It’s summertime in North America and for the gearheads all over Canada and USA, that means race season, car meetings, and air shows.
But down south things are a little different, take my home country, Brazil, for example; in some cities close to the equator, it is summertime year-round, but if go deeper south, wintertime can get chilly, but not enough to stop the car related activities.
The racing season never stops, and the classic car meetings also run through the whole year. In my hometown, there are a few weekly meetings and the weather must be really cold and damp for the organization to call it off.
We also have some unique annual events like “Aguas de Lindóia”, the biggest classic car show in South America. Between 2008 and 2015, I had the privilege to work as a parts advisor for two of the most prestigious restoration/speed shops in the country. The job required traveling around the country to attend such events.
2012 Curitiba Motor Show
Of all the events I attended during that time, the most exciting was the “Motor Show”, which was born in my hometown, Curitiba. It was created with one main idea, instead of the traditional display of static cars, this event should be dynamic, with the cars taking the pavement of the local race track.
The event was also designed to bring together many different groups of enthusiasts, classic cars, Hot Rods, modern cars, bikes, drift, low riders, you name it, but the strongest one was always the Hot Rod community.
It became a meter of pride to drive your machine to the event and some rodders came as far as Cordoba, in Argentina, which is 2000 km away.
The highlight of the event is the Hot Rod Parade when the cars takeover the race track for a few laps. There is a pace car in front of the bunch in order to keep things safe, but some smartasses purposefully delay hitting the track, creating a gap where they can drop the hammer.
The first Motor Show happened on August 11th and 12th, 2012, that year I was working for Powertech and the boss decided to bring a few of his hot rods, like this 1936 Ford convertible, powered by a 302 small block Ford. I had the pleasure to drive the car for a couple of laps around the track.
Yes, the parade is a lot of fun, but do you know what is even better?
Drag racing!!!! The organizers put together a “1/8 mile challenge” for all hot rods and muscle cars.
The guy wearing cheap sunglasses, in the picture above, is me. I was helping to push this 1934 Ford coupe to the starting line. The car is powered by a blown 340 small block Mopar. Not my car, not my team, but hey, that’s what friends are for.
Making the hot rodders even more at home, “rockabilly” bands played during the day and especially at night, through the weekend.
For the next year, 2013, I was working for a different company, Studio Phoenix. That year we brought to the event a 1969 Mustang (picture above)
A 1972 Firebird.
And a couple of Harleys.
The weekend was cold and dump, but even though the show attracted 15,000 fans each day.
Once again the drag strip was waiting for the hot rods, for the “1/8 mile Challenge”, but another tournament was organized, with professional racers, called “The King of the Track”.
For 2014 I was back to Powertech and we brought some of the boss’s favorite toys. The 69 Mustang, a GT40 replica, a barn find 1937 Harley Davidson, and the Hemi-powered top fuel.
The team made this old lady road worthy again in two weeks for the show. It has the left foot clutch and the shifter is operated by the left hand. It is a bitch to ride, I never went further than the second gear.
A friend of mine brought his 1937 Ford rat rod, powered by a V8 Flathead, with Ardum heads. On Saturday afternoon I was hanging with him, drinking a few cold ones (the car’s trunk was packed with beer) when it was announced that the track was open for the parade. He screamed, “Let’s go“. Well, he was visibly wasted but what the hell, we jumped inside the Ford, and off we went. He was going flat out on the straight and when the turn came, he downshifted, slammed the brakes, and obviously, lost control of the car. The Ford slid on the wet pavement but miraculously he brought it back. Have we hit the sandbox sideways we would have flipped his hot rod a couple of times.
2014 was my last Motor Show, in 2015, my wife and I moved to Canada.
In 2021 the Curitiba Race Track hosted the event for the last time. The facility was sold to real state development, a common fate to many race tracks around the world. The video above is a teaser about this last event.
The Motor Show is still going strong, experimenting with different formats and moving from one city to another, but I don’t know if it has the same feeling as the original ones. For me, it became a very good memory, from a time when going to work was actually fun.
If I close my eyes I can still hear the thunder of the V8s and the smell of burnt rubber. Good times indeed.
Note of the editor: None of the pictures above is mine, I stole them from:
Dragster Brasil.com.br – a bunch of gearheads journalists but the one I remember the most is Filipe Sturion, taking pictures of everything and everybody.
Fabiano Guma – One of the most popular gearhead photografer in town.
Antigo & cia blogspot