With the rising cost and generally limited choice available to those motoring enthusiasts out there—and we know that the spirit is alive and well, in spite of (and because of) recent economic developments—events featuring alternative ways of expressing such enthusiasm are certainly newsworthy.
Not to be confused with any other event featuring so-called “custom”, “experimental”, “historic”, “restored” or “vintage” vehicles, the A.H.A. Show often features all of these elements—as they fit into the “handcrafted” framework. You might see anything from one-off ground-up custom fabricated units with inspiration from any particular era past, present, or future, to assembled kits based on similar inspiration. The kit vehicles may range from cleverly devised “rebody” component kits (applied to commonly available, mass produced autos) to virtually spec-built replicas of classic rides—now considered to be very rare, expensive “museum pieces”.
Very good news for auto enthusiasts, indeed!
At one point, before the U.S. “economic meltdown”, the A.H.A. Show was held in connection with some related automotive events in a rather large parking lot opposite the famed Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, Buena Park, CA. Most of the major players in the business would be in attendance, toting large trailers used to display their wares.
While these vendors are still operational, the change in venues has severely limited their space to operate at the show—held in a much smaller parking lot in front of the N.H.R.A. Museum—so many of them passed on attendance at this year’s show. That is somewhat of a shame, considering the aforementioned level of automobile enthusiasm extant—and the potential marketing opportunities this sort of an event can generate.
Still, this year’s show had some noteworthy standouts—including many non-commercial examples entered by private individuals. The accompanying photos—with purposely sparse textual commentary—will give our readers some idea of what the show is all about, and why they should attend next year, if they didn’t make it this past April 13th.
Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals (See “BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts” on this ttac site) and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/