. Upcoming events include the Chrysler Nationals (July 6-8), BikeFest (July 20-22), Truck Nationals (Aug. 3-5), and Corvettes at Carlisle (Aug. 24-26). The multiday affairs are filled with everything from parts swap meets and live music to burnout competitions and test rides.
Butler County promises to be a "hot spot for hot rods" with several car cruises and shows, but it's a vehicle known more for its ruggedness than its speed that gives the area a claim to car fame. The birthplace of the Jeep will host Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival (Aug. 10-12). Check out the Bantam Jeep history exhibit, watch owners participate in driving challenges and go on a scavenger hunt throughout the county.
For nearly 20 years, the Great Pottsville Cruise (Aug. 11) has lured car enthusiasts to motor around downtown Pottsville. This year's event will feature an open-cruise style, meaning there is no closed course, but vintage vehicles will be seen driving the streets all day, leading up to the Downtown Main Event and Car Show that evening.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (July 13-22) cranks up the intensity with 10 days of shows and events. See rare, classic and exotic cars in a host of shows dedicated to almost every genre: American, British, Asian, Mini, Porsche... the list goes on. The highlights of the festival are the vintage races at Schenley Park. With a 2.33-mile circuit with a whopping 23 turns, they are the country's only such races held on city streets.
Pennsylvania's car events don't "brake" for fall. During the first full week of October, Hershey swells with some 1,500 antique show cars for the Antique Automobile Club of the America Fall Meet. The Hershey region has been hosting the renowned show and flea market since 1955.
Whether you cruise in with your own car or simply admire the rides of others, Pennsylvania's automobile events rev up the fun.