Today we’re going back in time and paraphrasing (with apologies) Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day. Ask someone a simple question about their classic car and they will go on for a whole day. Or longer.”
In the classic car world, weekends are taken up by a myriad of once-a-year car shows. And, like the cruise nights that happen throughout the week, some of them are h-u-g-e, and some are smaller. Some have been going on for years, and some are just starting out.
In case you’re new to all of this, and are wondering what the difference is between a cruise night and a car show, a cruise night is usually an evening gathering of vehicles and their owners, open to the public. (However, events labeled Cars & Coffee cruises almost always take place on Sunday mornings, and they only last until noon or so.) A car show, also open to all, is most often a day-long judged event with awards and/or prizes to registered participants.
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Here are a few of this summer’s car show highlights, listed by date. Like cruise nights, many of these events offer other activities, including food and music. To see a full schedule of shows, visit buffalocars.com/events.
June 5: The sixth annual Orphans in Orchard Park is primarily for brands of vehicles no longer produced (think Plymouth, Mercury, Pontiac, Rambler), but others are also welcomed. It’s at West Herr Chevrolet (3575 Southwestern Blvd.).
June 12: The 68th annual Lake Erie Region Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Car Show takes place on the Elma Village Green (3007 Bowen Road) as part of Elma Community Day. The AACA is a national organization that holds events nationwide.
June 18: The 19th annual Brant Summer Festival & Drifters Car Cruise is held at Brant Town Park (1000 Brant Farnham Road).
June 26: The Clutch Artists have been around Buffalo since 1954, and this year’s annual Autorama outdoor car show will be held at the George F. Lamm American Legion Post 622 (962 Wherle Drive, Williamsville)
July 9: Angola’s seventh annual Main Street Cruise will take place along Main Street in the village.
July 10: The Supershow at the Shrine had terrible weather for its previous two events, but organizers of the third annual Charity & Bike Show are hoping the third time’s the charm at the Ismalia Temple (1600 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca).
July 16: Across the border, the sixth annual Mopar Classic Car Show will be held at Rose City Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Welland, Ontario, featuring all the cars associated with Chrysler Corporation over the years, including Plymouth, DeSoto, Mitsubishi-made imports, Renault and American Motors.
July 17: If North American luxury cars are your cup of tea, particularly those made by General Motors from 1903-2011, the 31st annual WNY Cadillac-LaSalle Show is at Cappellino Cadillac (4130 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville).
July 30: The Lions Club 27th annual Quaker Days Car & Motorcycle Show takes place along North Buffalo Street in the village of Orchard Park. Proceeds support the O.P. Lions Club Blind & Charity Fund.
Aug. 6: It promises to be one of the loudest car shows of the season, and the cars have nothing to do with it. North Tonawanda welcomes back the Rumble at the Niagara Car Show at Gratwick Riverside Park, part of the two-day Thunder on the Niagara Hydroplane Races.
Aug. 7: The big 31st annual Street Classics Car Show in the Village of Allegany will take place in Allegany Fireman’s Park (First and East Main streets, NY Route 417).
Aug. 13: The Elks Club (33 Legion Drive, Lancaster) is holding its inaugural Super Cruise at its lodge.
Aug. 21: At the venerable Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, a car/bike show will be part of Summerfest at The Sal. Paid admission into the event includes the car show. All proceeds benefit Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund.
Aug. 27: We hope they’re jumping the gun a bit, but the End of Summer Car & Bike Show will be at Evangola State Park.
Aug. 28: The Toy Town Car Show will take over Main Street in East Aurora. Proceeds benefit American Legion Post #362.
Summer extends into September, with more car events scheduled.
One of the biggest outings of the season will probably be, as it usually is, the 32nd annual Olcott Beach Car Show, which is Sept. 3 at Krull Park (6108 E. Lake Road, Olcott), located on Lake Ontario. Expect hundreds of vehicles. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House.
Among events on Sept. 4 are the 13th annual Classics on the Niagara Car Show at Niawanda Park in the City of Tonawanda and the ninth annual West Seneca Police PBA Car Show (part of the Taste of West Seneca) outside West Seneca Town Hall (1250 Union Road).
On Sept. 10, there’s the seventh annual Park ‘n the Park Car Show at Island Town Park (West Dyke Road, Wellsville), and the ninth annual Albion Car Show in Bullard Park (12792 East Ave.. NY Route 31, Albion) which benefits Hospice of Orleans County. (Rain date is Sept. 24.)
End of Summer Super Cruise will be held along Main Street in Middleport on Sept. 11.
On Sept. 17, you have your choice of the 20th annual Akron Super Cruise, the third annual Cruisin’ the Gardens at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, and the 43rd annual Antique Car & Boat Show at the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island.