(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) The AACA Hershey Region Fall Meet photo onslaught continues! This time it’s the culmination of Hershey week with the AACA Car Show. This show is for the best of the best, enthusiasts from worldwide bring the vehicles they have restored, toiled over, dropped umpteen bucks on, and proudly parade them onto the show field. All this effort is rewarded by getting torn apart by expert AACA judges, for the privilege of claiming a Junior, Senior or the ultimate…a Zenith Award. These accolades add valuable notoriety to the history of the vehicle, plus a probable bump to the eventual selling price.
A big and growing section of the show is the Survivor and Preservation class, wherein you may find an American La France Fire Truck parked next to a big Lincoln Mark IV next to a 1990’s Minivan next to a Model A Touring Sedan. Something for every taste. Other show classes cover just about everything with an engine, some of my favorites included the muscle car, ‘50’s production cars, and European Sports cars classes. The Commercial Truck and Fire Apparatus classes are also extremely interesting to ogle over.
The Race Car class was very well attended in 2022, with a few killer Drag Cars entered. Check out the Smothers Brothers King Olds W-31 convertible G/Stocker, I spent an inordinate amount of time climbing all over that one, talking to the owner and digging through his build book. A few SCCA racers, some cool dirt racers and even a flat track Harley were also on display. In addition to the show portion, one of the criteria of the race car certification is making a few condition runs on Thursday before the show at the Hershey Stadium. Dig into the photos.
Another highlight of this one-day car show experience is watching the show field empty out onto the roads and head home. No trailers are allowed on the show field, so each vehicle needs to drive on and off the field under its own power. It makes for the world’s coolest traffic jam.
In past years the Car Show was held on Saturday after the Swap Meet week wraps up, a big change for 2022 was Hershey Co. deciding to keep the amusement park open weekends through October, necessitating shifting the weeks activities forward a day. The now Friday show, had folks concerned attendance would suffer, let’s put those fears to rest, the place was packed!
Put it on your schedule for next year, be there in 2023. Hershey never disappoints!
Check out what we saw: