This past weekend was the GoodGuys car show in downtown Columbus. As I do every year, I went on Saturday with my parents (Dad shows a ’53 Chevy pickup). And as usual, I dressed for the occasion. (Photos coming soon; they’re on Mom’s camera.)

My motto is that if you can wear a costume, you should. I love costumes. They’re fun! Fun to make, and fun to wear. I love going out “in character”.

It never fails to surprise me, however, that even after all these years and the hundreds of car shows I’ve been to, that I still am usually the only non-vendor to dress up (sometimes at Hot Summer Nights a few girls will dress up, but I think they are with a theater or dance group, so it doesn’t really count).

I just feel like car shows could be so much more than what they are. You show up. You look at cars. You buy car-related stuff, and listen to music from a bygone era. Usually this consists of the hits from the 1950s-1970s, but sometimes there’s a little broader variety (sometimes not. Hot Summer Nights plays almost exclusively the Beach Boys).

There are vendors. usually they sell jewelry, tee shirts and hats with cars on them, car parts, and reproduction advertisements from the 1960s.

I want to go to a car show that takes the theme of these historical vehicles and expands on them. These cars can be from anywhere from the early 1920s (sometimes before!) up through souped-up contemporary models. What if there was some kind of costume competition, or a masquarade/costume dance? There’s always great music at these shows, but I’m always the only one dancing. And why is it that there’s almost never live music?

Opening up the vendors to include antique dealers–of all kinds–would also be great. Vintage books, clothing, and household accessories. Some drivers create mini displays or themes for their vehicles. My dad has a fake dinner tray for the driver’s side window and a set of drive-in movie speakers. A lot of classic car fans have rooms or even decorate their entire houses around the era their car is from, but mostly those things have to be purchased elsewhere. They are never available at shows, even at GoodGuys–the largest in the midwest.

And for the kids and grandkids that come: Why not educate them on what times were like back then? Have toys and games, but maybe also some mini classes or lectures, something fun and interactive.  An yes, I do think that there should be typewriters.

Part of me would love to put this together, but the greater part of me just sees flashing dollar signs and faints at the thought (not that I have time for something even half this involved. I’m lucky if I make it to two shows a year now, where I used to be at car shows every weekend from May to September.

I guess I’m throwing this out there in the hopes that someone else might take the reigns on it. I love car shows, but sometimes they just feel…lazy. Especially when I see the same cars at all the local shows, over and over. Why not spice things up a bit?